This post is about what I’ve learned so far about the concept of minimalism, and I’ve added a video below.
The first time I heard about people who practice minimalism, my mind went straight toward white nothingness.
Bland, plain, and boring.
Probably like what I’m sure my parent’s house looked like before they had me and my sisters…
But no, According to Webster’s Dictionary, minimalism is defined as a style or technique (as in music, literature, or design) that is characterized by extreme spareness and simplicity.
Still pretty much white nothingness…
Instead, I came across a post on Pinterest that helped me get the definition of minimalism that I was looking for:
“If you have to buy stuff to store your stuff, you have too much stuff.”
Honestly, what I get out of this quote is that minimalism is the art of being satisfied, and in a world (or at least a country) of more plenty, that’s harder to do than I thought.
Another quote I love that really defines minimalism is this:
“We don’t buy things with money. We buy them with hours of our lives.”
I don’t know about you, but when I first heard that I got kinda spooked, but it really makes sense when you think about it. We as a people are conditioned to truly believe that we need things we really don’t just to get a sense of normalcy (or at least what people tell us normalcy is supposed to be).
Let’s be honest:
Do you need a smartphone?
Do you need a hi-def tv?
Do you need a tv in every room?
Do you need to buy a different pair of shoes to match each top you have?
Do you need that many square feet of space?
Do you need to stay with that person when that season of your life is clearly over?
Do you need that thing you just told yourself you needed?
Do you need to drink?
Do you need to smoke?
These are things we are constantly told that we need in order to survive and fit in and be normal but if you ask me, what’s abnormal is stressing about how to make more money when all you need is to learn to spend it wisely.
I’m preaching to myself here too.
Just recently I went shopping for an interview because I had nothing to wear to it. And that’s no excuse; my family just moved and my interview dress is stuffed somewhere in storage.
So I went to Forever 21 with my sister to go interview clothes shopping and found a few good items. A few interview outfits actually.
One thing I will say I’m good at is finding the clearance rack and staying there until I find what I like, however most stores will add things to the counter or near the counter that they know you’ll run into and start impulse buying.
And I got sucked in…
I ended up finding this really cute gold fabric choker that was only $3 and change.
It matched a bracelet I already had.
Gold is one of my favorite colors to wear.
It’s not that expensive.
Y’all, the choker was too big for my neck and I don’t even wear necklaces…
I was able to talk myself into buying something I didn’t need simply because I could. Thankfully I still had the receipt and was able to take it back a few days later, but it would have been better if I hadn’t bought it in the first place.
Minimalism isn’t about deprivation, but about having what you need and appreciating just that: that you have what you need. It’s about being content with what you have and making the most of life without thinking you need stuff in order to be successful.
I don’t believe in coveting or envying what others have, but I’d be lying if I said I never felt the feeling.
And to be honest, for me personally, it’s much easier to be jealous of someone who takes a ton of vacations or who actually has time on their hands than to be jealous of someone who has the latest gadget.
I want to go to Hawaii more than I want a new iPhone.
I want to go to Malawi and help children more than I want a huge wardrobe.
I want to have free time rather than have stress.
Minimalism is simply being content, and although it’s hard in a land where we’re taught that we can never have enough, it isn’t impossible.
I’m still learning more about minimalism and frugality in this retirement journey, but I at least wanted to share what I’ve learned so far. c: