I love getting rid of things. Cleaning out closets and makeup drawers; giving away stuff I don’t like or don’t use; bringing old books to the used book store. It makes me feel lighter, more productive and streamlined, and happier in general. I don’t like a lot of clutter, and my husband and I have started to make some changes in our lives to purposefully work on reducing extraneous stuff from our lives. This is not an easy task for anyone, and it’s a constantly ongoing project, but I think it’s a concept that everyone could take a look at—whether you’re a packrat, certifiable hoarder, or already a pretty minimal person, there’s a lot of peace and control to be gained from being mindful about your surroundings and the things you choose to bring into your life.
A lot of people consider minimizing your life to be a form of self-improvement, and this certainly can be the case; as Marie Kondo’s super popular book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, tells you, you should love all the things you own– and you should not own things that you don’t love or don’t bring you joy. For those of us lucky enough to be able to spend money on extraneous things, I consider it almost a responsibility to take good care of the things we own and derive pleasure from them, rather than stress or discomfort. And look, not everyone has to be a “minimalist.” I will admit that I am far from the poster child for minimalism: I have probably 50 lipsticks and the same number of gym tights. BUT, these are the things I love, that bring me joy, that I use frequently, and I can afford. On the other side of things, I don’t own a TV, I live in a small, compact condo, I have one pair of jeans, and I can go weeks without ever getting into a car, because these are parts of my life that I can comfortably and happily minimize. And yes, I’m working on getting rid of some of those lipsticks.
Ultimately it’s about being mindful and present when buying new things and curating the things you already own; understanding the reason why you’re making your purchases, and considering what things truly make you happy and what things really aren’t that important. Because while another pair of shoes, a shiny ring, or a new car certainly CAN bring lots and lots of happiness, material things, as the cliché goes, aren’t everything. I would take peace of mind and a happy home that reflects who I am over an extra closet any day. Sometimes happiness and contentment can be found in paring down your life, not adding to it.
What do you think? Do you like Spring cleaning? Would you like to make an effort to live more minimally? Let me know your experiences in the comments!