A couple of weeks ago now I watched a documentary on Netflix which really struck a chord with me and since then I’ve found myself re-evaluating certain aspects of my life.
The documentary in question was Minimalism: A Documentary about the Important Things which if you haven’t already seen I highly advise you pop on over to Netflix and give it a watch and then come back and read this post with a fresh view on the subject. The documentary centres around Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus, otherwise know as The Minimalists who have helped over 20 million people to live more meaningful lives with less by spreading their valuable message.
What made Joshua and Ryan’s story stand out so much was that up until the ages of thirty they were both in a similar position where they were climbing the corporate ladder, earning six figure salaries, driving expensive cars but both found that it just wasn’t enough for them. They weren’t content and satisfied with their lives and found they were constantly craving more. With this lingering discontent they both decided to leave their well paid jobs in search of a more fulfilling lifestyle.
“Don’t focus on having less, less, less; rather, we focus on making room for more: more time, more passion, more experiences, more growth, more contribution, more contentment. More freedom.”
Not only does the documentary focus on the idea of freeing your life from clutter but that the reason to do this is to make room for more. More time and freedom which will hopefully lead to more experiences and therefore more contentment. I don’t think I could get more on board with this concept if I tried. Instead of constantly putting my money into things that I don’t really need (the numerous spontaneous Primark trips for starters) I want to be able to put it into experiences that are going to enhance my life and provide me with memories that last a whole lot longer than a new pair of cute pyjama bottoms or yet another slogan t-shirt.
“Our material possessions should either serve a purpose of bring us joy.”
Now I’m not saying for one minute that I’m about to get rid of everything I own, up sticks and live out of a backpack but it did really inspire me to go through my belongings and part with anything I no longer really loved. The minimalists have the belief that our material possessions should either serve a purpose of bring us joy and this is a concept I feel I can really put my belief in.
So last weekend I set a whole day aside to clean, tidy and sort through everything in my bedroom. I created a pile of things to be taken to the charity shop, a pile of clothing that I wanted to sell and a general chuck out pile. I really tried to be ruthless, questioning whether I’d used things within the past couple of months and if not, well they had to go! The areas I felt that I made the most progress with were definitely my wardrobe and beauty collection, I must have almost halved my nail polish collection and now only own 5 stipey t-shirts instead of 8…
In one part of the documentary we saw Ryan talk through the contents of his suitcase which had been packed for a ten month book tour and lets just say it was pretty succinct. He spoke about how he now had a lot less clothing in his life but how he loved every single item and that meant investing slightly more into the pieces in his wardrobe was extremely worthwhile. This is a view that I’ve definitely come around to and really want to incorporate into my life as I detailed in this post at the start of the year so clearing out my wardrobe is a positive first step!
Another area that the documentary focused on was the part that social media plays in our consumer driven culture and how it can be real time drainer. I’ve spoken before about my feelings on social media (both here and here) and how for me it’s an ongoing love/hate relationship but regardless I still really want to make some positive changes going forward and be much less reliant on my phone and constantly checking what the rest of the world is up to.
Since finishing the documentary I’ve also been getting stuck into the backlog of podcast episodes which cover everything from holidays to homes to careers so I’m definitely going to be looking to them for some guidance going forward. I’m thinking of doing some regular updates too about how I’m getting on so let me know if there’s anything in particular you’d like to hear about!