Life nowadays is noisy, there is an enormous amount of destruction in life as is. Just walking through the park there are series of advertisement try to catch your eye, open up the email there will be numerous spam email that tries to sell you things you don’t need. No matter where you go there will be attention seeker trying to grasp your last bit of the conscious. Walker-Smith president of the marketing firm Yankelovich says we’ve gone from being exposed to about 500 ads a day back in the 1970’s to as many as 5,000 a day today. “It seems like the goal of most marketers and advertisers nowadays is to cover every blank space with some kind of brand logo or a promotion or an advertisement,” Walker-Smith said. Now the biggest question in my mind is, do I need all that in my life and if I keep deviating then where will I enjoy my life and do things that matter to me. I embark in a minimalist lifestyle (at least started to) to see if that helps.
We were moving from Sydney to Melbourne and thought that would be perfect opportunity to try this new lifestyle. On purpose we took a smaller apartment compare to our three stories four bedroom house before and when packing packed everything in an order and only keep everything that we actually need in life put them in the 2-3 box. When we arrived at Melbourne we only opened like three box of the possession that we actually need and left everything unopened to see how long we last. Surprisingly it’s been more than a year and we did not need to open other boxes perhaps it becomes very easy for us to open few boxes at a time every month and give away all the content we have in there. In our mind, we just think we didn’t need them for so long surely we won’t need ever again. Here is what the top five experience I had during the process:
Fewer choices to make every time: every morning I don’t have to think to through my clothing choices when I am dressing up after all I have only one set of trousers and one set of t-shirts. No matter where I go (party, work, grocery shopping) I wear the same clothes and I don’t have to think about what to wear, what is appropriate for the occasion etc. Life is simple and easy, rather I get to plan with my kids what are the fun things we will do during that time and enjoy the time more.
Started to look beyond material possession: We made a simple rule only buy the things we need, only buy something new when we can throw something old. This simple rule transformed my life, I don’t have to spend meaningless hours on the shopping mall strolling for things I don’t even need. I don’t have to get obsessed with the meaningless material possessions.
Save more and give more: Saving money wasn’t even on the list, we are pretty well-off and money is not really an issue for us. We did not even start this minimalist lifestyle to save money – but it comes naturally as you stop spending money on a lot of unnecessary items. Instead, we started to give away more money, the past possessions that we don’t need to the people who are in need them and that is much more gratifying feelings.
Felt less social pressure on meaningless items: Before I used to get nervous thinking if my clothes are nice enough for the occasion if I am wearing the right watch if this is right or that is correct before social engagements – all the unnecessary things clutter the mind and impact the confidence. With fewer things in life happiness naturally comes because you gravitate towards the things that matter most. Also like Buddhist monks have no fear because they don’t have anything to lose my social anxiety done down significantly as well. In the beginning, people used to ask my few times why I wear the same clothes every time and I explained why and what and now everyone knows what to expect from me and I don’t even have any social pressure. I have a more meaningful connection with people as we talk about life and experiences rather than material stuff.
More freedom and more agile: When I go on holiday I able to carry light, more nimble more agile. I don’t get scared anymore when I think I have to move from one city to other or one country to other these are all valid options we consider and don’t have to think about how we will move all the two containers of items that we used to relate our life with.
In summary, not a single bit of this is less desirable or have any issues, I am working towards the some of the real minimalist guys who able to bring down their entire possession to like only 30-50 items – I am not quite there yet.