About two months ago, I decided to become a minimalist.
One of my favourite YouTubers, Matt D’Avella is a minimalist (as he mentions in every video) and after watching his many videos on Minimalism, I thought that this is a lifestyle I could really benefit from. For me, minimalism is a simpler lifestyle that allows me to prioritize what really matters to me in life.
Before minimalism, I was someone who loved buying, especially clothes. I am heavily involved and interested in fashion so I was someone who had tons of clothes in my closet and a wishlist of what I wanted to buy next including extremely expensive designer wear. Going to shopping malls and looking around was a weekly activity for me. Over the years, I accumulated tons of clothes that filled two closets: one at university and one at home. In addition, I am a huge techie. I always want the best of the best tech devices, even devices that I did not exactly need. Something about me always wanted the latest and the greatest.
So, what did I do to start my minimalism journey? First, simplified my closet. Since it had too many clothes, 90% of them I didn’t even wear or fit me, I threw them in a bag for donation. Currently, I have about 10 shirts, two pairs of pants (one jeans, one formal), two shorts and two joggers for working out. Next, the items in my house. I got rid of things that I no longer use. I was actually able to sell a lot of things which was nice such as my old phone and 3DS. Previously, whenever I’d get something new, I would always keep the old product “just in case”, but honestly, “just in case” never came.
Digital Minimalism was big for me. I use my phone a lot less which is why I downgraded it, and my devices are now mostly used for productivity rather than entertainment and fun. This is something that I am still getting used to since whenever I am bored, I don’t have many apps or games so I run out of things to do sometimes. I do have a Nintendo Switch which I keep for some casual gaming and to unwind, but every now and then, I think about selling it since I don’t play on it too often.
Now, two months in, I found two major benefits of becoming a minimalist. First, happiness. The amount of things and clutter that I have around me does not bring my happiness. In fact, cleaning and throwing things that I didn’t use out was refreshing! I prioritize the people around me, rather than the stuff around me. Majority of the items that I have in my life are all replaceable. I know that one day if someone breaks into my house and steal my things, I really won’t care. I remember a few years back when my house got broken into and they stole the Xbox, I was quite saddened honestly. Now, it just seems silly. Minimalism has made me realize that no matter how much I buy or how many things I have, it is all temporary happiness.
The second biggest reason why I wanted to become a minimalist was from a financial point of view. Selling many of my things and preventing myself from consistently buying has allowed me to save a lot of money. Every purchase that I make, even smaller ones, I really think them through. Spending less and saving money allows me to prioritize what I spend my money on. First, whenever I am buying something big, I make sure that I really want it since I intend for it to last me years. I don’t mind spending the extra cash on something nicer, such as a nicer, higher resolution monitor, since I want it to last me for at least five years. Second, I much rather save the money and spend it on experiences with others. Believe me, once COVID-19 is over and things start to reopen, I will be travelling. And this ties in with the first reason. Happiness. Experience with friends and family is where I want to spend my money since it is going to bring me a lot of happiness during that time and later when I look back, it's going to be a fond memory. Third, while this isn’t directly connected to Minimalism, being more careful about where I spend my money has to lead to the unexpected health benefit of not eating out as often. As a student, I spent the majority of my money on food and eating out, but I’ve been able to reduce that heavily since I am more careful about where my money is going.
Minimalist or not minimalist, one thing that I’ve learned and everyone should practice is that things will not make you happy. It's all quick and temporary. It is the people around you and what you do with them that counts.