If you follow my weekly diaries or know me well in real-life, you know that I try to possess as little stuff as possible. If I look back at the Romee from about 3 years ago my mindset has completely shifted. I was a hoarder, more stuff was better. Especially when something was offered to me and it was cheap I immediately thought I needed it. I remember one day where I walked into a store, HEMA, and I only needed one thing. I thought it would be very weird to only buy one thing and so I picked two more useless items just so that I didn’t buy just one thing. It’s insane, I know. Luckily I’m not that same person anymore. I am a minimalist now. The mindset is here and I’m always working on it. There are two people who got me into minimalist. Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus: The Minimalists.
Since my mindset has changed and I’m a minimalist now I look at society differently. It makes me feel like a spectator instead of a participant in our consumeristic society. I am no longer in the rat race of wanting more and therefore always buying more. And now that I am a spectator I realize how addicted we as a Dutch society are to stuff. But also I also see how this is stimulated by companies and organizations. Buying stuff is easy and cheap. But let me make this clear: I don’t blame or shame anyone. I get it, I was there once. Right now I just wat to show you that we can do things differently.
As a minimalist I think buying too much stuff is bad. I am not against buying stuff in general. I am against buying too much. So much that you have to make a storage room in your house or have to rent a storage box. Stuff you never use and are just cluttering your life. I’d plead for buying sustainable stuff which adds value to your life (because you actually use the stuff) and lasts a life-time. As I told you last week in this post, buying stuff accounts for the biggest part of the negative environmental impact of a Dutch individual. We don’t see it, but our consumerism is destroying the planet.
Besides that buying a lot of stuff is bad for our planet, I think it’s also bad for yourself. Stuff costs money and so you have to work for that money. The more stuff, the more work. And so, less time for family, friends and leisure. You have to take care of that stuff, clean it and store it. That takes even more time and money. Buying too much stuff is often a way to cope with bigger problems we want to avoid. We avoid facing problems and facing ourselves. But if we do, we can live our best life. I’d also say we compare ourselves too much with others. If my neighbor has a new car, I need to get one. If my co-worker has a new phone, I need to get one. It’s such a shame.
Fields Millburn & Nicodemus, I referred to them before. They call themselves The Minimalists. I feel like they’re the experts on this subject. They threw their life around years ago when they decided to become minimalists because they were unhappy. Away with the stuff and off to search for the real value in life. Minimalism became their tool to a more meaningful life because they got the excess out of the way. And since it made them so much happier they wanted to share their story with the world. They did that at first by starting a blog. But then it grew and grew and they did even more.
The first documentary they launched is called: Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things. I saw it and it is amazing. In this documentary Fields Millburn & Nicodemus share their story with the world. Why would you become a minimalist? It really gets you to think about your life. Are you living your best life? Are you happy? I know this documentary has changed a lot of lives. Want to see it too? It’s on Netflix.
‘Love people and use things. Because the opposite never works.’The Minimalists
Besides the documentary The Minimalists also make a podcast. In each episode they discuss one subject and they approach it with minimalism. Minimalism with kids, minimalism in clothes, minimalism at birthdays, etc. They also answer questions from listeners of the podcast and readers from their blog. It is very interesting!
The Minimalists have also written some books. It’s the same story and basics but then in a book. I’ve read those too. I think repetition is good. I am constantly reminding myself of the basics this way. A book is also a bit more elaborate that a documentary if you ask me. You can go more into depth. Lend those books at your local library if you can.
Minimalism has given me a lot of freedom, especially in my mind. I use it everyday. The saying less is more really is true after all.