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.
sounds good to me
I'm getting convince by the minimalist style already
Looking forward to the next post on this
Stick around for more.
This is so good.My mum once told me that if you have cloth(es) which you haven't worn in the past 3 months then they 'don't belong to you'.So you should give it out because you don't need it.
Your mom is soooo right. I will be editing my clothes in week two.
Thanks for sharing, Soso.
Oh! I am interested.
Very nice post.
I think it all depends on the individual.
Some people get comfort from buying more and more stuff, and seeing it around them.
Some grew up poor and can't fathom not needing those stuff one day. It can be psychological.
The main reason why I try to minimise is because it clears my head when I go through stuff, sort them out, give some out and trash the ones I can. It makes me feel like my life isn't organized when I see anything plenty or piled up.
Many of us wait for our stuff to get old before we give them out, when it would have been better to bless someone with it when it's still useable even if it's new. If you have never used it since you bought it, you don't like it, it doesn't fit etc why not give it out.
That's my take anyway.
I agree, dear. It is better to bless someone with something that is still very usable.
Also, it is hard to minimise when coming from poverty. Still, I believe a bit of decluttering makes life better. Thanks for sharing, Bisi.
Thanks so much for this post. It kinda broadened my thinking. Previously whenever I heard minimalist I only thought of black and white clothing /fashion /decor.
But reading it as you've put it makes more meaning.
Looking forward to reading more on your minimalist journey... And possibly adopting some lessons of mine.
So glad to hear that, Tamie.
No, it's nothing radical like sticking to black and white. I'll be thrilled to share this journey with you.
I usually do 'mass minimising' once in a year.
You can be a source of blessing to others while doing this, you can give your excesses to charity or anyone around you.
You can make money as well, we have people that buy old household utensils for refurbishing.
I'm still planning how to start this year's minimising, thanks for the inspiration Precious. Let us partner in this journey.
Giving to charity or reselling stuff are good ways to let go without feeling bad. Your trash could be someone's treasure.
Let's do this, Bola!
Hmmm talk about putting aside every load to RN the race with ease. Hahahaha I was looking through my clothing a few days ago and was angry at myself y I was not wearing some my " nicest cloths ". The simple reason was that the "unnice" ones were blocking my view and I seem to wear those ones often?.
Thanks for your post Precious, I will start down sizing, Itz a Christian virtue and Itz sure will save me time and money. I don't really need all the stuff!!!
Looking forward to the Tuesday con...
I can imagine! That happens to me too. I see clothes that I could have been wearing but they are blocked by other not-so-wearable ones.
So glad to see many people embracing this. I can't wait for Tuesday!
I'm definitely with you on the reasons and I love how many more people are embracing minimalism. I was till telling my husband recently that I'll start basically wearing the same outfits to work everyday. Saves me a whole lot of stress thinking of what to wear. And of course, all the reasons mentioned as well.
So many people embracing minimalism, Kachee. It is a growing movement. It is freeing! If you choose to wear less clothes, you could mix and match creatively and you won't even look like you are wearing the same thing all the time.
Great post! Minimalism is certainly gaining momentum for the right reasons. I know someone one who buys only white shirts and wears them to work and church repeatedly. No clashes with fashion or choice where he is concerned. I'll take a page from form your book and work on it, I also desire to travel light. I really ought to check out that book you mentioned xx
Yes Dami, that book is AWESOME.
There's nothing as liberating as being able to live/travel light.
I looooooooooooove this post! It's like you took my future blog post (the one in my head) and wrote it on time. Haha. I saw the notification and was surprised you've become a mind reader. Loool. I've been telling myself I need to be a minimalist and the points you listed are great. I remember struggling with my luggage when I was traveling and kept making a mental note to not repeat any of that in my lifetime. Sigh.
funny enough I used to work on my pinterest board to get creative ideas on how to combine. I guess stuff happened and was trying to keep up. Hopefully I work towards it once more.
It would be interesting to post more.Thanks!
Yes! Yes!! Yes!!!
You and I are definitely sisters from the same mother! Such similarities in our thoughts and desires.
I totally can't wait for the clothes part. So willing to let go of all the baggage in my wardrope. I should start a Pinterest board on that ?
Lest I forget, I'm definitely checking that book out. xo!
Go for it, girl!
Awesome post. I discovered this movement in 2014. In fact, I stumbled on it on a blog post back then. And I knew I was a minimalist even before knowing what it means.
I am an advocate of maximizing the little I have to get the result I want. Hence, my art of recycling and recreating stuff in my closet.
Thanks for highlighting your reasons. Such a delight to read.
How To Make Ankara Shoes
And you're so creative with the things you recycle. Lemme go check out your Ankara shoes!
Olaitan Bobade says
Yaay. I love this post. I initially thought it was a fashion post. Love all the reasons you gave too especially the less cleaning time. It's so true ehn. I'm interested! Looking forward to the posts. Lol @ running a race in timberland shoes.
Ah I so love the lesser cleaning time part.
Haha Olaa imagine trying g to run in timber shoes. It can't work.
Bubu Green says
Oh there's a name for it now? Thought I was weird have about 15 pairs of jeans but only rocking two pairs. Gave some away cos I realised it was so much work matching clothes. It's easier now to pair things up. So I guess I'm a minimalist. *grins*
Lol yes there's a name for it.
I think we mostly stick to the few clothes we are more comfortable with. What's left now is to get rid if the excess.
Funke Olotu says
Minimalist lifestyle eh? it's so catchy and I admire minimalists but as an artsy person that I am, i tend to get bored of things easily and i see myself running away if I ever join but i'm all for eating healthy..so...I don't know where I stand but might just give it a try
It is worth trying, Funke. You do not have to keep what you do not like. And you can change your stuff periodically if that works for you. How are you dear?