Minimalism isn’t always about owning almost nothing, it’s more about how your belongings add value to your life. Here is more on this and how to find your balance.
I’m not a typical minimalist, quite far from it at this point. There was a time in my life where I could fit all of my belongings into a small car trunk, but currently this is not the case.
So why listen to me?
Though I don’t own 30 items or less like some minimalists, I see the value in minimalism, and I also reevaluate my life and possessions often with the goal of creating simplicity and harmony in my home.
What Minimalism Shouldn’t Be:
I don’t believe that it’s in everyone’s interest to be a minimalist with as few possessions as possible, such as only owning 50-100 items in grand total. That is not the life for everyone, and minimalism has gotten a bad rap based on this idea.
Minimalism is more about creating peace and clarity in your home and life as a whole. For that, minimalism will mean different things to everyone.
Everyone has different desires and wants for their life. Some people thrive on living with less than 100 items, and some people thrive with sticking under 300. Whichever your number is, that is personal to you.
Finding your number
How do you know how much stuff is right for you? One question to ask yourself is, “Do you feel simplicity and harmony in your home in regards to space and possessions?”
There are many aspects to this answer, and they should be considered:
- How much space do you have? – sometimes the fact that you live in a smaller space can make you feel like you have too much stuff. This may be true for your situation, but is your living situation long-term, or temporary? Also, sometimes living in a large open space can make you feel like you have an empty home even with many belongings. Is the space serving you? Are you living optimally for you? Are you comfortable with space? Some people are used to living with clutter and less space for so long that they also can become accustomed to it and uncomfortable with the open, clean, empty space at first.
- Do you have storage? – Do you store things only because you don’t have enough “working space” to keep those items in and you actually use them? Or have they been in storage for over a year and you don’t have any concrete plans to use those items?
- What kind of lifestyle do you have? – What activities are important to you? Do you hold onto items that are for activities that are no longer important to you? (ie: Camping gear, sports gear, books you never want to read again)
- What do you actually use? – A great technique to finding your number is to box up everything you don’t use on a weekly basis and store them away. If you don’t unbox and use those items within a few months, you likely don’t need them. They are likely things you should go through and ask yourself questions on why you should keep them or get rid of them.
- Do you have a lot of clutter? – Do your items have a place of their own set? Do you have enough space for everything you own? Usually space isn’t so much the issue. It’s often what you do with the space. Once everything has it’s own “home” that it gets stored in, clutter is more about habit. But when it has to do with simply owning too many things, it might be time to purge some items.
Everyone has a different lifestyle with different requirements. Minimalism is less about a number, and more about what brings you the most clarity and happiness.
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