During the past couple of weeks, I decided to do a bit of “spring cleaning” which turned into a deep-cleaning, obsessive addiction of ridding my room and my life of 27 years worth of junk. It started out with my desk area and the realization that I may not need to keep 200 pencils, 300 pens, 14 rulers, 50 erasers and 30 glue sticks. Category by category, day by day, I slowly but surely took out every single object that I had not used in years and knew I would not be using anytime soon, if ever. I removed all the duplicates of objects that served the same purpose. It first required great effort, but it surprisingly became easier each day. Eventually, I ended up clearing out over 75% of my belongings…and I think I will donate it all.
|(Just a TINY glimpse of the GRAND process)|
Recently, prior to beginning my somewhat extreme version of just cleaning up, I came across the increasingly popular concept of minimalism. What is minimalism, anyway? Well-known minimalist and writer Joshua Becker describes it perfectly:
Minimalism is intentionality.
“It is marked by clarity, purpose, and intentionality. At its core, minimalism is the intentional promotion of the things we most value and the removal of everything that distracts us from it. It is a life that forces intentionality. And as a result, it forces improvements in almost all aspects of your life.”
Minimalism is freedom from the passion to possess.
I am, by no means, a minimalist. I am far from it. I do not own a countable 200 or 500 items, and I may very well still own up to a thousand belongings (or more if you count the CD’s in my music collection I just could not bring myself to give up)! But minimalism is not a one-time act: it is an ongoing way of living, a lifestyle of creating conscious awareness of the objects in ones possession. On my journey towards what I like to refer to as my material cleanse, I went from owning literally thousands of useless gadgets to living with what I considered the most useful and purposeful belongings that would serve my simple lifestyle in the best way possible.
This exercise turned out to be much more than just a “spring cleaning”. It got me thinking about all the unnecessary clutter I am around each and every day and how little of it I actually use. In the world we live in, there is greater emphasis placed on outward, material success than the inner peace and joy that actually requires very little. I am not saying this is wrong- to a certain extent, it is necessary to work hard to fulfill your financial responsibilities and provide a comfortable lifestyle for yourself and your loved ones. But it is equally as important to slow down and take time to appreciate the sweetness of nothingness. The truth is, I need very few material objects to be content. In fact, less stuff means more freedom. Less attachments, more happiness.
What I thought would be just another “spring cleaning” turned out to be one of the most liberating experiences of my life. Not only does living a minimalist lifestyle allow for more space, time and money to use on experiences and less time cleaning and searching and attempting to organize years of build-up, but also for spiritual awareness, mental clarity, and freedom from all the things you never knew you didn’t really need. To learn more about minimalism, follow The Minimalists and their insight on living a meaningful life with less stuff for 4 million readers- it could be the first step towards one of the best decisions you’ve ever made.
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