One night, I was surfing the endless list of movies and T.V. shows on Netflix (as many of us do). I happened to stumble upon a documentary titled “Minimalism.” I had heard the term prior to watching the documentary, but I wanted to dig a little bit deeper. With my interest piqued, I hit play.
“Minimalism” centered around Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus, who call themselves “The Minimalists.” They both walked away from very successful careers where they climbed the corporate ladder and got to the top, which only resulted in them in feeling a bit lost, confused ,and depressed. Needing a positive change and a sense of purpose, they found minimalism.
Even though the term “minimalism” gets used here and there, it’s still a very foreign topic to many. The bare bones of the subject that I got from the documentary is that you only live with and keep only the essentials in your life. The essentials that you do end up keeping in your life are completely up to you.
After their change in lifestyle, Millburn and Nicodemus focused on spreading the information about minimalism and how it positively impacted their lives. They no longer focused on having the latest tech gadgets, clothes or any other material possessions. Instead, they focused on the art of storytelling, connecting with people and creating experiences that were important to them.
In short, I was HOOKED. I immediately started to shift my lifestyle to one more minimalistic. Here’s what I’ve learned so far:
CREATE A SYSTEM
Redirecting any aspect of your life is a huge task, so vina, make sure you take it one step at a time. Let me just say, trying to transition my space into one that minimal feels very much like David and Goliath.
In this scenario, I’m David and the Goliaths are the piles of unworn dresses, unread books and unused makeup. As you can see, any vina can easily feel a bit overwhelmed at the task at hand.
But don’t let the stress get you down. Trust me; once you starting letting go of the things that are no longer important to you, you’re going to not only be less stressed but will also be proud of yourself and your new and rejuvenated space.
First and foremost, create a system. Figure out what areas of your space you want to tackle first. You can even divide up sections into smaller sections if that works for you. Since my bedroom is where most of the hell resides, I decided to divide my room into small sections and go from there. Do what works for YOU.
REVISIT YOUR PROGRESS
Once you get a rhythm going, you may find yourself noticing that it may take longer than you had hoped (and let’s face it, we have more stuff than we will admit). But that’s okay!
I cleaned my closet in a couple of cycles–meaning I initially went in and stripped anything I no longer wanted. Then, I went back a couple days later and asked myself if I really loved the top I bought in Forever21 a few years ago. If I still wanted to keep it, then it stayed, but 50% of the time, I ended up tossing it.
Being a minimalist doesn’t mean you toss a majority of your possessions one day and call it done. It’s truly a lifestyle that you live by day-to-day. You become aware of what you’re bringing into your living space and what you’re spending your hard earned money on.
START AN EMERGENCY FUND
Speaking about those dollar bills, being a minimalist also means you’re starting to or are aware of where your money is going. If you can shop less but won’t let go of your morning cup of coffee at Starbucks, that’s totally fine! The level of importance of everyday things varies from vina to vina.
Once you realize where your money is going and where you can cut back, put that extra cha-ching towards an emergency fund. You never know when you’re going to need the money.
As one who drives a car that was made in the 90s, car issues come up time and time again. Pretty soon, I know I will have to pull the trigger and make the big investment of getting a new car. If it wasn’t for my emergency fund, I would not be able to afford a new car.
Now that I’ve shifted to a minimalist lifestyle, I hope to grow my emergency fund even more. It’s time to cut those Target trips and only get the things you only need. Save that paper, vinas!
Motivate each other
Two vinas are always better than one and when it comes to making drastic changes to your life, whether it be health, lifestyle or otherwise, it’s nice to have a vina who can keep you accountable and will support you throughout the process. We are each other’s best motivators and it’s time to encourage each other to make those positive changes in our lives. There’s nothing better than coming home to a space that’s neat, tidy and most importantly, gives you happiness. So what are you waiting for?
Before you start organizing your life,ask yourself: does this item give me happiness? If so then keep it but if not, box it up and ship it out. I believe in you vina – you got this.
Inspire a vina to join the minimalist movement with you over at Hey! VINA!
(Feature image courtesy: http://jennymustard.com)