Psychology student by day; artist, writer & devoted collector of music by night; striving for a simpler existence through minimalism!

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Minimalism Simplifies: Belongings can be a Burden or a Blessing

Minimalism is a lifestyle and philosophy that emphasises simplicity, the concept has gained greater exposure thanks to shows like The Minimalists and Tidying Up with Marie Kondo on Netflix. The core message behind minimalism is to remove excess and unnecessary items from one’s life to focus on what is truly important and meaningful, such as relationships, experiences, and personal growth.

Minimising can include decluttering your home, simplifying your schedule, and reducing the emotional attachment to material possessions that can have a negative impact on our lives by taking up our time, energy and attention. The things we own can become a burden and source of stress if we have too many of them.

Minimalism can also be applied to different aspects of life, such as design, art, and fashion. In these fields, minimalism often uses simple, uncluttered designs and clean, unornamented lines. One of my favourite furniture designers, Pierre Jeanneret, had a distinctive flair for creating minimalist but functional furniture, which he also brought to architectural design.

“Your belongings can be a burden or a blessing; wisely choose what you own, for it will shape your future.”

Rose Stark

This speaks to the idea that material possessions can significantly influence one’s life. When we become attached to our belongings, they can control us instead of us controlling them, similar to the message behind Chuck Palahniuk’s great quote in his book Fight Club, “The things you own end up owning you”. When we make decisions based solely on what we own or want to own, then it is likely that our fate will be determined by those items. This could mean making career choices based on how much money something might earn or buying things simply because they are fashionable or popular. We may only realise these things’ impact on our lives once it’s too late and our future has already been decided. The quote encourages people to think carefully about their possessions and how they might affect their destiny. On the other hand, minimalism is being mindful of the things we bring into our lives and not letting them control us.

When I started my minimalist journey, I had many old mindsets to undo to succeed with my efforts and goals. One of the most significant changes that needed to happen was the shift from a consumerist mindset to a more mindful one, being more selective about what I bought and shifting my focus from possessions as a source of happiness to finding fulfilment in other areas of life.

This mindset change also brought other positives, like being more intentional about how I spend my time now I have more of it. I found more happiness in simplicity because there was more order and less chaos to contend with. It took time and a lot of effort, but I saw it as an investment into the life I wanted to create for myself and my family.