Minimalism: It’s not just about decluttering

The minimalism movement has been gaining traction the past couple years and now most of us know or have at least heard about minimalism. I’ve been a self-proclaimed minimalist for about 2 years now. Other than using it as an excuse for my neat-freak habits, I’ve found that minimalism has actually significantly shaped my thinking over time.

I started off like many others, inspired by Matt D’Avella’s documentary, and I dug into my closets and drawers, clearing out all the belongings that I’ve accumulated over the years. Back then it was purely a decluttering process for me.

But as I ventured deeper down the minimalism rabbit hole, I realised that decluttering required me to be rather intentional about my stuff. For each item, I was questioning myself “Do I really need this? Is it important? Why am I keeping this?” It made me think. I’m being so intentional about my things, but ultimately these are just things. I should be equally, if not even more intentional about other areas in my life, like my time and my relationships with others.

Minimalism also taught me to be content with less. Okay, that’s pretty obvious but what isn’t as obvious are the far-reaching effects it has had on my life. I learnt to be grateful for the things that I have, which I have taken for granted. Kinda venturing into mindfulness territory here, but strangely enough, minimalism has indeed taught me a great deal about the virtues of mindfulness.

Minimalism taught me to focus on the things I have, instead of the things that I don’t have. I have my family, friends, a home, an education and much more. This long list has shown me that I have all I need to lead a happy and content life. So, a happy and content life I shall lead.

And by the way, I’m not a hardcore minimalist with only 5 sets of grey t-shirts, though that does sound tempting. My point is that having less doesn’t make you happier, its simply about being content with what you have, which might be a lot more than you think!