Minimalism As New Abundance
At the peak of our consumerism, we discovered minimalism
We’ve finally moved into our dream apartment, equipped every room with beautiful furniture. The last item was a big living room cupboard where our 36-pieces wine glass set should find its home. But the thing is, we don’t drink any wine and rarely have more than 5 people over to visit. The same with our bedside tables, which would give space for a whole collection of bedtime stories and a colourful range of nighttime clothes. Nevertheless, we only used them to put down our ebook readers and maybe a pack of tissues.
Luckily this contradiction became clear to us quite early, before we owned a dream house with much more rooms to go crazy with furniture, decorative items and other stuff to fill the space.
The big clearing – Becoming a minimalist
From then on we changed our attitude towards things and shifted our lifestyle to a more minimalist approach with less and less stuff. Let’s be honest, most of the things we own do not serve a deep value. Or does the fifth decorative pillow on your couch gives you love, puts you in a state of great joy or helps you to grow in your personal journey?
We decided that these things should no longer limit our life. So we sold everything except those things we would really miss if it was not there anymore. Minimalism gifted us with more and more abundance, every time we’ve let go of something that didn’t give us enough value.
More time, less shopping
Time is the most valuable resource we have, since we can’t get it back. We also can’t directly buy it and the present moment is truly unique. Nevertheless we spend often more than eight hours a day working to earn money to buy things we don’t need just to impress other people. If we get over our longing for more stuff, attention and appreciation we can actually work less and still build ourselves a life of abundance. This way we can use our time more thoughtfully for things that make us truly happy.
A study showed that in the US women spend about 190 hours a year shopping for clothes and shoes. And this doesn’t even include those hours looking for decoration, furniture and alike. That equals about four hours per week and could easily be used to cultivate a hobby or spend more time with friends and family.
More money for experiences instead of stuff
Less shopping means more money available for experiences. The less stuff means no need for a bigger home to fit it all in. A smaller home means less rent to pay or a lower mortgage, as well as lower costs for heating. You might get the idea – stuff takes a lot of money and minimalism can be the answer. So how does it sound to invest in a beautiful holiday instead? To sign up at this awesome yoga place you wanted to check out for so long now? Treat yourself with a Thai massage? Spend some money on workshop for better communication skills or spiritual growth?
Minimalism beyond our wardrobe
Although minimalism often comes in form of less stuff, it can also be applied to other areas of our lives where less of something can be a wonderful enrichment.
– Less tasks on our todo-list in exchange for focusing on important things only
– Less planning in exchange for more freedom and spontaneity
– Less hobbies in exchange for cultivating one hobby with a lot of passion
– Less complex meals in exchange for simple, healthy foods
– Less random friends in exchange for a few deep, satisfying friendships
– Less words in exchange for an honest, meaningful conversation
– Less distracting thoughts in exchange for more mindfulness and inner meaning
– Less dependence in exchange for more self empowerment
I like to call myself a minimalist and anyone observing my wardrobe would agree with that. Still, I believe that I am only achieving this in the most obvious areas. Nevertheless, I remind myself daily what is important for me and adds real value to my life. Step by step I am slowly getting better in squeezing less tasks into my day, staying silent if I don’t have anything meaningful to share and allowing less clutter in my thoughts. But what I do seem to master is the issue with stuff we own.
We chose freedom – Minimalist travelers
When we started to explore ‚the abundance of less’ a few years back, it became a weekly habit to stroll through our apartment in search of things we don’t need. They were then sold or exchanged for something greater than stuff. A year later our apartment looked much different and we decided to make the next step and move into a smaller place. Our savings grew steadily, meanwhile we where planning our life as travelers, away from the hustle and bustle of a job in corporate business.
Nowadays we only travel with a 30 liter backpack, that easily fits into any flight cabin. Thanks to our new lifestyle of minimalism, we managed to exchange stuff for more freedom. We get to explore the world as digital nomads while building an online business that we are truly passionate about.
We can not take any stuff with us once we leave this world. What we can carry along are our experiences and the only thing that truly remains in this world is the legacy we build.
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia