"Love people, use things. The opposite never works." That's something the guys behind theminimalists.com said that really struck me as truth.
The documentary Minimalism (on Netflix) caught my eye because I've always loved the freedom and ideology behind living minimally. I've gotten lost on Pinterest scrolling through images of gorgeously spacious and minimally filled homes. I've never been the most minimal of people though I've wanted to be, and that's one reason that way of life attracts me.
The past few months, it's become overly apparent that I have too much stuff. Stuff that I don't need or want. Even stuff that I don't like. So why do I even have it all? I think that may have to do with the way most of society tends to think about the nostalgia or frugality of holding onto stuff. Plus, there's status that comes with owning certain things.
I was raised that even if you don't truly like something, you may need it––now or in the future. So don't get rid of it, because then you may have to spend more money buying it again later. Of course, you can understand the practicality behind that way of thinking: Just because you don't love it doesn't mean you don't need it or won't need it years down the road. That ideology comes from my family's need to live well below their means and responsibly on a small budget when my siblings and I were growing up––a respectable and sacrificial way of life, still.
And yet, as weird as it seems, living with even less stuff––but quality stuff that you love and use––extinguishes the feeling that you need more stuff or that you will never have exactly what you want.
Just how often have you regretted getting rid of specific things? Or, how many times have you thought 'Oh, I could use that [insert item that you gave away already] right now'? Speaking from my personal experiences, I really can't think of one time or item.
Living more intentionally in regards to the items you purchase and own will likely increase your contentment and satisfaction. Think about it this way: I have several pairs of jeans that I'm just OK with. I could sell them or give them away and replace all of them with one or two pairs of jeans that I absolutely love and even look forward to wearing. I would never look at my jeans with any degree of hesitation or spite again. Think about how amazing it would feel to have not only an emptier closet, but one that's filled with only your favorite clothes.
That's such a small example. Expand that idea to your entire home and way of living. Think about what you're spending your money on with each purchase, and consider the life you're living––is it for you or for stuff? The Minimalism documentary presented a way to essentially take your life back and to only allow those material things into your life that serve you. Ask yourself: What quality do my belongings present to me and my life?
In the documentary, several different people (singles, couples and families) were interviewed who lived minimally but at differing levels. It doesn't have to be an extreme way of life. It can just help provide clarity, intention and purpose where needed. Anyone can adopt more responsible consumption habits. And, according to the documentary, that's something this world really needs––habits that can improve things from sustainability to human kindness.