October 12, 2017

Exploring Myself as a Minimalist

Learning to live a simple joyful life.

What is Minimalism? What does it mean ‘to be a minimalist’? Having fewer possessions? Paying attention to what is important? Or perhaps starting a journey of self-discovery? There are of course many answers to these questions. My story with minimalism started after reading Marie Kondo’s book—The Life‑Changing Magic of Tidying Up—about decluttering and organizing one’s home. It felt like I was granted a permission to get rid of all the stuff I didn’t need, but was holding on to for years.

So I went for it: bags of clothing, shoes, books, home decorations. As several storage pieces of furniture became empty, they went too. Structural changes came next as more room allowed making our tiny apartment more homely and the use of space more efficient. This initial stage left me feeling liberated, excited, intrigued.

Then I started paying attention to what I like to keep. Incidentally, I noticed that white color made me feel comfortable and calm. White tops and shirts, white bedsheets, white bathroom curtains and mats, white walls with no pictures. Having fewer colors in my surroundings and wardrobe strangely made my life simpler and I felt happier. Is simplicity a path to becoming a minimalist?

What’s next?

Minimalism is not just about having less stuff, it's a lifestyle. Not keeping stashes of spares, traveling light, conscious shopping, paying attention to what’s important in life—this is where the line between things we have and the ways we behave becomes blurred. Having less stuff suddenly gained new meanings: not holding on to the past, not being afraid of the future, and creating space for my own choices. This desire to lead simple and de-cluttered life eventually led me to a few deeper questions:

“What is important? What do I love? And what do I want my life to be like?”

And so, my discovery of the true meaning of Minimalism still goes on. Do I buy less? I can confidently say that I am not afraid of letting go. Yet, when it comes to buying, I would say that I am still on the journey of exploring myself as a minimalist.

Published by Jelena Rayner in Lifestyle

Photography by Julia Sabiniarz

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