We live in a society where we are constantly bombarded by advertisements. They show up in every place imaginable: social media, search engines, billboards, television, radio, newspaper, magazines, apps, clothing, virtually everywhere.
The design and purpose of this advertising (and it is very effective) is to create false needs. They start by making us feel inadequate (If we don’t feel that way already). Then they lure us in with promises of a better life. If you just had that one item, you would be happier, healthier, better looking, and more organized. Then, with a sense of fulfillment, completeness, and joy, we take the item home, and add it to our collection. But these feelings fade all too soon, and we are left with that familiar feeling of emptiness.
“Perfection is achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away” – Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Minimalism is a philosophy that takes a much different approach, finding joy in simplicity, and discarding all but the truly necessary. But you don’t have to be living in the woods wearing a loin cloth and drinking dew off of the leaves to be a minimalist. It’s a journey. It’s about moving from more to less, busy to quiet, and complicated to simple. I still have a long way to go on my journey, and I will probably never reach minimalist perfection, but I am now living without many things that I once thought were essential for life.
- Buying less stuff means saving money
- Less time spent shopping, cleaning stuff, and organizing stuff, means more time for you and your family
- Less clutter means more space for living
- Lower demand makes for fewer items being manufactured and shipped, which means cleaner air for everyone!
What have you given up so far?
Well, this isn’t a comprehensive list, but here are a few things that I am now living without
- Deodorant (I use baking soda)
- Microwave (Less radiation!)
- Many of my books
- about 2/3 of my wardrobe (Also, I have recently started washing my clothes in the sink when I take them off, and then hanging them to dry. They are usually ready by the next day!)
- A Smart Phone (Okay, I didn’t give this one up, because I never had one)
- Soap and Shampoo (Its been over a year, and I haven’t gotten any complaints yet. I just let my microbiome do all the work)
- Extra shoes
Its not that difficult. And, if you are worried you might regret your decision, try packing up a few things for 3 moths, 6 months, or a year. If you still haven’t used them, you probably don’t need them, and it is safe to part with them.
Where are you on your minimalist journey?