I've been wearing the same faux Ieather pants (trousers) and jacket for literally weeks now. It is my go-to outfit for church or any outing. I only change the blouse that goes with it. I love my leather pants and jacket and I feel comfortable in them. They are easy to grab and go. So in a way, I am already minimalist, just not "officially" yet.
My first encounter with the concept of "living light" was with Jen Hatmaker's book, 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess. I highly recommend this book to anyone who hasn't read it. In the book, Jen takes an experiment to see how she can live with less. The book is basically a record of how her experiment goes. Once I read the first words of this book, I was swoon. The whole idea of living light just makes a lot of sense to me (plus Jen is such a witty writer!). So if this is something you want to consider, I would say read the book, 7 (affil link).
I should literally be the last person talking about minimalism because apart from this blog, I do not have a "real job". So I'm not rich or anything like that. That also means I do not spend a lot because, ahem, I do not have much money to spend. And I'm not much of an impulsive buyer either. But still, there are things in my house I do not use.and I do not need. Lots of things. Things I thought I will need but in reality I do not need them. The world is constantly telling us to buy more things, own more things and accumulate more things. Buy the latest phone. Buy the latest outfit. Buy, buy, buy!
Minimalism says only buy and keep what you truly need. Only own what adds value to your life.
Many people get tense when they hear the word, minimalism. It sounds like a crazy step to take. But minimalism is not some legalistic way of doing things. It is not a radically austere way of life. It is a lifestyle that you adapt to suit your needs. To one person, it might mean 20 pairs of shoes. To another, it might mean 5. It means cutting down your possessions to only the essentials.
The idea of living light appeals greatly to me as a Christian. The Bible says we should lay aside every weight and sin that clings so closely and run the race light (Hebrews 12:1). Imagine trying to run a race in timberland shoes. It just won't work. Stuff could be weights. And when you accumulate so much stuff, you develop an unhealthy attachment to them and you can't run your race with ease. Minimalism is the way out. So, here are the reasons why I want to become a minimalist.
I want to have a stress-free life
If you are anything like me, you can't function properly when your environment is cluttered. Physical clutter increases stress. And a lot physical clutter results from too many things around.
I want to travel easily
I do not want to need to comb through millions of clothes to find the ones I need to take along with me. I do no want to leave behind many things when I travel. I want to own few valuable things that I can quickly and easily grab and go.
I want to have a healthier body
No more buying just anything from the grocery store! I want to carefully choose the food that goes into my body and the bodies of members of my family.
I want a more functional wardrobe
I want a wardrobe where all the pieces are wearable. I only wear a small portion of the clothes I own. Raise your hands if you identify with this! I want to own only what I deeply love and can happily wear.
I do not want to waste any time
Like the time wasted on thinking of what to wear. Ha.
I want to be fully present in every moment
Being a minimalist means investing my time and treasures in the things that are most important. It means becoming more. When you live lighter, you are freer. I want to breathe life all in.
I want to be punctual every time
With fewer things to worry about, being punctual will be much easier.
I want reduced cleaning time
Because more stuff mean more cleaning and less stuff mean less cleaning. Win!
I want to appreciate life more
I want to be concerned about people, not things. I want to love people and use things - not the other way round.That way, no matter, how much money I make, I do not feel attached to it. And the rich man said to himself,
‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain. And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.”’
“But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’
“This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.”
I do not want to be like the "rich fool" in the above scripture. I want to be rich toward God, not building treasures on earth where moth and rust destroy (Matthew 6:19-21).
I want to model living light to my kids
I want to show them that they do not need all the things the world offers. I do not want them to grow up just to earn more and accumulate stuff. There is more to life than that.
Friends, the beauty in minimalism is that you do not get money to get more stuff but you get more money so you can live a more meaningful life, adding value to others. I want to become rich not so I can get the latest phone or shoe. But because with my finances, I can feed starving children or send to school that girl who badly needs an education but her parents cannot afford it.
Minimalism spells freedom to me. It means loosely holding all that is not eternal. It means having less to worry about. It means living fully! According to my greatest model, Jesus, "life does not consist in an abundance of possessions" (Luke 12: 15b). Such true words!
So for the next seven weeks, every Tuesday I will write a post to show you how I am downsizing on everything, from my kitchen to the things I stress about. Will you check back next Tuesday, January 24, to see what changes I make in my kitchen? If you are interested in my "minimalist journey" please let me know below.
P.S. I said I was going to post this yesterday but just couldn't find the time to do it. Sorry about that.