Minimalism: Can It Be Done?

So my last post actually inspired me. I was shocked and appalled at myself for my utter reliance and, let’s call it, addiction to my phone. And as I said, I don’t think I’m alone in this situation.

Part of my nightly routine is snuggling into bed with a cup of tea to watch a film. Whereas previously it would be some crappy rom-com that 9/10 would put me to sleep. Recently, however, I have broadened my horizons to documentaries and I’m kind of hooked!

So after I had made my way through all of the documentaries on a plant-based diet on Netflix (which really were incredible for vegans and non-vegans alike, personally recommend Forks Over Knives), I decided a change of genre was required. And then up pops Minimalism: A Documentary about the Important Things and I decided to give it a watch.

First thing I learnt is “Wow, I have a lot of useless stuff”

I guess it takes looking at someone else’s lifestyle to realise I have so many things I don’t need or use. If you were to ask me, “What stuff do you need in your bedroom Olivia?” I would without a doubt respond with “everything”. Because in my mind, if I have it it’s because I need it.

That vase sitting on my dresser, empty, yeah I need that. One day I might buy myself some flowers and if I don’t have a vase where will they go? That empty box sitting in your bookshelf, yeah I need that. Never know when I might need to put something in a box…

When you write it down like that it seems utterly ridiculous that I even have these things in my room, that I even feel it necessary to continue to have these items when that box, in particular, has been sat empty on that shelf for nearly three months. (I should add that since this post was published I have thrown out said box)

The documentary talks about “loving people, and using stuff, as the opposite never works”

This is what stuck with me. Obviously, I completely agree, using people sucks so don’t do it. But I think the key part is that people still sometimes love stuff way too much. We hold sentimental value onto things that quite frankly are pointless. I had a favourite necklace, it was personalised and given to me as a gift for being a bridesmaid at my cousin’s wedding. I loved it and wore it constantly. I held a great attachment to that necklace. That necklace would be on the list of things I could never throw away. And then one night, I wore it out, and the next morning when I woke up I realised it had broken. Yes, I was upset, but I kind of realised in that moment that I didn’t need it. It was just nice to have. Of course, it held sentimental value to me, but, I still had those memories in my mind. Isn’t that the important part?

After watching the documentary I went straight to the blog of the guys that wrote it: The Minimalists

There was so much stuff on minimalism and really finding the value of life. I do feel after watching it, that our priorities as beings are so messed up. I’m the sort of person that never knew what I wanted to be when I grew up, it’s only been in the last few months that I have connected with what I want. But if you had asked me, 7 or 5 or even 2 years ago what I wanted to do I would have said something like:

I don’t really care, I’ll probably end up in some office job I dislike, but as long as I’m making lots of money I’ll be happy.

or

I’d rather do a job I hate for money, than a job I love for no money

Can you see how wrong I was? Because I can now. We are conditioned to believe that with money will come happiness, because you can buy whatever you want. Having money will mean you can have those expensive clothes/shoes/car/house, but can money give you health? Family? Relationships? Love? Nope.

Life is about living. And in the last few years I have really realised that.

In the near future I will hardly become as minimalist as the people in the documentary but that doesn’t mean I can’t now, make changes. I would love to try and declutter my mind and life, I’ve already recently donated a load of clothes that I haven’t worn in ages but previously I wanted to keep “just in case”.

I’m going to try and write posts in the future about how I’m de-cluttering so let me know if you’d be interested in those.

Could you ever go minimalist? And if you’ve watched the documentary, what did you think of it?

I’ve written more posts based off of documentaries if you want to check them out! I’ve written one on plastic free living and some on changes you can make to help the environment!

Ox

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