I am the type of person that is always looking forward to the next thing. I’m always searching for ways to improve. I’m always on the look out for what could make me happier or less stressed and what could help me to live a more meaningful life. In fact, ever since I graduated from university and went into the world of work, I feel like I’ve been searching for meaning and been driven towards achieving ‘success’, whatever ‘success’ means. (I’m still figuring out what it means to me!). You may like this post on the topic. Because of all of these things, I’m always on the look out for new ideas which I can implement to help me get closer to living a happy and meaningful life. Recently, I came across two programmes on Netflix, both of which which I found to be really inspiring and eye-opening. They are: Marie Kondo’s Tidying Up and The Minimalists: A documentary about the important things. I think that we can learn a lot from the likes of Marie Kondo and The Minimalists and I recommend that you give them a watch if you haven’t already! Marie Kondo is all about getting rid of unnecessary clutter and only keeping things which ‘spark joy’. The Minimalists are all about searching for a meaningful life and living deliberately and intentionally. Similar to Marie Kondo, The Minimalists also focus on keeping what makes you happy and getting rid of excess stuff which doesn’t add value to your life.
I have been implementing some of the ideas that both documentaries explore and I personally think that there really is something about minimalism that has the potential to be life-changing. Decluttering, getting rid of excess materialism and consciously evaluating what you have allows you to step back and consider what actually means something to you. Moreover, by getting rid of excess materials and living a more simplistic life, you have less distractions and in turn, can focus your time and energy on the things that really matter: yourself and your relationships.
To put things in perspective, just picture your wardrobe for a minute. Having a wardrobe which is crammed full of stuff, so much so that you can’t really see what you’ve got and each time you open it you have to fight to get out what you want, it makes you not want to open the doors. What’s more is that it causes unnecessary stress every morning when you can’t find something to wear. Once you finally pluck up the courage to open it up, you’re likely to find some items that you love, some items that you are indifferent to and some items which you take out and put back literally every time, because you just don’t ever fancy wearing it and it was probably an impulse buy, as opposed to something that you really wanted in the first place. If you sort through it, de-clutter and only keep stuff that you like or love, not only is it easier to find what you need, but you’ll also only be wearing items which you enjoy wearing. Moreover, each time that you open your wardrobe and see a nicely organised and de-cluttered space, full of things that you like and use, you’ll feel good about it. If you apply the principle to all aspects of your life, you’ll soon find that your life is purely filled with things, items, ideas and people that you only like or love.
In this world of fast fashion, excessive buying, spending hauls, mindless consumption of materialistic goods and a general lack of consideration for the environment, you have to decide whether you are going to contribute to this or choose differently. I personally find the idea of minimalism and living intentionally to be refreshing and empowering. You so often see people define themselves through mindless materialism and possessions which society has attached value to; designer clothing, branded (or multiple) cars, large houses, exotic holidays, etc. and also sharing these aspects of life compulsively on social media. It’s almost as if identity is created through what you own, rather than who you are and what you do. But at the end of the day, if you really think about it, do any of these materialistic things really matter? As long as you’re safe, you have a roof over your head, you have the basic life essentials and people around you that you love, you actually have everything that you need.
As a twenty-something millennial currently saving to try and get on the property ladder, I have been considering what will truly make me happy and what I am personally working towards. No amount of materialistic items or consumption of stuff that is advertised as what we need, will truly make us happy or give us the meaning we are searching for, nor will working towards societal or somebody else’s ideas of happiness, and The Minimalists and Marie Kondo have kindly reminded me about what truly matters.
I’ll leave you with a quote from The Minimalists which really stuck with me:
‘Love people and use things because the opposite never works’ – The Minimalists
Have you watched any of these programmes?
How do you feel about minimalism and living simply and intentionally?
I’d love to hear your thoughts.