Minimalism is often seen as a dirty word.
Getting rid of everything you’ve worked hard for. Giving up prized possessions for little or no return. Ditching the radio, phone or Internet. Losing a cherished car or abandoning the beloved TV.
The truth is that it’s none of this.
Minimalism is about reducing “stuff”. Minimalism is eliminating unnecessary acquisitions. Minimalism is decluttering, eradicating, freeing, cutting back, letting go.
I’ve become increasingly minimalist over time. To declutter is to cleanse. Removing unnecessary items brings me a sense of peace, of calm. I can think. I can breathe again.
I think that moving around the world led me to this.
When we travel, we need less. When we move, we have to take less on the road. We become stricter with our choice of belongings and we make decisions to leave certain possessions behind.
Travelling and moving abroad forces us to be minimalists. They dictate that we approach our lives without clutter and meaningless things.
Longer-term travel to the UK has brought minimalism to a head.
We’ve left behind our worldly goods. We carry only what we need and what is important to us. This trip has taken us out of our comfort zone but helped us question the things that we thought added value to our lives.
In fact, they didn’t. None of them did.
I haven’t thought much about the house we sold or the excess items we packed away. I don’t miss the material possessions I left behind in the storage depot and I don’t pine for the earlier symbols of our Northern Beaches home.
It’s funny how you don’t miss these things when they’re gone. And to think they seemed so crucial not long ago.
Gone are the materialistic excesses that meant nothing and added no value. We’ve learnt to live with less and made room for better things.
We spend more time together on the things that count. We have less distraction and increased time together as a family. We’ve learned to care about more.
We’ve simplified our lives and it’s a freeing sensation. Our homes are often overrun by stuff that threatens to overwhelm and creates additional noise. So we’ve cleared a path for the things that matter most: relationships, health, well being, growth, passion, experiences, time.
Minimalism needn’t be a bad word.
It’s just a different way of saying I don’t need this anymore. Because I want room for more.
What will you get rid of today so that you can live with less and care about more?