Minimalist Monday: Why Minimalism?
Hey... heavy minimalist post warning.
I know it's a Bank Holiday Monday here in the UK and we're all feeling chilled and grateful for some half decent weather for a change but I haven't written about minimalism in general recently. So, I thought this week I would provide a few questions and answers about my minimalist journey. I have included some questions for you just in case you want to join in with me. Purely optional... I don't want to nag or preach.
I was first attracted to minimalism because I felt overwhelmed and stressed. I had too much stuff and not enough time, I was dissatisfied with our consumerist society and I found it hard to relax. Both the ethos of living a less materialistic lifestyle and the aesthetics of living in a calmer and more organised space appealed to me. What I craved most was the chance to have regular time to be able to stop and stare.
How about you? Do you think you could be happier with less stuff and less commitments? What attracts you to minimalism or a simpler way of living?
Which minimalist blogs are helpful?
Reading minimalist blogs gave me the inspiration to not just start on a journey of decluttering but also to evaluate my work life balance and learn how to relax and be content on an everyday level. The following blogs have advice for all these aspects of simple living in their archives. They are the big names in the world of minimalist blogging.
365 less things
However, there are lots more lesser known minimalist and simple living blogs out there. Check out my blog roll for some that I regularly read.
How about you? Are there any minimalist blogs you'd recommend? Does reading about minimalism keep you focused on simplifying your life?
Will decluttering and simplifying my life make me happier?
I thought that reducing my possessions, my materialistic aspirations and my financial commitments might be the answer I was looking for. It was. More than two years on I am now am on my way to having the life I wished for all those months ago. I have reduced my possessions considerably, I live in a smaller home with a smaller mortgage, I work part-time and I have more time for my family, friends and interests. My life is still hectic at times but in a much more varied and fulfilling way. And I do get time to stop and stare, regularly. Every time I declutter I feel better for it. I don't want to sound smug and maybe you don't need to downsize or change your career but I guarantee any amount of decluttering will make you feel better once the ordeal is over.
How about you? What is stopping you from decluttering that space or room? How do you feel after a good clear-out? Could you make more time for things you enjoy?
How can I stop feeling trapped?
In the past I felt trapped and could not see a solution to my stressed life. But then I realised that I had trapped myself by choosing to take on more responsibility at work, more financial commitments with each house move and spending more money generally than I needed to. I had been too busy to notice how much this life was costing me in ways other than money. My health, my relationships and my enjoyment of life were all beginning to suffer. Realising that we had got ourselves caught up in this trap was the easy step. Step two was a lot tougher - working out how to free ourselves from the life we had created and the finances needed to pay for it.
Our decision to downsize to a smaller house was made for financial and personal reasons. Moving to a smaller house felt at first like a backward step and it took a long time for us to reach this decision. Downsizing our possessions and finding a suitable family home on a smaller budget was hard work but now one year later we can see that it was definitely the right thing for us and it has had a positive affect on our lives. We have more control over our finances, we have more flexible time, we live with less stuff and we have have stopped chasing materialistic goals.
How about you? Could you live in a smaller home? Is it possible to reduce your outgoings? Could you work less hours or change your job? Is fear of change holding you back?
Is minimalism contrived?
I hope these questions and answers have been useful whether you are a new or long-term reader here. Minimalism can sound extreme and off putting and also contrived and posey. I don't view minimalism like that at all. I see it as something that can set you free and can be a useful tool in reducing the stress, greed and waste in our lives.
I started writing Just a little less because I was inspired to document my downsizing journey and quest for a simpler life. At the time there was a distinct lack of presence of UK minimalist bloggers and I wanted to add my voice and view to this worldwide community. I enjoy writing about minimalism and still regularly comment on many minimalist blogs. What I also enjoy writing about are the simple pleasures and the joys of everyday life. Learning to create and find these moments is something that everyone can benefit from.
Minimalism helped me on my journey to a simpler and happier life. If I had not read those minimalist blogs and started on my decluttering journey I don't know if I'd be where I am today. I must state that my minimalist journey is not over. I see it as a long term project that I can adapt and adopt to suit and enhance my life.
How about you? Has decluttering, downsizing or changing your career/life plan enhanced your life for the better? I'd love to hear from you.