Becoming a Minimalist is not for the weak. We go against the crowd. We’re the little bit odd kid that doesn’t say yes to everything that is offered and we take pride in having empty space. Some self-declared minimalists struggle with letting go of possessions more than others. Once we realize that minimalism isn’t just getting rid of stuff, but rather a lifestyle of volunteer simplicity that becomes such a part of who we are we relax and see the meaning behind it all. Reasons for becoming a minimalist vary with the individual.
Life is Overwhelming. All of that stuff we were told would make us happy has just stressed us out with having to keep track of it, store it, clean it, and use it. We don’t have the time, energy, or patience to deal with it anymore. Once we start getting rid of stuff we find it can become addictive. Space is welcomed. We breathe easier. The regrets become fewer as time goes by and we find that we simply don’t need all that stuff.
Life-altering Events Happen. We change or lose a job, a loved one, a marriage. We go through a health crisis or a move to another place and it hits us like a brick. We don’t need much to make us happy or to get by. Some lose everything and mourn for a while then suddenly realize that less isn’t so bad. It becomes clear that all that crap doesn’t matter.
Aging’s Intolerance for Bullshit. For those of us that aren’t young and naive anymore, the tolerance of chaos, drama, and other people general bad behavior spurs us on towards minimalism. Those fake people don’t hang out with us. When you aren’t surrounded by material things, and you can’t talk about shopping, reality sets in and you see who your friends are. We tend to cull our relationships and find those authentic people to spend time with rather than waste it on trivial things.
Spiritual or Moral Concerns. Some people simply can’t seem to make themselves spend crazy amounts of money on luxuries or trivial things. When you know someone is struggling to find their next meal it’s hard to find a reason to buy over the top stuff. Part of you feels an obligations to put your money in more worthwhile projects that make a better world. For most this is simple and there isn’t really a transition phase. It just is.
The Quest for a Simple Life. Some of us want to get back to the country, become a sustainable family farm, or try our hand at making everything from scratch. We want a more authentic life at the very least even if it’s in the suburbs with a patio garden and a zero waste home project in the works. We want to raise our kids with values and find peace in just being outdoors. We want time for building a life and the important things.
What are your reasons for becoming a minimalist? Is it something that you take very seriously or just on a whim? Would you trade your current lifestyle for another?