I have been hearing more and more about minimalism in the last couple of years. I didn’t have any idea what it meant, other than a style of sculpting or painting using simple large forms. It sounded like some fad where you get rid of all of your possessions and live out of a backpack. I have learned a little more so I wanted to share my first impression of minimalism.
So What is Minimalism?
Minimalism is really just a tool to help free us from the burden of and feeling overwhelmed by our material possessions and consumer culture. It’s a way to remove all of the excess things so we can focus on what’s truly important in our lives. This simple explanation relates to a way of life rather than art or design.
As stated in the minimalist blog, “Minimalism is a tool to rid yourself of life’s excess in favor of focusing on what’s important.” This will mean something different to everybody. We need to decide what is most important to us. Then remove the excess stuff that is keeping us from focusing on those most important things.
My Impression of Minimalism
You do not need to give up all of your possessions. Rather we should be mindful of the possessions we have or that we actually need to be happy and achieve our goals.
I started to pay closer attention to it when I found Matt D’Avella’s YouTube channel and his Podcast called “The Ground Up Show.” Matt is a filmmaker living in Los Angeles. He filmed a documentary and creates many video and podcast episodes about minimalism among many other things.
I am certainly no expert on minimalism. I am just starting to thinking about the minimalism concept in certain parts of my life. As I explore more I wanted to share my first impression of minimalism and my experience so far.
Like many other people, I have a hard time getting rid of stuff. The items might be clothes, old note pads, or old computer components. I always think I might wear this at some point or I just might need these notes or computer components. They then proceed to just sit there, pile up further, and collect dust.
What to do About the Excess “Stuff”
The clutter was starting to get in the way more and more, both physically and mentally. I really found my motivation completely squashed when I had to first clean a bunch of “stuff” off of my desk before I could get started on any project.
Just a couple of months ago my wife and I decided to redo our master bedroom. We took this opportunity to do a major cleanout of the clutter both in the bedroom and closets. We donated a huge pile of clothes and other items to a charity. I must say, it is so much less stressful to be in the bedroom. It is actually a relaxing environment. I find myself laying in bed and reading so much more now.
I am Starting Down This Path. Now What?
My desk is my next major clean up project. I have been able to work around the clutter but now that I recognize the effect the clutter has, I am ready to do the same with my desk as we did with the bedroom.
Along with the cleanout, I am also starting to be more mindful of my purchases. I ask myself, “do I really need the latest phone?” or “do I really need another pair of running shoes?” Sometimes the answer is yes but a majority of the time the answer is no. This both saves me money and helps save me from more clutter.
Not only have I been able to start removing the clutter and the obstacles keeping me from my goals. I have become more mindful of and have been able to refocus on the important relationships in my life.
I probably won’t go so far as to reduce my wardrobe to just a couple of shirts and pants or to get rid of our cars. For me, this is a journey to just remove the unimportant stuff so I can focus more on the important goals and relationships. I believe in balance over extremes.
As I make more progress I will post updates and new insights I have found in this new minimalism journey.
Let me know if you have any experience with minimalism or have any tips for me or other readers in the comments below.