Less Clutter, More Purpose

Two perspective shifts to help you move forward

Rubber plant in pot
Photography by Jon Flobrant

It took me eight years to pare my belongings down to the minimal state they’re in today. That’s 2,920 days, and what felt like the same number of boxes, to get to a place where the practice of letting go has practically become an instinct. But it didn’t come easy.

In this age of immediate gratification and one-click, one-day shipping, it’s easy to gloss over the hard work required. Embracing a minimalist lifestyle might feel like starting an exercise program—at first you dread doing the exercise, but you quickly discover that it does make you feel better. It will be hard in the beginning, but once you begin experiencing the benefits of less, maintaining it gets easier.

Deciding to become a minimalist and doing the deep work of removing the superfluous in your life are two completely different things. One simply takes a lightbulb moment, while the other requires grit, consistency, and the checking of our often unrealistic expectations.

When we avoid the deep work, we miss the hardest parts, and often those are the most important. Those are the moments where it becomes more than an idea or a new trend, and begins to shape the way we live out our days.

As you shift toward a minimalist lifestyle, you’ll most certainly hit roadblocks, forks in the road, and a loss of momentum. At times, you might even feel like giving up and wonder why you ever thought this path was for you in the first place. It’s during those hard moments that a decision must be made—let go or be dragged. You can decide to stay stuck or let go, trusting that a life of less has more to offer.

Minimalism is About Trading

Minimalism is thinking about what you must give up in order to move forward. It’s not about setting an arbitrary limit to the number of things you can. Minimalism is about trading. Letting go is always about trading. When we shed our superfluous possessions, we’re making room for something better.

When we say yes to one thing, we are saying no to another. A minimalist life is about trading a life filled with clutter, busyness, and overwhelm for a life filled with meaning, connection, and purpose.

Minimalism is About Finding Freedom

Like it or not, we humans tend to make things more complicated than they need to be. We compare our lives to this around us and start thinking we should have what they have, do what they do, and be more like them. Minimalism helps you shift your focus from what everyone else has, does, or is, to what satisfies you. We are free to focus on what matters most in our lives when we’re less distracted by all the noise and clutter around us.

I hope you experience the clarity and freedom that minimalism can bring to your life. Wonderful things happen as we loosen our grip on our stuff and our busyness—and get free of their hold on us.

Originally published for our Inside Minimalism series.

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