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Minimalism: Getting More By Having Less

Can you imagine putting everything you need to live in one bag and using only what’s in your bag to live?

Some years ago, I backpacked through Asia, bringing only what I absolutely needed and could carry.  If you’ve never backpacked, I’ll have you know that it can take a lot out of you, especially if you have too much stuff.

Catalina Island is also a great place to go backpacking.

backpacking-natureObviously, things can get heavy, especially if you are carrying excess. And sometimes, you have to let certain things go, whether it’s because you no longer have use for them or you simply can’t carry them any more. 

On that trip, I carried only what I needed in my backpack. A few times when I bought a souvenir, I had to let something else go to make room for it.  The idea might seem preposterous to some, because we live in a world where having a lot of stuff equates to success and many people collect items that make their lives feel valuable.

But to be honest, when I came back from that trip and saw my home again for the first time in eight months, I realized that all I needed, I had taken with me. And what I didn’t, I left behind, and suddenly had the urge to purge. Because I felt that having less stuff made me feel more free. And that’s when I really started to explore minimalism.

By Elizabeth Toy

What is minimalism?

Minimalism is a lifestyle. It means different things to different people. But in the broadest sense, it means that you want to simplify your life by consuming or living with less.

According to BeMoreWithLess,

Always a little different, [minimalists] usually decide that, “enough is enough” and come to realize that the American Dream of working more, to make more, to spend more and have more isn’t working. They choose to live life on purpose.

Basically, the common ground among minimalists is the desire to live intentionally.

So whether you like the idea of giving away things you don’t want or need, enjoy minimal aesthetic design at home, or want to adopt a vegan diet and consume fewer resources by eating sustainable foods, each of these is a different idea of minimalism. The meaning will depend on the person you ask.

sunburns April banner

How can living a minimalist lifestyle benefit us?

Minimalism can help you rethink what freedom means to you.  When you spend less time on things that aren’t useful to you and more time on things that are important to you, you redefine what freedom is in your life. That means letting go of things that do not serve you or no longer bring you joy.

minimalismSuppose you can’t say no to a sale, but you find your closet full of clothes from seasons ago, still with the tags on them. You clearly didn’t need them, because if you did, you’d have worn them already.

But by spending less or simply not buying things you didn’t need in the first place, you save more money and time to use on what is really important to you, whether it’s your health and fitness, hobbies, or relationships – anything that you feel gives your life meaning.

Basically, the less you have to clutter your life – mentally, physically, and emotionally – the more space, time, and energy you have to enjoy and be present for the things that really matter to you.

Find out more about minimalism in Noelia Lewis’ video above.

Are you interested in adopting to the minimalist approach? Have you tried to implement minimalist principles in your life?  Share with us in the comments.

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