My first real interaction with the word minimalism was when Marie Kondo became very popular on the internet for her insight on how to better manage and organize spaces. She is one of the few people who made the idea of minimalism gain prominence in social space. Since then, many people have come to define the idea of minimalism as a kind of neatness/decluttering that rises from owning less.
It’s an appealing concept, especially how it connects space with mental wellness. We cling on to too many things anyway, so as a concept it has its many usefulness’s. I, too, started leaning into minimalism late last year. It began with my closet. I took out clothes I hadn’t worn in months, the ones I said I would wear, but they still have the label, the shoes, five-year-old lipsticks, nail polish, etc. Same with old books, empty plastic containers, etc. I went through my personal items and took out everything I didn’t use. With that in mind, I began to shop intently. Do I WANT or do I NEED it? If it doesn’t fall into a need, it’s a no. I’ll be honest, though, it’s not been easy o. But I am hanging on. This isn’t even about financial reasons (which is a legit reason to stop over shopping) but my need to declutter my space.
In the months since I started living with the slogan, “less is perfect,” I have realized that minimalism could also be an internal way of living. It’s not enough to just do the work outside; there had to be a way to intentionally focus on what’s important, especially in my mind. But how do you declutter your mind, your life? I started by simplifying my days. I wrote down things I wanted to achieve for the day. Of course, I don’t always achieve them but writing them down gives me a clear sense of purpose so that I don’t run about being busy and jumping from one task to another. Even social media is on a schedule.
I am more protective of my time too. I have learned to say no to unplanned hangouts, shopping trips, or even long phone calls. This might sound selfish, but I am more mindful of how I spend time.
The most challenging part of this internal decluttering was working on the things that occupied my thoughts. I am a worrier, always anxious. I can sit down and worry about things that might happen six months or one year away might. It was only when I began to intentionally declutter my mind that I realized that all these thoughts just occupy everywhere, ideas that are not useful in any way. Each time I find my mind filled with random thoughts; I try to refocus my thinking. Learning to prune off unwanted thoughts has been a breath of fresh air for me, like cleaning an old cupboard and suddenly everywhere is nice and fresh. I have been more at peace with myself. Leaving minimally is an excellent way to live quietly and take control of your space and time away from what the world dictates. I 100% recommend.