Between 2015 and 2016 I made the decision to sell, donate or give away almost half of my belongings. But what started as a way to downsize to move to a new city, a way to sell a few things to put towards a travel fund has now become a way of life.
Transitioning to simple living was not an easy change for me. I was once a person who purchased ‘things’ for the sake of it, if I wanted something I would find a way to get it. But I have since come to realise what is important in life for me and it is not ‘stuff’, but rather experiences. “We will not be remembered for what we had, but rather what we did”, has become somewhat of a motto for my life.
To start this process, I put everything I did not use anymore into a box. One night after work, I went around my flat, room by room, soon filling my living room with boxes of things I just did not need. I realised that I had been holding onto things that no longer served me and the feeling of letting go, was just so satisfying.
This is not something new. Simplifying and downsizing has become trendy over the last few years. Sarah Wilson defines simple as ‘minimalist, green, de-cluttered, low waste, practical and economical’. This definition resonated with me the most, it is about buying less and therefore minimising our impact on the environment. Marie Kondo, the author of The life-changing magic of tidying up, describes how the world is becoming more aware, people are beginning to consider the environmental and social impacts of having ‘too much stuff’ and this has led to downsizing and minimalism.
I continue to find items that do not serve me and I no longer need. There will be items that maybe I am not ready to move on from right now, but maybe in 6 months or a year from now the time will come to let go, or maybe it never will. My goal going forward is simple, ‘spend less’; I will only buy something if I really need it. I want to appreciate the little things, find new ways to have fun and incorporate this into my social life, while also saving for new adventures.
Living minimally is said to increase happiness, reduce stress and improve general wellbeing. I have found this by throwing out the things I simply did not need anymore and I hope through living a simple life I will continue to feel better about myself and the mark I am leaving on the world.