I am so delighted that you are considering or already simplifying your possessions and life. It is truly a life-changing endeavour – but not an easy or quick one by any means. To keep you motivated and focused, it is essential that you think about and zone in on why you want to do this.
This is hardly a new tip, almost every blog, video and book I have ever read on minimalism mentions this. But I want to add something which has been very important for me to learn and accept.
Your why does not have to be earth-shattering. It can be dull, and small and boring and still work just as well.
What do I mean? Well, I found when I looked for inspiration online to help me find my why, it seemed the vast majority of people who were giving advice all had incredible goals which I really could not identify with. I don’t want to quit my job. My job isn’t all that exciting, but I am not the entrepreneurial sort – I like being an employee! I don’t have a passion that I’m yearning to turn into a career. I like a lot of things, arts and crafts, baking, writing. But I’m perfectly happy if I get to do these things a few hours a week without any pressure to excel at them. I don’t want to travel the world, one or two sun holidays a year is fine with me!
These are all amazing why’s and I’m not disrespecting anyone who has or follows these types of dreams; but they just aren’t for me. So what was it that inspired me to let go of so many of my belongings?
I hate housework.
That’s it. Not terribly exciting, is it?
But I had found myself in a place where it was taking my whole weekend to clean the house to the standard I wanted. I would finish at about 8pm on Sunday evening and then realise it was almost time to go to bed and get ready for another 5 days of paid work. I was miserable and resentful and knew something had to change.
It still took me a while to figure out the how. I went through a period of trying all kinds of cleaning schedules and hacks before I realised I just had too much stuff to clean and clean around. But with a clear why, I got there in the end. Now I spend very little time on housework and laundry but the house looks better than it ever did. I don’t have that sense of panic or shame when someone calls unexpectedly. And if there is something else I want to do with my weekend, I can go without worrying about falling behind.
So don’t feel under any pressure to have a huge, inspirational, society-defying reason for following this path. In fact the more basic your goal, the easier it will probably be to achieve. It is all about simplicity, after all!