Minimalism is a huge trend right now. It’s everywhere from documentaries to news articles and blogs. Everyone is fascinated with the lifestyle that values experiences over material things and I must admit, I am intrigued.
In early December, I started researching ways to relieve anxiety through changing environmental factors and I found a wide range of information on minimalism. Many people claimed that minimizing changed their lives and helped to decrease stress and anxiety overall. They said that de-cluttering, organizing, and clearing your space also clears your head. I got rid of half my wardrobe before entering 2018 and I couldn’t agree more with these claims.
For those who are unfamiliar, minimalism is a movement in which people decrease the number of items that they own to make space in their lives for clarity, to become more environmentally conscious, to gain more experiences through financial savings, and for a host of other reasons. Some people even keep close count of the number of items they own. But I am a strong believer in defining things for yourself and making your own rules to fit your own life.
So I feel that minimalism has played a huge role in my personal growth journey. In the last 2 months, I’ve purged my closet 3 times! Every single time, it has been extremely difficult to get rid of clothing items I have had forever. The first time was the hardest because minimalism was so new to me and I wanted to keep everything. Of course, I had to ease in. I would pack up items, put them in my car in a bag and let two weeks go by. If I didn’t notice they were gone, then I’d get rid of them. I would find myself forgetting what I had even packed away. I was motivated to minimize my wardrobe specifically because I had a closet full of clothes and constantly felt like I had nothing to wear. More importantly, I felt very overwhelmed by my closet full of clothing and the lack of space for my items.
Minimizing my wardrobe has empowered me. It has invigorated my spirit and my passion for developing personal style. It has also made me some extra money and space for new items.
I have used minimalism to take back control over my physical space in order to help me maintain control of my mental space.
I don’t count my items and I don’t avoid shopping altogether. However, I do only buy new items AFTER I’ve gotten rid of old items. I do think very intentionally about items that I buy and their anticipated role in my life. If I don’t love it, I don’t buy it. If I haven’t rid my home of at least one similar or unnecessary item, I don’t buy a new item. Most importantly, I try to spend money on good experiences and save money by using my quality items/clothing for a long time. I also recycle clothing by donating or selling used items.
My experience with my adaptation of minimalism has been extremely positive. I have been able to occasionally decrease my anxiety by simply altering my physical environment. The best thing about minimalism is that we can define it in a way that works for our own lives. For me, minimalism decreases stress and anxiety and refocuses me. No I don’t count my items but I am intentional in what I choose to purchase and keep in my home. Minimalism might mean something a little different for you. Whatever it is, use it to help you grow in your experiences and in your relationship with yourself.
Have you minimized lately? What effects does your environment have on your own mental state? How can you either get rid of or utilize items that you don’t use or wear often?
Thanks for reading,