Stress? Depress? Fighting? Challenged? I have been there, and I know that feeling too. And then came a day that I decided to disconnect from the world, declutter everything I see in the house, cut off communication from people, and make everything right even if I am in the middle of struggling and balancing. Life is so simple, but we people tend to make it complicated sometimes. Little did I know that I am applying minimalism in my life until I came across a Facebook page with a post like my story.
How did I do it?
I started by getting rid of some of our belongings that I found not useful for more than 90-days or 3 months. It may sound hard at the beginning, but you can do it by asking your self
“Do I need this? Is this essential? Do this give joy or spark to my life?”.
It could be useful to others so you can donate it or wanted to earn extra cash? Do a garage sale.
We are just renting a 22 square meter townhouse and to a family of 4, I found out that this is already enough. Sometimes we choose to sleep in the living area cause its much cooler there compared to the rooms on the 2nd floor. We do not have an air conditioner and my husband is insisting that we should buy one, but I opt not to. Maybe if we already have our own house, I will consider buying one, but I think it is not that essential for now.
I also ditched my credit cards! I would rather pay everything in cash than wait for the monthly billing statement and found out that I spent more than what we are earning. We’ve experienced financial difficulties and we learned that the hard way. It is now easier for me to budget with fewer expenses. I am buying food in bulk and of course only items that our family mostly need. With that we save physical energy and time in going to groceries just to buy a sole item. Also, when calculating the price of that item you bought versus the ones in small sizes it saves you a lot of discount and waste packaging!
Why am I applying minimalism in our life? Simply because I am tired. Seeing all the clothes on our wardrobe that accumulates spaces, from newborn to worn-out jeans or shirts, and big curtains. That is why I started to declutter and donate all things that no longer give us sparks. I started to buy in bulk, budget our finances, and disconnect from stressful people or stories. Clean up my social media, remove some people on friends list, and groups that I am not actively checking or participating. Unfollowed toxic pages and post who does not add up any values to the society.
I was the youngest in my 4 siblings and I could not tell that we are poor, but we do not have a lot to flaunt. I grew up using my sister’s worn-out clothes, having one truck toy that is always with me when exploring every corner of our house. I remember visiting my cousin just to play with them. I am always the one cleaning up their cluttered toys so Auntie will not be mad at me so I could visit and play again. Practicing discipline and strategy at 4 years of age.
My mother then bought me a clay molded cookware and I still remember that emotion it brought me, that feeling of contentment and happiness. Finally, a new toy that I could play.
I am thankful to my parents for not giving us everything because I grew up grateful for simple things.
My husband experienced the same childhood scenario as mine, but it affects him differently.
He is the eldest amongst his 3 siblings, growing up giving way to his brothers from toys, clothes and attention makes him feel less significant. His maturity was forced at a young age just to look after his brothers. His mindset is different than mine, he spent more on material things. One time I asked him why, he only answered me that he did not grow up having something like that. And that makes me feel sad. Sometimes If you never had anything growing up, owning anything now holds great value in your mind. Applying minimalism to him is tough, it is hard for him to let go of some stuff, but he is now coping up slowly.
You can create more joy into your life by slowly assessing what you can live with and what you can live without. You can always pick what is good and right for you. My techniques might good for me but not for some. Always find your own pace when applying this concept of living. There are other types of minimalism that you can explore. I am not yet that die-hard minimalist person and still on the ongoing process of totally applying it. But hey! It helps us a lot with our way of living so far. And I have found serenity in living or having less.