Since paring down my things- I’ve been called ‘heartless’, ‘a robot’, ‘unsentimental’, ‘unfeeling’- you name it- I’ve heard it. But having less doesn’t make me a nasty person and here’s why.
I know what’s important- Ask yourself this- if your house was burning down- what would you save? Your partner, family member or roommate OR some stuff? I hope you would save the person over the thing. This analogy reinforces what’s really important in life- the people you love, whom you spend time with and care about. You may have many memories attached to the things in your home- but ultimately- your memories are tied up in people. People mean more to me than things and that’s how it should be for everyone.
I care more about experiences now- Since taking things out of the equation- I like to focus more on activities and things that will give me something to remember. I love getting and giving what I call ‘doing presents’- gifts that make you leave the house and do something rather than have something to look at. My life is far more fulfilled than it ever was and it’s all because I don’t concentrate on things anymore.
I’m happier- Once you free yourself of the burden of wanting more- you feel a sense of peace and contentment. If you have everything you could ever need- not want- need- then you can turn your attention elsewhere- like investing in your own happiness and what really makes you tick.
I don’t spend as much- I buy very little by comparison now and so I am able to save more and spend my money on more worthwhile things.
I have more time to spend with the people I love and to practice self-care- Once your home has less stuff in it- you don’t have to have that spring clean, the car boot, the mammoth loft sort or the yearly garage organising session which takes valuable time away from the people and things that matter. This frees up time to do more things for myself and with my nearest and dearest.
I won’t leave a mountain of things for my children to sort through- They will have a few prize items to decide what to do with when I pass- but that’s all. I’ve seen the heartbreak it can cause when a relative has to sort through years of things and it’s not fair to inflict that extra pain on someone when they are already hurting from losing someone they love.
I can find things easily- If I need a document or a book or specific item- I know where it is. I don’t spend hours trawling through boxes of things to find what I need, which makes life a lot simpler.
People don’t have to obsess over gifts for me- If they ask me, I will suggest things I would like rather than them shopping for hours to find that ‘perfect gift’. I’m good with a voucher to buy that book I've been wanting to read or an experience day or to buy something for myself that I really want and have considered carefully about bringing into my home.
By giving things away- it allows someone else to enjoy them- If I am not going to use something- I take delight in the knowledge that someone will when it would have just been stuffed in a box in the attic somewhere. Why deny someone else of that joy when you will get no such feeling out of it?
When I look at my surroundings, I feel positive- My things don’t scream ‘sort me now’- they don’t represent a list of jobs- they say- ‘I bring you happiness when you look at me and I have a place here.’ I have room to breathe and space to think in my home. Home should be your haven and having a few choice things in it makes it feel special and welcoming.
Minimalism isn’t something to criticise and you don’t need to make negative assumptions about a person if they choose to live this way. Similarly, if you choose to surround yourself with things because it makes you happy- who am I to judge?
Minimalism has many benefits for both body and mind and should not be underestimated- so think twice the next time you call me a ‘robot’ because I’m feeling and living life every minute I’m awake- can you say the same?