Around mid July, I stumbled upon The Minimalists in youtube. Since then, things had been different. In architecture, minimalist design strives for simplicity in form, space, material, and color.
If you were a close friend of mine, you would know that several months back I loved to shop. Every time there was a sale, I was there. Every pay day, a certain portion of my salary was allotted for shopping. (yikes!) Then, earlier this year, a lot of things changed (more on that in my year end post). I eventually realized that I could do with less of shopping, less of accumulating things, and more of quality experiences.
What is minimalism?
In general, what is minimalism? I think its best if you get an explanation from the experts, The Minimalists – Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus. Here is an excerpt from their blog explaining minimalism:
” So what is this minimalism thing? It’s quite simple: to be a minimalist you must live with less than 100 things, you can’t own a car or a home or a television, you can’t have a career, you must live in exotic hard-to-pronounce places all over the world, you must start a blog, you can’t have children, and you must be a young white male from a privileged background.
OK, we’re joking—obviously. But people who dismiss minimalism as some sort of fad usually mention any of the above “restrictions” as to why they could “never be a minimalist.” Minimalism isn’t about any of those things, but it can help you accomplish them. If you desire to live with fewer material possessions, or not own a car or a television, or travel all over the world, then minimalism can lend a hand. But that’s not the point.
Minimalism is a tool that can assist you in finding freedom. Freedom from fear. Freedom from worry. Freedom from overwhelm. Freedom from guilt. Freedom from depression. Freedom from the trappings of the consumer culture we’ve built our lives around. Real freedom.
** Ryan and Joshua of The Minimalists, grabbed from their website http://www.theminimalists.com **
That doesn’t mean there’s anything inherently wrong with owning material possessions. Today’s problem seems to be the meaning we assign to our stuff: we tend to give too much meaning to our things, often forsaking our health, our relationships, our passions, our personal growth, and our desire to contribute beyond ourselves. Want to own a car or a house? Great, have at it! Want to raise a family and have a career? If these things are important to you, then that’s wonderful. Minimalism simply allows you to make these decisions more consciously, more deliberately. “
You can find more of them in their website here.
Why am I going to start being a minimalist?
Listening to their podcast, has widened my understanding of minimalism. Here in the Philippines, the mentality is to hoard and keep things for years until it is totally useless or broken just to have a back-up. “Sayang, magagamit pa yan, huwag mo itapon.”
I have so many things that I do not use or simply keep, just because it would be sayang to throw away. Clothing for example is a little hard for me to let go. I tend to keep things that do not fit me anymore because I feel like I will fit in them “someday” or clothing items that I think will never find a kind of. The problem with keeping these items are that they take up a lot of space in my wardrobe (my mom and I share a room so I only get a portion of the closet) and I never end up wearing the clothes I wish I could wear for maybe months or even years because I eventually don’t like them anymore. So that’s my share of clothing, how much more my other belongings. I genuinely just want to keep the things that are truly of value to me; the things that I use; and the things that I love.
This is a personal choice and I will surely get some flak about it even in my own household. I won’t impose minimalism or even the zero-waste lifestyle to anyone but I do encourage my family and friends to try it out and see what the benefits are.
More on my journey soon. Just keep updated.