I am not one for New Years Resolutions….normally, but 2020 was different. Little did I know on the 31st December 2019 that the world would soon slow down, and due to a global pandemic, my resolution would stick for the first time. My goal to embrace slow fashion and become minimalist ended up being that little crutch that got me through the madness and something I am now grateful for.
How I became a minimalist
But truth be told, for a long time, I felt a little imposter syndrome. Was I a minimalist? When the world goes back to normal, would I end up forgetting that feeling of joy from the declutter?
When I started the process, I had notions that I would clear out every wardrobe, cupboard, and drawer and live in an almost empty house. To be a minimalist, I had to be ruthless; I had to get rid of valued possessions and only own the bare minimum. The fact, I have kept a lot of items that have sentimental value and spark joy had me questioning myself.
With the doubt, I found myself spending hours on Youtube and Pinterest, researching “What is a minimalist? I discovered that there wasn’t just one type of minimalist. It is not a one size fits all. Minimalism is something that is approached from many different angles and with many mindsets.
I had to change my approach; the type of minimalist I would become was based on the question – “Why was I becoming a minimalist? This was much easier to answer. Here is what I found:
- Assists in reducing stress and anxiety
- Saves money and decreases debt
- Cuts down on waste and helps the planet
- Enables the boycott of consumerism
- Ensures quality over quantity
- Offers a challenge
Reducing stress and anxiety
From my research, it appears that stress and anxiety is the top reason for people becoming minimalists. For me, clutter makes me feel overwhelmed. Cleaning out my wardrobe instantaneously reduced my stress level, and it helped me recognise that excess didn’t automatically mean happiness.
It saves money and decreases debt
A reduction in the amount of money spent on objects is another reason for the minimal living movement. Cutting back on spending has enabled me to save money and put it towards more important things like mortgage savings and developing this website. Seeing my money going towards developing and growing my goals has given me a level of gratification that objects never could.
It cuts down on waste and helps the planet
Minimalism and saving the planet go hand in hand. The less we own, the less waste we have in the long run. For me, the environment initially drove the movement towards slow fashion and a minimalist lifestyle. I wanted to stop buying items that didn’t spark joy and, as a result, ended up either being donated or going to a landfill. Minimalism enabled me to stop the cycle.
Enables the boycott of consumerism
Minimalism enables conscious consumerism. More consideration is given to the items purchased and the impact each of these products has on society. Turning towards minimalism ensures that I do not rush into purchases, and instead, I shop around for alternatives that I know are ethically made and support local businesses.
Ensures quality over quantity
When you buy less, you have more money to spend on the items you want. Previously I would have purchased five t-shirts, which would have lasted a couple of washes each. Now I shop wiser and invest in quality pieces that will stand the test of time. I don’t shop by season. I prefer choosing fabrics and designs that will hold shape and remain relevant.
Offers a challenge
Let’s cut to the chase, minimalism is brutal at first. Letting go of memories will never be easy, but once the benefits become evident, the clearing out process becomes exciting. It offers a challenge. I now love to set targets; How many drawers I can clear out in the day? How many bags of clothes can I donate to charity? Instead of clear-outs feeling like a task, it is now exhilarating.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this blog about my journey towards minimalism. Here at The Sustainability Strategy, we aim to build a community that openly discusses their environmental views. If you enjoyed the content and would like to get involved in the Sustainable growth conversation, I would love to hear from you. You can find me on Pinterest and Instagram.