When I first became interested in minimalism, I thought that I needed to get rid of most of my possessions, and live out of a backpack. And for a time, I did do this. But during my journey with minimalism, I’ve realised that is not about restrictions. It is about freedom.
Freedom from clutter.
Freedom of time.
Freedom from being overwhelmed.
Freedom of consumerism.
Minimalism is a tool to rid yourself of life’s excess in favor of focusing on what’s important- so you can find happiness, fulfillment, and freedom.
– The Minimalists
Why are we so attached to ‘things’?
In my opinion, this attachment comes from our innate hunter-gatherer mindset, and the marketing industry uses this to its full potential. We are bombarded by adverts, every day. Companies want us to buy, buy, buy.
And. We. Don’t. Need. To.
I’ve bought things in sales, purely because it’s on sale. 50% off isn’t actually 50% off, if you don’t “need” the item. It’s 50% more! Because you probably would never of bought the item if it wasn’t on sale.
Now let’s talk about ‘needs’.
There are 6 basic things that humans ‘need’. Air, water, food, shelter, sleep and clothing. Companionship could be added here, but let’s focus on the very basics.
Everything else could be classified into ‘wants’. For example: a television; a car; a microwave; a guitar; the latest phone. That’s not to say that these things aren’t important to certain people, but they aren’t necessary for basic human survival.
Have you ever heard of the hedonic treadmill? Basically humans have a sort of happiness homeostasis. When you buy something, your ‘happiness’ level might increase, but it very quickly returns to a standard level. The hedonic treadmill theory suggests that the pursuit of happiness is like walking on a treadmill- you keep walking to stay in the same place. I think this is really interesting, because it might explain why we feel like we need certain items, but then tire of them quickly. We are always on the ‘hunt’ for more.
If we clear away all the things that we don’t use, or no longer serve us, it can be so freeing!
I used to have a wardrobe of clothes and shoes full to bursting. However, the same thing happened to me every morning…’I’ve got nothing to wear!’ I really struggled to let go of my clothes, I was so attached to them, I didn’t understand why.
I began researching and came across a lady called Marie Kondo. Her method is to empty your entire wardrobe onto your bed- this was an immense task for me! You then gradually go through each item one by one, and hold it in your hands. If the clothing does not ‘spark joy’ then get rid! (Don’t be wasteful and chuck it in the bin- donate to your local charity shop/sell/give to someone that would truely love that piece of clothing). This ‘spark joy’ notion can be used for all things in your house/garage.
When you par back your belongings to the essentials, you can begin you live a more meaningful life. You are in control of what you bring into your home. Don’t let your possessions own you. Detaching from things will not happen overnight, it is a lifelong process, and I am loving the journey that it is taking me on.
I hope you have enjoyed reading this!
Sending you love and light,
Louise 🙂 x