How My Journey Into Minimalism Changed My Life

Minimalistic life

Written by Aeesha McOseni

July 25, 2020

Before I start about my journey into Minimalism, I’ll start by defining what minimalism is.

Minimalism is a way of life that emphasizes extreme simplicity. This way of life spreads into art, fashion, music, décor, etc. A person who lives minimally is a Minimalist. The first myth I’ll bust is, there’s no perfect minimalism, it is not a “one-size-fits-all” and there are not an ideal number of things you must own.

Minimalism is spiritual, as many religion preaches, and promotes a life of simplicity because amassing wealth and belongings distracts the mind from the core purpose of human existence. My first encounter with Minimalism was finding a video of Janell Kristina talking about how she moved from being a hoarder to being a minimalist. I dug deeper and found more videos and texts, and it changed me. That was in November 2018.

Before that, I was a celebrated hoarder. With 3 older sisters, I was a willful collector of everything they discarded, parking them into my crammed space waiting the day they’ll be useful. Pieces of jewelry that never graced my neck, clothes I didn’t like the color, makeup that was not my shade or shoes that are not my size.

I collected and displayed junk with a misguided euphoria of treasure. It was impossible to say no or stop buying things I didn’t need just they looked cute or were cheap. I remember buying a 3-inch sized bucket because it was pink, wasted top money on an impractical object that served me or any other person no good.

After consuming enough content on Minimalism, I was confused with the different views on the said topic. I asked questions on Quora, got a couple of replies that made it all clearer. By December, I was dumping trash (previously called treasures) that wouldn’t go with me into the new year.

How I Decluttered

Decluttering is the second step into minimalism, the first step is learning about it. Decluttering my stuff was easier for me to do than I thought it’d be, I divided my things, after a thorough assessment, into;

1. Green

These are items that were in good condition and essential for me. Things I need, durable and I had used at least once in the past 6 months.

2. Orange

These are items that were in good condition but not essential to me. Things I have never used or haven’t used in at least 6 months. A lot of clothing items, makeup, and accessories fell into this category.

3. Red

These were just junk I wonder why I amassed them in the first place. A lot of the things lying around that had no good use, unamendable broken items etc.

The Green pile, I kept. The Orange pile, I gave out and the Red pile I discarded.

The first thing I noticed after the decluttering process was the amount of natural light that streamed in and filled my whole space and also the feeling of relief, contentment, and soulful happiness.

The last part of my journey, the continual part, is mindfulness and constant effort. Minimalism is not a one-time thing, it requires continuous action and conviction to want less. You begin to invest more in durability and value than in quantity.

Minimalism taught me self-discipline, concentration, and broadened my sense of calmness. It also saved me a couple of bucks I would have spent on unnecessary things. In all, it has shaped my life, physically and mentally.

It is almost 2 years on this journey and I’ve learned so far that, happiness is not in the number of things you own but in the value of things you have. A decluttered space is a decluttered mind. I definitely recommend it.

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