Why minimalism wasn’t for me and what you can do instead.
At the beginning of this year, I headed up my 2020 goals list with minimalism. Hardly three weeks into the month of January however, I figured that I was just not cut out for the minimalist life. Greatly relieved, I decided to look into alternative ways I could simplify my life without eliminating lots of my possessions and regular practices.
Whether you’re an expert minimalist or not, I’m sure I’m not alone in my failed attempt towards leading a minimalistic lifestyle. In this post I’m going to share with you what I think it actually means to live simply and how you can simplify your life- but in your own way.
The first thing I did when I decided that I was going to try and live more simply was unpick why it was that the minimalistic lifestyle just hadn’t worked out for me.
Minimalism is about getting rid of as many materialistic possessions as you can and only living with the bare minimum. It is about leading a life free from any unnecessary belongings and expenses- instead focusing on experiences. And what I realized was that I didn’t want to do these things. I enjoyed my way-too-big collection of stationary and all the unnecessary pillows and throws scattered over my bedroom. I didn’t see reason to abandon so many of the materialistic things I loved- and, in short, I think this was the main reason minimalism didn’t work out for me in the first place.
So what did I start to do instead? Well, a little while after giving up on my dreams of minimalism I turned to the idea of simplifying my life. This sounded much more appealing to me because I figured I could do as little or as much as I wanted to work towards a more simple lifestyle. Basically, whatever changes I made to my life to work towards this goal would mean I was living at least a little bit more simply that before I made that particular change.
The general definition of simple living is living without unnecessary ‘stuff’. It’s about making sure you have space to breath and a time to think. It means finding joy in the little things and being content even in the mundane.
So after a lot of careful thought and consideration I decided that to live simply I had implement a number of new practices into my life which would- whether immediately or over time- help to simplify my life. I began to be more willing to get rid of things I didn’t need. I started looking after my possessions better; knowing where they all were and keeping them clean as well as the spaces in which they lived tidy. I am (still working towards) becoming more organised with my possessions, my work and my time. Over time I began to find that together, these new practices where helping me to live a more simple life.
For me, simple living looks a certain way. My lifestyle still needs a lot of work- it’s certainly nowhere near perfect and its definitely not going to work for everyone looking to live more simply. For some people, simple living might be cutting certain foods out of their diets or certain things out of their typical day. It might be acquiring less, or it might be shopping more sustainably.
It also took me a while to adapt to simple living (and trust me, I’m still not completely there!) so if this is something you’re wanting to implement into your life, be patient. Test out different practices- some will work for you and maybe others won’t.
But overall, although I’m still working at it, simple living has helped me to become more intentional about my life. It has taught me to appreciate smaller things and to make the most of what I have and the best of every situation I’m in.
I wish you the very best on your journey to simple living!