Minimalism is about intentionality, not deprivation.
Two years ago, I took a minimalistic leap. It felt great and I’m still loving it!
You hear often, owning a home is the American dream. I do believe owning a home is advantageous for financial security (more about that later in another post). So, I saved for my 20% down payment and bought a three bedroom, two bath house with two garage. I’ve made it.
But you know what, I wasn’t happy. I didn’t enjoy working in the yard, or cleaning the house or buying furniture and trinkets fill up the house. I obtain my joy from experiencing by spending quality time with family and friends and experiencing varied, different experiences. I felt trapped/dragged down from my weekend chores.
I am not sure how I got to the decision exactly. But before I knew it I was giving away all of my things. I would say I got rid of about 95% of my stuff. I used Maria Kondo’s advice in my head – “Do I love it? Does it bring me joy?” along with the question of am I keeping this because “I might need it one day.”
You would be surprised how much work and mind effort it takes to discern what to get rid of and what to keep. But, after giving practically all my possessions away – IT FELT AMAZING. I felt so light and free. And I don’t feel deprived as I kept those items that are important to me. I whittled down my wardrobe and books to 10% of what I originally had. Yes, it is possible.
I now rent a room in a house. Again it’s not for everyone and probably not for me too much longer. I do know that for me, living in a small space with walkability to places and events is the optimal.
Yes, I know this type of decision may seem drastic to most people. Some of you may really enjoy your home and making it home. However, think to yourself:
1) What are the activities that really bring you joy? How much time do you actually spend doing them?
2) Do you keep or buy things for a “just in case” or “may need this someday” reason?
3) Do you really need that juicer, 3rd TV or another pair of navy corduroys?
Take a moment and look around you in your home. What is taking space and holds no joy or purpose in your life? Take it to Goodwill or the local homeless shelter. Even little changes can enhance your joy.