Minimalism – Technically defined as an ‘Art Movement’ – really seems to have taken over life at the moment; YouTube is currently awash with videos and documentaries telling you how to be a minimalist, what to no longer buy (because of course ‘things’ aren’t the answer to your problems), how to neatly box up your life and say Hasta Luego to all of your ‘materialistic, greed fuelled, mind blurring, happiness blocking’, belongings and live a clutter free, stuff free existence.
And I kinda I love it…….
But honestly, the gravitas that minimalism seems to be achieving at the moment, I think, goes against what should fundamentally be at the core of such a movement. Less is more is obviously a phrase that we have all heard at some point, but what does that really mean and why isn’t this being applied to a field that seems to lend itself perfectly to such a mantra? Having just typed ‘minimalism’ into the search box on Instrgram it generated almost 10 million tags! 10 million! I’m almost speechless! It’s total chaos!
I have done a little bit of research in to the subject – but mostly I’m just basing this post on my own experiences as I have lived what I would choose to call a ‘ minimalist lifestyle’ for many years now – and what I have discovered is that minimalism just means showing consideration: Consideration towards the space you live in, consideration towards the environment, consideration towards the money you earn and (in my humble opinion) consideration towards yourself.
By this, I mean knowing that you are enough, taking the time to realise that you don’t need material things to bring happiness, do you really need 10 pairs of shoes, 18 handbags or a diamond ring to know your worth – and please don’t get me wrong, if you do need things to create happiness in your life then that’s OK too – for me simplicity is key and having the peace and freedom to acknowledge happiness comes from within has been an important lesson in my life.
I spent almost three years traveling with my partner, we went to Australia, NZ, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Spain and Ireland and during this period I lived out of my backpack. We also had a carry on case which housed all of our electricals ie: laptops, tablets, plugs and chargers but basically everything I needed was contained within my backpack. And I was happy, I had everything I needed and I didn’t feel deprived in the slightest. I felt free!
When we came home last year I made a concious decision to carry on living as minimally as possible, I gave a lot of things to charity (mostly because they no longer fit my fat ass!) but also I was happy knowing that I hadn’t needed the posessions that my parents had been kindly storing for me while I was away, I didn’t miss them, therefore I didn’t need them. And it was so exhilarating! Our flat was clutter free, stress free and beautiful! My mind felt comfortable and my soul was singing! And she sounds like Debbie Harry!
And when it came to packing up again and moving out – Kerry and I left our flat to start house sitting again in January – it was nice and simple.
Yes, we had furniture, all of which I could name on two hands and boxes to once again store at my parents house, but it was nice to know that we didn’t have a lot and that our materialistic ties wouldn’t take up too much time, resources or space in the world – or Kerrys parents spare room.
I understand that minimalism isn’t for everyone just as veganism or yoga isn’t for everyone, but for me it brings a sense of clarity to my life, it helps me to maintain a state of control and allows me to travel lightly which at this moment in time is a very vital factor. I once again am living out of a back pack, I have limited clothing and toiletries but it’s enough. I have Kerry, I have the Internet and I have my friends and family at the end of the phone, what else could a girl need?
At a later date I’ll talk a little more about my version of minimalism, what I buy, what I don’t buy and what I hold dear to my heart. For now I hope you enjoyed my musings, if you have any comments please leave them below and head on over to Instagram if you would like to see more about my life as a minimalist, vegan, cider drinking, life loving house and pet sitter! ✌❤