My Journey to Minimalism

If you had asked me a few years ago if I would ever go minimalist, I would have probably laughed. I used to think that minimalism meant living with whatever could fit in your backpack and making everything you used from scratch. As someone who loved her excessive number of  books and art supplies, I couldn’t fathom living a life without them. But in a way, that’s the mentality that I used to go into minimalist.

It started when I realized that there were too many things in my space that I could live without. It just felt so suffocating to have piles of papers that I had never read, makeup supplies that I had never touched, clothes that I had never worn, and everything in between. It felt like everything that all this stuff was just a reflection of someone I wasn’t. So I decided to do a mass decluttering. It was so uncomfortable at first to let go of everything that I had spent money on, only to have never used. But at the end of that week, I felt so light and liberated, because…

I only kept what I felt I couldn’t live without. My favorite books, my favorite clothes, my favorite makeup items, and everything in between. I kept the items that brought me the most joy. It also opened up space for me to finalize my dream closet and to decorate my bedroom in the way that I wanted. Finally, it felt like the space around me was a reflection of who I was. 

This inspired me to declutter other areas of my life. I cut out the people from my life whose presences drained me. I cleared my computer and emails of everything that I hadn’t touched in years. The food I eat, the plans I make, everything - I actively thought about and questioned all of it, asking myself if it either brought me true joy, or if it put me on the path towards true joy. If the answers to both of these were no, then I wouldn’t bring that thing into my space.

Minimalism has helped me live a happier and more responsible life. In order to keep myself intentional about what I bring into my space, I’ve created a budget to manage where my money is going. I’ve begun to meditate, since this act helps me to differentiate between what I truly want and what my impulses are. My diet has changed because after cutting out the food that made me feel sick hours after eating it, I could more easily listen to my body. I hang out with my friends, while still carving out time for myself, because not all of my time needs be penciled in. And you know what else?

I still get to enjoy life. I still eat junk food. I still have a collections of books and stationery and makeup and skincare. I still have a social life. I still consider my clothes and room to be trendy. I can still live my life. It’s just that now, there’s less clutter in the way of the things that I truly care about.