My Journey to Minimalism
If you search Google for minimalism, you will be greeted with hundreds of images of stark white interiors. From pristine homes that have clearly been staged for professional photography, or perhaps a glass vase with a single Gerber Daisy in it.
However, minimalism is much more than just a clean home interior. It extends into all areas of your life if you allow it to, from purchasing decisions to, decor to personal relationships.
When I was young, the one space that belonged to me — my bedroom, was always a complete disaster area much to the chagrin of my mother: dishes, clothes, junk, and other various bric-a-brac.
I’m not quite sure what prompted the change in me. But when I moved out into my own space in my early twenties, I quickly became the neat freak that no one (including myself) ever thought I would be.
At first, I may have taken it too far—to the point where friends would ask me if they were allowed to use the soap in the bathroom. That’s when I knew I had to make a change. I didn’t want my friends to be afraid to touch the furniture in my showroom-like home.
Over time, I realized that minimalism has nothing to do with all my surroundings being organized just so. Now, I realize that minimalism is a continuous process that develops over time.
I think that minimalism means different things to different people. For me, it comes down to making do with only what is necessary, and doing away with excess and ornamental filigree.
Each day, I find it easier to get rid of things that no longer bring value to my life. This is true of both material objects and relationships that have run their course and have ceased to deliver significant value. It sounds harsh at first glance, but quality over quantity is an age-old wisdom of humanity. Quality over quantity means having the best or perceived best of something rather than a lot of cheap or less valuable versions. This logic can be applied to anything, in my opinion.
Reducing Impulse Purchasing
This is something that I still struggle with a lot. Living in a small space helps with making sure I don’t accumulate an excess of goods. At this point, if one thing comes in, something has to go out.
With that said, the thing that has changed is my ability to opt for higher quality, long-lasting versions of whatever it is that I’m purchasing and make a more informed decision before pulling the trigger. Higher volumes of cheap crap inevitably becomes more to dispose of later.
Minimalism and Work
I’ve built my entire business on the principles of minimalism.
My home is my office as well. While I realize that minimalism is not for everyone, for me a clean, uncluttered environment is calming and creates a space where I can concentrate and focus.
I receive constant compliments about the minimalist style of my business cards, my general design choices, and my web products. All of this has become natural to me, and as a result of doing what comes natural to me, I get clients who also appreciate what I do making it that much easier to do great work that people appreciate.
At the time of writing this, I am infinitely happier than I was just 3 weeks ago. I quit a secure, well paying job that made me miserable and endlessly stressed to pursue a dream of working for myself and travelling the world. In essence, I removed an untold amount of mental clutter. It’s difficult, but it is without question the best decision I’ve ever made. In this regard, minimalism was the answer.
Each day, I try as much as possible to measure my success by how happy and fulfilled I am in the work I’m doing, rather than the amount of money that comes in. This will be my continuous journey to minimalism.