Many people in today”s society are gravitating towards minimalism and leaving consumerism in the past.
What are minimalism and consumerism?
Minimalism: Joshua Becker of Becoming Minimalist says:
“Minimalism is the intentional promotion of the things we most value and the removal of anything that distracts us from it.”
Consumerism: Consumerism is the preoccupation of society with the acquisition of consumer goods.
Consumerism is an unspoken competition
For years, material possessions have been a status symbol. The biggest house, fanciest cars, nicest clothes have brought attention to those in our society. The bigger the better seems to be the motto. But is it really? It’s pretty much become a competition. Who can have more? That just doesn’t seem like the way to live. And it's depressing!
We collect stuff
We collect furniture, knick knacks, clothes, papers, etc. We claim sentimental value to some. We hold on to clothes just in case we need that size again. We hold on to our kids papers throughout their school years.
Where does this stuff go? In closets, in the corner of the basement or even in a storage garage. So, we’re just storing this stuff for no reason other than it’s sentimental. But is it the item that’s sentimental or the memory? Can you separate the memory from the item? If you can, you don’t need the item.
In 2019, Americans spent 39 Billion dollars on self-storage units. The average storage unit costs approximately $87.89/month. This means one family spends over $1000 a year on one storage unit just to store stuff they probably haven’t touched in that year.
Make a change to improve your life
In breaking away from this trend, minimalists are showing everyone how to be happy with less. Less stuff, less stress, less money spent. What are you really going to do with that box of Johnny’s kindergarten projects in 20 years? Or that closet full of extra bedding that hasn’t been used in years already?
I'm not saying throw it all away, but start somewhere. Pick one area and declutter that part of your life.
I started with my kitchen. I LOVE to cook and just had to have every new gadget that came out. Guess what? Half of those gadgets are still in their packaging, years later. Why do I still have them? I might use them some day. No, I won't. So, I got rid of them.
Starting tips on your path to a minimilistic lifestyle
- Envision what your life would be like living a minimalistic lifestyle
- Challenge your ability to minimize your possessions
- Establish your own set of rules to follow to help you become more mindful
Add value and improve your life
If it doesn't add value to your life, you really don't need it. That's the basic gist of minimilism. You keep what's important to you and your well being. You toss the rest. It's essentiially quality over quantity!
Added after posting:
I've decided this is going to be the beginning of a series on the subject of the minimalistic lifestyle. After you thoroughly absorb this post, move on through the series: