Minimalism, the word, and the concept came into my life through social media a few years ago. Initially, it was about having a minimal outfit or a room with minimal decor. Gradually I found myself drawn to the idea, and as I read more about it, I realized it is something I’d like to dip my feet into. And that’s how my journey into this massive shift began. Like most things in life, minimalism, too, is something I’ve decided to take on at my own pace & in my own way. The core idea is to have fewer things but also really taking care of what I already own.
3 Stages of Minimalism
Stage 1 – Awareness
It started with a realization that I had way too many things…drawers filled with stuff I didn’t use or even know of…cupboards full of clothing I hadn’t worn in years. Things that were just there under a tonne of dust, which brought in no joy. Things that just sat on shelves without a purpose. When our surrounding doesn’t bring us joy, it sure is time to bring in some change.
Stage 2 – Researching & Decluttering
Very quickly, I found myself getting rid of the things I didn’t need anymore, things that were now ‘junk.’ But that wasn’t the end of it. I found myself reading about it, researching, and watching videos to learn about it.
The curiosity to know more about minimalism made me aware of the fact that others feel the way I do. And that I wasn’t crazy to want to own less in life now. Marie Kondo became my mentor and guide through the process, and very quickly, I felt like I had a support system.
Stage 3 – Reflection
The decluttering, in my opinion, was the easy bit. Cleaning has always been something that feels therapeutic. And now, having just 8 – 9 pieces of clothing brought an immense amount of joy and fewer decisions to make every morning. And no, it didn’t dull down my life. On the contrary, it made me question my life choices. It made me think about why I buy certain things. It made me realize I like to feel comfortable every day, so I only invest in clothes that feel comfortable all day long.
It made me stop and reflect on my habit of impulse buying. Now, when I want to buy something, I usually add it to my cart…and wait on it. Then, if days later I find myself thinking about it, I go ahead and get it…if not, then I know it isn’t something I truly wanted.
It made me selective towards what I buy…and no, not just clothes or shoes but other things like food items too. I found myself really thinking about the food I eat. So many times, we just end up buying things when we are in a grocery store… it’s almost as if those shiny processed food packets call out to us, and we buy things without thinking. Trying to shift to a more minimalist way of living made me question that. And very quickly, food habits changed too. I became more mindful of what I was eating, what my body enjoyed, and the foods that felt right.
What started out as reducing clothes in my closet ended up being much more than that. Soon enough, I found myself choosing the things I like to spend my time doing. I began taking a look at how I was spending my time too. Minimalism brought in change on so many levels.
But you know it isn’t like ‘I am a minimalist now’… but more like ‘I am adopting a new perspective, a new way of doing things.’ Where right from what I wear, what I own, what I eat to what I do during the day brings me joy. And if it doesn’t…it doesn’t belong in my life anymore.
Like all things in life, this too isn’t something we move towards instantly and go – I’m done. Instead, we take baby steps, find our pace, adjust to the shift and see what works best for us. It isn’t about getting rid of everything and having a black and white home with ten things…. but more about finding things that make you happy and keeping only that in your life.
There really is no right or wrong with minimalism either; we must find our balance and get to what rocks our boat. But I got to tell you, I am a much happier person since I began this journey, and what makes all of it better is that it isn’t a race. It’s not about reaching a finish line. It is truly about enjoying the process. Slowing down to make sure everything around us brings happiness into our lives, whether it’s the people, the things surrounding us, or even our habits. Because what good is this life, if not spend loving and living?
And you know, when you do begin shedding these extra layers from your lives, you’ll notice that you knew all along that owning less and living a simple life is the way to a joyful life. You know how they always said, ‘Less Is More.’