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How I Learned to Maximize Minimalism

As a self-diagnosed hoarder, getting rid of things is quite a challenge for me. I have items in my room from a decade ago and clothes in my closet that I will probably never wear. This situation led me on a journey toward a lifestyle that helps with de-cluttering: minimalism. Before embarking on this road, my impression of this movement was one based on the idea that minimalism solely entails art and fashion, rather than a form of living. After learning about the true essence of minimalism, I made the decision to adopt certain aspects of this lifestyle movement into my everyday life.

Here’s my takeaway from this experience.

The essentials

When people usually think of minimalism, an image of an individual dressed in monochrome colors or maybe the occasional privileged man deciding to live in a tiny house might pop up in their head. Although minimalist fashion exists and living in a place that doesn’t have more space than the individual needs will aid in attaining a minimalist lifestyle, the roots of minimalism are not only limited to your clothing and living space. Minimalism can branch out to anything in your life. It entails many different aspects and mainly focuses on the essentials. Those “essentials” can be anything from clothing to furniture, depending on the individual’s lifestyle and their personal needs.

When I began choosing the essentials in my life, I mainly focused on my wardrobe and began to realize that I have so many items that I don’t really need and donating them wouldn’t affect my life in any way. Throughout this cleansing process I learned that the “essentials” were mainly items that gave me happiness rather than pleasure, and making the choice of what to keep and what to donate was much easier than I expected.  

The change

You don’t necessarily need to make drastic changes in your life to maximize minimalism. Simple acts like clearing your closet of items that you have worn only once or twice in the span of a year is one simple step to take. Your favorite tie-dye shirt doesn’t have to be cleaned out because of its vibrant colors. Remember that the whole concept of minimalism as a lifestyle is not meant to eliminate your sense of style; it’s meant to add clarity. As someone who loves wearing colors, I didn’t find that I was limited with my choices, and in fact, I was still able to express myself freely in a better way.

More with less

Although it might seem like living with less material possessions might deprive you of many things in your life, it is definitely not the case. On the contrary, you will be making more room for other important factors in your life ranging from experiences to feelings of happiness. As I began to maximize my minimalist approach to life, I was blessed with less distraction and worrying. I began to slowly escape the imprisonment of the heavy consumer culture and learned how to focus on things that bring me long-term satisfaction rather than short-lived pleasure.

Overall, a minimalist approach to life might seem intimidating, but the outcomes are very rewarding and will provide you with a new outlook on life and a better understanding of your needs. Give minimalism a try, and remember to take one step at a time!

Jana is a graduate from the University of Florida with a degree in biology and a certificate in Spanish. She enjoys writing about fashion, beauty, entertainment, the environment and everything in between.
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