What is minimalism you may ask?
Minimalism is the idea of living with less. It is the idea that your needs can be filled with less stuff. Living with less stuff=Living with more happiness.
This may seem counter-intuitive to many, which is understandable seeing as how we are inundated daily with messages reinforcing the idea that we need to buy more things to define our identities. These messages drive our capitalist societies. Minimalism is a response to an overwhelming consumerist lifestyle. This is not to say capitalism or consumerism are inherently evil, minimalism simply offers a solution for when we become disenchanted with the norm.
I stumbled across minimalism in early 2014 when I was complaining to a friend about how messy my place was and how I have such difficulty getting rid of my stuff. She mentioned how she had been reading minimalism blogs and how they had inspired her to donate a lot of her clothing and furniture.
Intrigued, I began reading several blogs and I was hooked on minimalism. I’ve read organizing and tidying books and blogs, which were full of good tips but they never seemed to help. Minimalism just clicked with me. By getting rid of excess clothes, books, furniture, and random items, I free up more space and time. I free up physical space those items once held, decluttering the visual space of my apartment and the mental space spent thinking about what to do with all my things. It frees up time because I have to spend less time tidying knick knacks or doing endless piles of laundry. I’ve begun to disassociate my self-value from items. The clothes I own don’t tell you much about who I am and a nicer car won’t make me a better person(not that I have a car to begin with). So it can also save me money because I don’t need to make money to buy the things I don’t need to impress the people I don’t know or care about. Less stuff is better for the planet too, so I might as well do my part!
Minimalism and Travel
Minimalism pairs well with travelling. I don’t feel the need to take as much with me when I travel which lightens the load physically and mentally. I also have fewer items that need to be stored when I go for longer trips. This leaves me freer to enjoy my travelling experience. Plus if anything is lost or stolen I know it can be replaced because I have far fewer sentimental associations with my stuff. Even shorter trips remind me how minimalism fits into my life. Camping is a great example of this!
Minimalism and Me
Aspiring minimalist that I am, I am just beginning my journey into minimalism. I’m a bit of a pack rat, hanging onto so many things for ‘just in case’ scenarios. I work in a clothing store and I have a weakness for buying new clothes. I also love having a physical copy of a book in my hands and I’ve picked up a collection of them over the years.
During the course of my pitching and purging I will be posting about my experiences with minimalism, the hard parts and how it is making my life better or easier.
If any of this minimalism stuff intrigues you I highly recommend you check out some of the experts on the topic! The best part about minimalism is that it is up to you how you implement it in your life; it can be for everyone in any walk of life and doesn’t need to be extreme.
Here are a few of my favourite Minimalist authors:
Ready to dive in? Get started now
Got a crazy wardrobe like me? This may help
Are you a student?
What about my own mother’s opinion?
I highly encourage you to click around their sites and see if anything connects with. There are many, many more authors if you want different perspectives. Many experienced travellers may unknowingly fit the bill of a minimalist, carrying only what they need. I can’t compete with the experience of these experts. Any posts on minimalism that you see from me are just my experience wading slowly into the world of living simply, getting rid of my clutter one piece at a time. Mine is the plight of the beginner so maybe you can appreciate some of my experiences. I draw inspiration from these authors, as I hope you will too.
Are you a minimalist and didn’t know it? What is your best tip for travelling with less?