The minimalist lifestyle has its flaws, but can be invoked in small ways

The minimalist lifestyle has its flaws, but can be invoked in small ways

The minimalist lifestyle has its flaws, but can be invoked in small ways
November 02
11:00 2018

Covered in dust, violet butterflies and overflowing with cards from birthdays and holidays past is a lilac box that lives at the top of my closet. Stuffed in drawers and scattered on the floor are once-loved clothes and shoes I can’t bear to wear or throw away. I keep these possessions because with them live various memories that I cannot live without.

Even though I feel the most complete surrounded by my memory-linked possessions, I often feel suffocated by them. Having so many things around me all the time makes me comfortable, yet ironically causes me to feel trapped within my own head, surrounded by a mental clutter that makes thinking impossible. I knew I couldn’t continue to live this way, but I never knew there was a solution.

So I looked to Google for an answer and stumbled upon minimalism.

Simply put, minimalism is a tool that claims to rid people of life’s excess in favor of focusing on what’s important. Those who swear by the minimalist codes believe living with less is the best way to acquiring happiness, freedom and, surprisingly, fulfillment.

As someone who finds fulfillment within my belongings, the mantra seemed painfully redundant and definitely not for me. Learning that one must purge everything they do not absolutely love and need, as well as only purchasing high-quality necessities, minimalism seemed like a lifestyle curated solely for and by the wealthy.

Growing up less fortunate than the wealthy, I was raised with the mindset that throwing something away simply because you don’t love it exudes ungratefulness. When someone has very little or just enough, a lifestyle revolving around minimization and getting rid of things can sound extremely shortsighted.

Before diving into the world of minimalism, all I could picture was a lone figure clad in white, surrounded by stark white walls and a potted plant positioned in the corner.

Through hours of web searching and Pinterest scrolling, I realized I could never be a full-on minimalist. I would never be willing to downsize my closet to 10 items or sell all of my property to live in solitude. After digging through posts by hardcore “simple livers,” I realized I was not alone.

Most people who practice minimalism, including myself, tend to be semi-minimalist. Instead of committing fully to the lifestyle, we consider our situations and goals to decide which bits and pieces to implement in our lives. For instance, because I cannot afford to purge by throwing and giving away clothes, I resell them.

Using even the smallest forms of minimalism can help you live a less stressful life.

One of the most important concepts concerning minimalism is being realistic with yourself. The more we continue to hoard our possessions, the more we tend to become isolated from ourselves and the ones we love. By clinging to things we once loved, or things we will never use, we begin to lose clarity of what is essential and truly loved.

Featured Illustration: Austin Banzon

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Kaitlyn Ingram

Kaitlyn Ingram

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