Sunday, March 13, 2011

Minimalist in 21 days

I love it when I find my people.

Now that I quit my job, released my apartment full of stuff, got my belongings down to one suitcase and have embarked on a world tour, I have a few extra hours everyday to write, nap and read. Bliss!

I've been reading blogs lately and I recently came across The Minimalists. These two guys who got rid of their stuff, have embarked on a minimalist lifestyle and are now able to focus on pursuing their dreams.
 Photos taken from their site
I should probably should ask permission. Ah, whatev.

Joshua, the one guy just quit his job on March 1, 2011. Coincidentally, this was my original quit date... but there was a moment back at my office in December 2010 that ended up being the straw that broke the camel's back, so I quit early. Luckily, I was already planning my escape and living The Minimalist lifestyle so I had the freedom (financially-speaking) to quit early.

Live beneath your means. 

Anyway, these guys embarked on a 21 Day Journey into Minimalism. You can read the day by day journey of Ryan who moved all his stuff into boxes, then unpacked only what he needed. He felt lighter and free of all the stuff he was attached to before.

I did the opposite of Ryan last month. While he packed everything up and slowly unpacked only what he needed, I slowly removed everything from my apartment. By the last few days, I realized that the bareness of my apartment in the last week was what I always wished my apartment would have been. It felt peaceful. It felt Zen-like. It felt like my own little retreat. And isn't that what a home should feel like?

I had time to do dishes because I only had a handful to do. I was able to keep my room clean because I only had one suitcase of clothes. I didn't have to straighten up my apartment because I didn't have things to straighten up. Time became this long expanse of glorious space with which I could stretch, nap, write, read and cook.

And all because I got rid of my stuff.

I highly encourage you to read their 21 Day Journey into Minimalism. It will inspire you to rethink the habitat of your household. You'll see your stuff differently. You'll see your life differently. You'll notice that creating space in your home will open up space in your mind. And in that mental space, you'll be able to rethink what you really want in life. Chances are, it's not the ten bags of clothes you just tossed.

Little whispers will emerge in your mind.

They'll say things like...

I want to write a novel.

I want to volunteer.

I want to paint.

I want to go to Paris.

I want to have a healthy body.

I want to quit my job and do something that makes me feel alive.

I want to have better relationships. 

On and on the whispers will go. Up until now, these whispers have been muffled by thoughts like...

I need new curtains/clothes.

I need a bigger sofa/apartment/car.

I need to pay the bills/buy that gadget.

I need to call that person back/go for dinner even though I don't want to.

I need to do my laundry/dishes because they are piling up.

But without these thoughts, the others have the space to emerge.

Not only will you have space in your mind, you'll have glorious TIME. Maintaining our stuff takes up a lot of time. Think about it. Let's use a television for example.
  • First, it takes TIME to make the money to buy the television.
  • Second, it takes TIME to buy the television.
  • Third, it takes TIME to watch the television
  • Fourth, it takes MONEY that takes TIME to make to pay for the cable/satellite/Netflix to watch the television.
Or, you don't have a TV and you have a lot of time that you can use to do what you love to do. If what you love to do is watch TV, I'd question what makes you feel alive. People on TV aren't sitting at home watching TV. Just sayin'.

I've had bad boundaries with TV so I know what I'm talking about.

And sometimes I miss TV, but it costs too much. Too much cash. Too much time.

And that's just TV.

What is taking up your time and eating away at your money? 

Figure out how to reclaim that time and money. Start by reading The Minimalist.


  1. Wow! I am, at this very moment, struggling with going through my art supplies and getting rid of what I don't use everyday, but am having such a hard time letting go of things that I "might" need later! I so needed to find your blog...Thank you! I am motivated now to at least CONSIDER letting go of "stuff" because I know deep in my heart that you are ABSOLUTELY right! All I can say is WOW, and YIKES!

  2. Very simple but true. When your surroundings are cluttered, your mind will feel that way too. Decluttering and organizing your home would give you a sense of control and increase your productivity. If you are having a hard time on organizing your stuff, have a list and determine which things are essential to your house and which are for storage. With that, you can now clean out your home and put the unwanted things on trash or in a storage facility.


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