16 Nov Achieving Minimalism in Your Life
I realized that I have not written about minimalism for a while. Perhaps because I live a minimalistic life, I had no need to talk about it anymore? Or perhaps everything I had said was enough? Well not exactly. I have been busy listening to podcasts and reading blogs about minimalism.
I came across Joshua Becker a while back and have been a great admirer of his work and books ever since.
He was talking about minimalism life in Helen Russell Podcast How to be Sad. Helen Russell was a guest in my podcast the Nordic Mum where we talked about the same name book How to be Sad.
If you did not know, Joshua Becker is the founder of the blog How to Become Minimalist. When I first came across him, I thought this man knows is all. He lives the kind of life he preaches.
That Minimalism Life Quote that Stayed With Me
In the interview with Helen he said a quote that stayed with me:
Owning fewer posessions so that I can devote my time and energy for those things
that actually do matter and bring fulfillment and meaning to my life.
This was about consumerism and how we are constantly required to buy things we see. For example about television (hey consumer adverts and marketing), he was told not to talk about it in his book as this would not be advisable. The publisher worried about the backlash. The success that his book proved the comment wrong.
During Covid lockdowns, isolations that have forced us to stay at home we have become more aware of what we have.
Covid Induced House Cleaning
For many, it has meant house cleaning. The curbs are filled with litter and unwanted possessions. Yet surprisingly for many Amazon and online shopping has become more than pass time. Amazon stock prices are soaring as are other giant online retailers. Shopping has become an obsession.
People are trying to feel better with more things. They are afraid of missing out on birthdays, Christmas shopping. There is a shopping fever in many houses when people are trying to keep up and feeling good about themselves.
I look at the curve next to my neighbor’s house. Filled with old toys, kitchen utensils, and unwanted flat-screen television. That was still in working order until the rain last night. I wonder how many more such piles of unwanted possessions have appeared in your neighborhood?
I bet there have been a few.
My view is that if we are getting rid of things, not just dump them or put them in the bin. Take a more holistic, practical approach to dispose of them.
More Holistic Approach to Minimalism
If it is broken, can it be fixed? Can you use the spare parts? If you cannot, can someone else? There are lots of places that take electronic goods. They extract the parts they can re use and dispose of the unwanted ones sustainable. Check where you can find your local place.
Kitchen utensils. There are lots of women’s shelters, that are always on the look for new things that they can give families that are starting a new life and have nothing. Donating them to a charity that actually has a use for them rather than to a landfill.
Toys. I would check hospitals, church charities, and shelters that handle domestic violence cases on if they take toys. Or perhaps friends, neighbors who have grandchildren?
There are always ways to get more out of the things we own than just piling them on the curve. We should be more mindful about the environment when we are searching our way to less is more in life.
Joshua Becker also said in this interview that minimalism life is not about giving everything you own away and then living the rest of your life on a beach. Being an active participant in life and in your community will enhance your life as the lives of those around you.
I live by the beach (lucky me) but I am not living in a bubble without worrying about what is happening around me. I love to actively participate in my community and be part of the conversation. There has been lots of noise on social media about minimalism being the same as decluttering. Well, it is not the same. But it is a way to get started with the minimalistic way of living.
There are those who can live an extremely minimalistic life. Kudos to those who have bare walls, small houses and live fromm the products from their veggie garden. I could not do it. It is not practical for me.
Do you Need this or Want this?
But I am always active with any new purchase:
Do I need this ? or Do I want this?
Wanting things is different from needing them. We still need to live but finding the way you can integrate minimalism into your life can take time. I recommend reading books, blogs and listening to podcasts. It is not just the physical items but the information that we consume that leads us to the next level. A simple happier life.
It can be done. One room at a time.
Like Joshua Becker said; owning less is about getting meaningful and fulfillment in your life.
If you are looking for more to read on the subject, Joshua Becker has a new book coming out that I know I will be grabbing mine on my Kindle when available.
If you want to learn more about my take on minimalism, listen to read some of the podcasts and blogs under minimalism.
I have just published my first book the Nordic Lifestyle. Want to know more?
Then join my virtual Book Club where I will tell you about the book, how it came about,what inspired me and where my writing journey is taking me next.