Being a minimalist isn’t for everybody. Some of us are happily attached to our stuff and anxiously anticipate the next upgrade for our phone or TV. We like nice cars, lots of electronics, boats, RV’s, and anything else shiny, flashy, big and of course, new . Women flock to the big name stores buying dresses they don’t need, and matching shoes they will never wear and making sure they have all the accessories that go with the smashing new outfit. Bracelets, earrings, rings, scarves. Men hunting down the nicest belt and matching shoes, cufflinks that sparkle just the right way. And of course, the newest cologne on the market in order to lure in that woman with the new dress, shoes and accessories. Oh all the stuff we must have.
Is it that we are just trying to keep up with the Jones’? Is their car newer than ours and putting our driveway to shame? Or is it that material things bring us pleasure and happiness and in turn, help us to forget our problems and the life of misery some of us are living in. It is said that shopping is a great stress reliever but what happens when it’s the only means of relieving stress that you use? You end up with too much stuff. Period.
Does any of this sound like you or do you know people like this that drive you kinda crazy? There are those of us that do not conform to the materialist rules of bigger is better. There are those of us t hat are quite content with as little as possible. A minimalist? Maybe not but could you be close to being one? Below are some signs that you could quite possibly be on the verge of being a minimalist and not even really knowing it.
1. You’ve cancelled the cable, satellite dish and Netflix membership and are now thinking about just getting rid of the TV altogether. You can’t justify spending over $100 a month anymore on mindless entertainment or being a slave to an idiot box. You’ve hardly turned the TV on in the last month anyway so what’s the point, really.
2. Purging your closets results in bags and bags and boxes full of clothes, shoes and other random stuff you haven’t worn in years, to donate t o a local charity or shelter. Some of it you actually may have worn just last year but you’re just so tired of all these things in your closet. There are others less fortunate that need it more than you do.
3. You’re seriously thinking about downsizing your entire life, home and all. The house is nice and comfortable but do you really need all this space and all these extra expenses that happen to come with it? Nobody has even been in the spare room in over 6 months. Why do we have all this space?
4. The idea of travelling and sightseeing is starting to become more appealing to you than buying things. You’ve been spending money on things for far too long and you’ve barely seen any of the world, let alone your own country. It’s time to pic k up the latest copy of The Lonely Planet, find a destination and pack your bags. Experiences mean more than things.
5. Giving away your things is more gratifying than buying new ones. You have 3 TVs, 2 stereos, a bunch of iPod’s and other electronic devices, more books than you can fit in a school library and boxes of cd’s and movies. It’s time to start giving them away. You know a family that could use a lot of these things and they no longer mean anything to you. Time to give from the heart, not just because you are purging but because you sincerely want to help others.
6. Money is starting to have less of a hold on your life. Most of us are slaves to the almighty dollar. Sadly, it’s true. We work to have money to pay bills and buy things. Money means more things and often more stress. You’re starting to ca re less and less. This whole business of working up to 50 hours a week to pay for a house to o big for your family to put gas in a vehicle that’s too big and pay for entertainment that no on e appreciates, well it’s all taking its toll and you’ve about had enough. Time to downsize and you do so with great joy.
7. Hanging with your friends in the backyard is more exciting than dinner theatre. The norm was every two weeks get all dolled up and head out to a too expensive theatre with friends, in all honesty aren’t your favourites, and spend gobs of money for 4 hours of entertainment. You’re now just as happy to chill in the backyard with your favourite neighbours roasting marshmallows and giggling. Have you recently noticed any of this occurring in your life? You just may be on the verge of becoming a minimalist and apparently that’s where true happiness lies. Not in your stuff, but in less stuff, more freedom. Are you close to being one?