Aspire to be a Minimalist

by Justin Weinger on November 17, 2011

A while back, I wrote about how my wife and I spent the better part of a weekend doing a deep clean of our home. We went through every room in the house and ended up donating or trashing old clothes, dishes, cooking utensils, DVDs, useless papers, you name it.

And, as I stated before, it was an amazingly cathartic experience and, when it was all said and done, felt like we had a two-ton boulder lifted off of our shoulders. (I’m a poet and didn’t even know it!)

Since then we’ve aspired to follow a minimalist lifestyle, meaning we try to get by on no more than what we truly need. This, too, has been an awesome experience.

One would think that living in a consumer and materialistic society, the adjustment would be difficult. In fact, the opposite is true, mostly because of how great we now feel.

For example:

Being frugal is a lot easier. The enemy of being frugal is a warped sense of knowing the difference between needs and wants.

In our materialistic society, many people determine their own personal worth by how many things they can acquire, how big of a house they can buy, etc. Ultimately, you’re mostly succumbing to your wants, which, in turn, makes you want even more!

By following a minimalist path, you’re succumbing to just your needs. You’re not out every other weekend at Pottery Barn trying to buy the new trendy lamps for your home. Your basic, solid-color lamps do just fine of filling your house with light. You don’t have 800 decorative pillows on your bed because the only ones you’re not going to chuck aside as you fall asleep are the pillows you lay your head on.

In cutting out the wants, you’re able to save boatloads more money.

You feel happier. When you aspire to own a bunch of stuff and fall short, you’re left with an empty feeling. Or, even worse, when you are able to get everything you want and it’s still not enough, you’re left with an even bigger void.

By being genuinely happy with less that void simply does not exist. If you can have all of the basic stuff you need – food, shelter, companionship – along with a few small indulgences, you’re much more likely to feel whole and fulfilled; you’re not constantly chasing things.

These two points are big, but they’re just the beginning.

Seriously, please consider going the minimalist route. You’ll be incredibly happy you did.

What are your thoughts? Have you tried being a minimalist? Does the idea seem weird to you? Leave your comments below!

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{ 2 comments }

Tammy November 17, 2011 at 1:36 pm

I wrote about minimalism today, too! Great minds obviously think alike!

Feeling happier and less weighed down by the stuff is a HUGE reason to go minimalist. For me it is also a case of being unable to perform at my best when I’m surrounded by clutter. When everything is in its place, it’s calming and I can focus again.

Brian Carr November 17, 2011 at 2:37 pm

Thanks for the comment, Tammy. I definitely agree with you about clutter! Cluttered desk = cluttered mind = unproductive, at least in my case!

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