We’re all downsizing, saving and living frugally. The reason for this is to live a life without too much consumerism and building wealth for the long term. We’re at it for about 2 years now, but in the meantime, our mindset has shifted 360 degrees around. We’re not saving money only because we want to get more of it… But because we have certain values that just don’t fit with owning lots of stuff anymore.
If you want to become happier, you don’t need all those extra things in your life. Better yet, you need to get rid of them. It can clear up space, remove worries and move you forward.
The big change is that we don’t feel the urge to save money. We just think of how we can live a better life, and additionally, we save the money we don’t spend.
There were several things that gave us a boost to start integrating a more minimal mindset. For starters, we wanted to sell items we didn’t use anymore in order to earn some extra money. But also we didn’t want to bring in any new items that didn’t bring any value to our lives.
Secondly, we noticed that by living a life that includes your own values, you will have fewer worries and stress and therefore can reach the next level of happiness. Minimalism isn’t only about reducing in material items, but also about creating room in your head.
In order to take things to the next level, there are certain topics in our lives that require some attention. We could tackle these topics one by one, or re-altering our current lifestyle in order that they fit better all in once. Either way, we will change step by step, moving forward.
I started listening to the podcast, The Minimalists, from name and name a few months ago. And got hooked on the aspect of integrating minimalism in our way of living. It already has gone down that path a bit so it wouldn’t be too hard to take some next steps.
And to set things straight, there isn’t 1 way to become a minimalist. It isn’t about owning the least as possible, or don’t spend any money. Often it is seen as downsizing to the least amount of stuff possible, the essentials. In essence, it’s true. But there is so more to it than this. There isn’t a magic number of items, that if you reach that you’re on a minimalist level. The concept of minimalism is about that you only do things or buy things that add a value to your life.
For instance, I wanted to drive a motorcycle for as long as I can remember and always stalled it to later. A few months back I finally did it and got my license. The thing is, it’s an expensive hobby to have. You need to pay for lessons and examination; clothing, helmet and other gear. And of course the bike itself… But, it also adds enormous value to my life as I love to do it and makes me happy. So, spending this money for this particular reason is worth it.
When following the minimal mindset, the goal isn’t about spending as less as possible. Or owning the least as possible. Better yet, owning less is a positive side effect is that you start needing and wanting only that what values. The true goal is to live a more happily and meaningful life.
Minimalism seems to become the next big thing that one should pursue. It fits right in with the mindset of many millennials. To favor experience over possession. And as we move slowly from a consumption society to a sharing economy, ownership isn’t the standard anymore. The effect of ‘Keeping up with the Joneses is losing its hold more and more. Instead, we set our own values and live accordingly. The society we live in is becoming more personal, adaptable and hopefully also more meaningful along the way.
For me personally, minimalism will help me to give structure to how I want to live my life. And on my own terms. It’s a conceptual view that connects with what I think is important and on which I can base my decisions. It’s not a set of rules to follow, but a mindset that helps me connect more to the values that I hold dear.
The first step: Decluttering
Inspired by all the mania around Kondo and other tips and books on how to clean up your home, I will start this journey with the obvious: decluttering my home.
We moved 3 years ago to the house we currently live in. Already leaving many things behind back then, we knew we wouldn’t have a stuffed house but rather a clean one. And compared to others we don’t have much stuff laying around. Still, we brought along things that we never used in the same three years. Or bought some new items to replace others but never got rid of the old.
Last year in January I started selling my books and DVD’s, of which I owned more than a few hundred altogether. Until now, that made me a profit of 572,38 euro.
And a few weeks back on Kingsday, where it’s a tradition to sell stuff on flea markets, I realized I could start selling so much more. My experiment began with selling a figurine for 30 euro, and 2 weeks ago a sports watch for 70 euro. Both were gone within a few days. This is some easy money.
So the coming weeks I will go through everything we have and decide on what to sell and what to keep. I will go through all of our clothes, our already slimmed down collection of books and DVD’s, our items that we never use and whatever else I can find along the way. To keep a bit of pressure on this experiment of decluttering, I will challenge myself to get it done within 30 days, starting from today.
What do you think? Did you ever declutter like Marie? Any tips or tricks on how to tackle this experiment?