February 1, 2016

List: What Mandy Loves About Minimalism

List: What Mandy Loves About Minimalism via www.whatmandyloves.com
I discovered back in 2013 the concept of minimalism, ie pairing down the unnecessary in your life to focus on what truly matters.  I've embraced the principles in logical respect (getting rid of the clutter, shopping less, etc), but haven't fully yet in true execution (ahem, you see all the stuff I have on this blog alone, excluding what's in my house and life).

I'm excited to accelerate my minimalistic momentum this month, so I thought I'd do a not-so-minimal list for it!  These are the things I love thus far about the concept of minimalism:

  • The less you own, the more you have.  My values have always been creativity-based, but I thought my "wacky creative self" needed a bunch of creative-type stuff around to show off how creative I was/am.  Now I'm finding value in my internal creativity through other external means to practice the "more of less" mentality.  I'm only keeping the truest creative items to MY creativity, not the idea of it.  I've gained value in the things I'm keeping around because I'm spreading my attention to a smaller bubble of things, people, activities, and goals.

  • The freedom!  My first purge at the start of this whole minimalism thing felt SO FREEING.  That "just in case" or "I'm gonna need it as soon as it's gone" mindset is easier to ignore now.  The piles of stuff I wasn't giving any attention to had a weight I didn't know it had until it was gone.  I felt lighter.

  • More money at my disposal.  I used to religiously spend my weekends spending money on items I'll end up donating back months later so I can get MORE stuff that I'll end up donating AGAIN and the cycle continued.  I'm focusing more of my "amusement" money towards experience-based purchases like concerts and pairing down debt faster than I would have using this money on unnecessary clutter.

  • More time for the valuable things important to me.  I'm not shopping and browsing online or at the malls as much.  I'm using my time as transactions throughout the day of "will this affect or improve my life or goals today?"  If it doesn't, or I haven't done enough to my liking, I set time for those valuable activities like continuing on a crocheted blanket or jumping back into a novel (one I'm writing or one I'm reading).

  • Less stress with less to worry about.  I haven't realized that it was STRESS to be constantly consuming and constantly managing the consumables I had.  It was normal for me as I was raised by "stuff people" whose house had enough mugs for the entire neighborhood at all times.  Since moving to the Bay Area and having to move apartments every few years to keep up with the costs of living, I'm moving less and less stuff with each move.  I'm worrying about less because I have less.

  • Using ALL the technological resources!  More Kindle books than physical books on shelves.  More songs and files in the cloud instead of CDs and piles of papers getting in the way.  I'm even using this blog to pair down - when an item's physical presence no longer has value to me, I have an archive and the memory of it online.  I've rearranged my blog schedule sometimes to feature items sooner than later so I can give it away and have its "legacy" preserved.  Separating the item from my life doesn't mean it didn't exist and the memory can be preserved elsewhere, ie your heart, a server, or both.

For those who want to know who I'm following in this "journey" - there's always some sort of pope-like deity of thought and practice, leading the way for his/her followers - I'm really into The Minimalists and Light by Coco.  Google minimalism and you'll find way more than you'll ever need (oh, the irony).  Go forth with whoever you find inspirational for you like I've done with these guys.

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