Today marks the unofficial one year anniversary of our decision to become minimalist. It was on this Saturday (of Memorial Day weekend) last year that I had the 2 minute conversation with my neighbor that started us on this journey—a journey of minimizing our belongings, clarifying our values, and simplifying our lives.
Over the past year I have learned many things about my life and this world. I have learned…
I can live with less. It would be foolish for me to rewrite history and say that becoming minimalist was easy. It was difficult at many turns. One reason it was difficult was because we were constantly asking the question, “Aren’t we going to need this?” Well, one year later, I can now confidently answer, “No, we don’t need this… or this or that.” Life is possible with less belongings. I have learned that I can live with less.
I can be happy (ier) with less. Not only is life possible with less, life is better with less. Over the past 52 weeks, I have kept an on-line journal listing some of the very specific ways that life as a minimalist is better. These are observations that I have seen and experienced in my own life since becoming minimalist. Some make life a little better (easier souvenir shopping / being able to find your umbrella) and some make life a ton better (less stress / more time on your hands). Contrary to popular belief and every advertisement you have ever seen, I have learned that life is better with less. Read more: benefits of minimalism.
Others can be happier when I live with less. Over the past year, we have been reminded over and over again that there are countless others in our world who live in great need. As we seek to discover the difference between needs and wants in our home, there are many just trying to figure out how to meet their most basic needs. Through the donation of our unneeded belongings, we have been able to help many of those families. Read more: minimalizing and serving others.
Staying minimalist is more difficult than becoming minimalist. Killing the beast within is a long process—a process with both victories and defeats, with steps forward and steps backward. It is one thing to remove things from your home, it is an entirely different thing to keep new things from entering. As a family, we continue to learn and grow—often growing more from our failures than our successes. We are committed to keep growing, to keep learning how to say no, and becoming minimalist.