My journey with minimalism has had a slow start, and it’s something I’ve eased into over the past couple years. One of the first ways I was intentionally minimal was when I started traveling with less. Then last year I donated a significant amount of clothing and have been maintaining a more minimal wardrobe ever since.
This year I’ve actually started to read more about minimalism and think about the areas of my life I want to invite minimalism into.
my minimalism philosophy
I say “my” here because minimalism is not a one-size-fits-all deal. What works for others might not work for me, and vice versa. The areas of my life that I feel require minimalism might not apply to you, and that’s totally fine. It’s a deeply personal way of being, and while people can share their journeys and tips, your way of doing it is your way.
I don’t believe minimalism is all or nothing. I don’t even think it needs to apply to every single area of your life. For example, I love reading hard copies of books, and I love the joy of shopping for books in a store. I know I probably won’t ever exclusively read e-books. This doesn’t mean I don’t value minimalism, or that I’m “doing it wrong.”
For me, minimalism means living more minimally in some areas of my life, buying with intention in all areas of my life, and always working towards simplicity.
joy and minimalism
I’ve found that embracing minimalism and going through the process of minimizing various areas of my life has been closely tied to joy. I feel lighter since I’ve started working towards minimalism, and it’s not due to just one reason, either.
First, getting rid of the clutter in your life (whatever that clutter is for you) feels good. It feels good to say goodbye to the things that you don’t love. Knowing your space is more open and organized is freeing. And if you happen to pass an item on, you give it a second life with someone who will appreciate its value. It’s a win-win.
Second, when you simplify certain areas of your life, you gain space. And when I say ‘space’ I mean physical space and mental space. The less physical clutter you have, the less mental clutter you have.
Third, minimalism makes me love the things I have even more. I recently minimized my beauty products, and now only buy the products I really love. I cherish them more because I’ve specially picked them. And when there’s less clutter, it’s harder to forget you have that item because it’s not lost among other things.
Lastly, when I buy less and more intentionally, I have more room for experiences and travel. And that brings me so much joy!
minimalism in different areas of my life
As I mentioned earlier, it all started with a trip and a suitcase. But the most drastic change in my minimalism journey came with a very large clean-out of my clothing a year and a half ago. I shared my process and tips for maintaining a more minimal wardrobe on my YouTube channel, and it’s what has really made me consider minimalism for other areas of my life.
Currently, I have adopted minimalism into my wardrobe and beauty products, as well as into my travel. I apply minimalism to our home, and try my best to decorate with items we already own. Some other areas I’m working on incorporating minimalism is my bookshelf (this one is tough), our kitchen, and miscellaneous products that tend to accumulate over time.
In my experience, it’s been easier to introduce minimalism into one area of my life at a time and understand how it benefits my day-to-day before moving on to another area. I’m not in any rush because I know my relationship with minimalism will evolve over time. Again, it doesn’t have to be a quick and intense process – it can be whatever you want and need it to be.
Overall, the effects of minimalism in my life have been subtle but positive. Of course I still enjoy shopping, but I find that I’m naturally more intentional with the things I buy. I’m also more intentional with the items I own, and have felt even more gratitude for what I have.
I’m planning on sharing more about my journey with minimalism going forward, and am eager to continue simplifying my life. I’d love to know if you embrace minimalism in any areas of your life – do you have any tips or lessons to share?