I'm not going to lie, I used to be a stuff person. My bedroom used to be full of pretty but useless items that served no purpose other than I liked to look at them. It was chaotic and cluttered and keeping my room tidy was a straight up nightmare and my bathroom even more so.
When I was nineteen however, I was kicked out of home and ended up moving interstate to stay with one of my older sisters and I could only take with me what could fit in my suitcase. I then spent eighteen months sharing a room with three people and living in an apartment where I did not have a bedroom so what I had were my clothes and my books before turning around and moving home again. I had to start all over with two suitcases of clothes and fourteen boxes of books.

Thus began my minimalist journey. Although in the beginning it was purely accidental. I was basically flat broke and couldn't find a job so I didn't have the money to buy things. When I did finally find work however and was able to afford things, I found that I had come to appreciate a more simpler, clutter free life.
My siblings are the complete opposite. My sister is a hoarder. (Sorry Sis, it's true and you know it.) She loves stuff and she loves it when it's colourful, glittery and in your face. Her house is full of Hello Kitty collectibles and Llama shaped statues and Pop Vinyls of her favourite Disney characters. My younger brother loves to collect things - cups, anime statuettes, special edition boxes. They own so much stuff and most of it just sits there. It doesn't actually do anything - it is literally serves no purpose except to be ascetically pleasing.

Up until two years ago we all lived together so I had to see their clutter everyday. It sat in piles or in boxes in wardrobes or stacked in the corner of bedrooms and it drove. me. crazy. It's was chaotic and messy and was taking up space that could be used for useful things or hell, nothing at all. Who says empty spaces have to be filled with anything? Since adoption to a more minimalist lifestyle, I couldn't have it any other way.

Minimalism is the intentional promotion of the things we most value and the removal of anything that distracts us from it. - Joshua Becker. 

I was so surprised by how much less stress I had when adapting to a more minimalist lifestyle. By minimising your lifestyle you're not just reducing the amount of stuff you have, you are decluttering your very existence. Minimising the amount of things you purchase means you're making fewer and more informed purchase which is great for your bank account - a common source of stress for many people.

When you're surrounding yourself with less stuff, you spend less time cleaning and re-cleaning your house - because there's less to actually clean and organise. Coming home will be a relief and not an added stress. Your minimalist wardrobe means you'll spend less time staring into your closet wondering what you should wear and you can prioritise self care because you actually have the time to take care of you. See, I'm not crazy - the less complicated your life, the less stressful it will be. 

Minimalism isn't just for home decor. A minimalist kitchen is also a great and healthy idea. Simplifying my kitchen and my diet is one of the best things I ever did. At the beginning of the week I write out a meal plan of a weeks worth of simple, healthy, meals and snacks using minimal ingredients. My brother and I then spend an hour or two cooking meal prepping all our meals for the week.

Meal prepping is not only a great time saver, but money saver too. Meal prepping means I know exactly how much or everything I need to buy so I'm not buying too much of two little. I don't have extra food sitting in the fridge or in the fruit bowl that I might get too and food isn't getting lost in the back of the fridge and forgotten.

If you're short on time or just don't want to have to do all the cooking yourself, try a meal delivery service like YouFoodz. YouFoodz are one of many great companies that precook and package your food and deliver it to you. They have an extensive menu to choose from that changes regularly so you don't get bored. You just pick what you want, pop them in the fridge and when you get home from work you can pull out my choice and heat it up. No cooking required and minimal dishes.

Living with less will surprisingly give you more of many things. More time, money, happiness and space. Not having more things to take care of or maintain is such a weight off my shoulders. People often think that success and happiness are defined by how much stuff you have. But that couldn't be further from the truth. It doesn't matter how much materialistic things you surround yourself with. To me, it's all about quality over quantity in every aspect of my life. The most important thing I have more of however, is free time.

Now that I have less to do around my house, I can sit and binge watch TV show or read an entire book cover to cover and not feel like I've been neglecting things. I can take a spontaneous lunch date with a friend or spend more time with my family or relax and do nothing. I have more time to do things that make me happy and having more happiness in your life is something to strive for.

Human beings are mostly acquisitive by nature. We like stuff and over the years collect a lot of it. I cannot count the amount of times (and I know I'm not the only one) that I would look at something in my house and say, Why did I even get this? Then it ends up in some secondhand store somewhere gathering dust on a shelf with hundreds of other things people regretting buying or no longer wanted. It would have been better to have not bought it in the first place.

The next time you're out shopping and you find yourself wanting to get something in partciluar, before you purchase it, ask yourself, 'Do I really need this? Am I really going to use this? Do I already have something similar?' Ask yourself that all the time. If you answer no to any of those questions, keep moving. If your goal is to try a more simplistic, minimalist lifestyle but it seems a bit scary, just take a deep breath and start at the top. Living a more simplistic life has definitely worked for me and I have many plans to expand this way of living into more aspects of my day to day life.

How do you feel about the minimalist lifestyle? Would you be brave enough to give it a try?



What's your opinion?