Have you ever looked around your house and felt like the only thing you could see was an overwhelming amount of meaningless clutter?
In the past few months I have really been diving into a world of more intentional living that I hoped would help to remove some of the clutter from my every day life. This new venture (for me) has been well pioneered in the past and is seen in much of the scriptures that I believe to be truth. King Solomon even resonates this path to a more meaningful life throughout the entire Old Testament book of the Bible entitled; Ecclesiates.
This practice can be called many different things. To some it is called essentialism, to others it is called simple living, but as for me, I prefer to call it; minimalism. Don’t get me wrong, if you were to enter my house on any given day you would probably not believe that I am a minimalist, but compared to the average household that contains around 300,000 items I feel as though I am making progress.
So, what is this minimalism thing about? According to “The Minimalists” minimalism is “the thing that gets us past the things so we can make room for life’s important things—which actually aren’t things at all.” Minimalism is the mindset that challenges our compulsory consumption and allows us to determine what things we actually need, as opposed to what things we just want. Minimalism is a process and minimalism is a lifestyle, but most importantly, minimalism is a gateway to finding more time to spend, more money to give, and more attention to focus on the people in our lives.
Who is minimalism for? The simple answer is; anyone and everyone. The rich. The poor. The Christian. The Muslim. The Buddhist. The atheist. The man. The woman. The family. The single.
Minimalism is ultimately for anyone who desires to reduce the noise from their lives and start to live more mindfully. Minimalism is for those who long for a new normal and are looking for a good place to start.
How do you do it? Although this differs for many people I have found that determining if my possessions are functional or fashionable was a good starting place. As I went through my office supplies I found that I had around 50 pens. I thought to myself about how much I would have to write in order to need all of those pens. So I reduced that number to 2 or 3 and then moved on to my books. When I reached my bookshelf I realized that I had probably 100 books, but I had only read (or even thought about reading) maybe 20 of them so I donated many of my books to a library and I am hopeful that now someone will end up reading them and getting value from them.
This process continues and is an everyday practice for me. But as my possessions are beginning to decrease, I am finding that I have less desire to acquire more. I am retraining my mind to appreciate what I have already been blessed with.
Finally, why do you do it? For me, practicing minimalism is not so that I spend less money and it’s not so that my house is always clean (although these can be added benefits of minimalism). For me, the primary reason that I practice minimalism is so that I can reduce the things that are fighting for my attention. Ultimately, minimalism is helping me to make space in my life to love God and love others in the way that Jesus calls me to do.
Since learning about minimalism I have been having much better times of solitude, I have been using my phone less frequently, I have elimated cable, I have become less anxious, I have become more present to the people around me, and it has helped me to really become mindful and shift my outlook on life.
If more time, more money, more freedom, less clutter, less anxiety, less compulsory consumption, and less mental fog sounds appealing to you, check out TheMinimalists.com and begin minimizing the unimportant things in your life today.