How I Found Joy By Embracing A Minimalist Lifestyle

Photo: Osadcha Olga / shutterstock
woman jumping on mountain

By Jess Notting

Minimalism became all the buzz since the Netflix series "Tidying up with Marie Kondo" premiered.

Some might say it’s just a fad or a craze. The truth is, however, minimalism has been around for a very long time in many parts of the world.

In the worlds of art and fashion, minimalism hit the scene in the 1960s. The main idea behind all forms of minimalism is that “less is more.”

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Regardless, it’s important to remember that minimalism is a lifestyle and a mindset, not a fad.

A minimalist lifestyle mainly revolves around the idea that you don’t need a lot of things to be happy. To maintain a minimalist lifestyle, you need a minimalist mindset.

Minimalism doesn’t only apply to objects or things, it also applies to the people you surround yourself with and the time you spend on activities.

You don’t need a lot of friends to be happy, and you don’t need to be busy all of the time, either. Spend your time doing things that spark joy with the people who make you happy.

Minimalism allows you to focus more on the joys in every aspect of your life, and encourages quality over quantity.

Growing up, my family accumulated lots of stuff. We discarded nothing. Clutter piled up until my family eventually downsized to a smaller home.

Before we moved out of the house, we had to declutter and unload many unnecessary possessions. Although I was young at the time, I will never forget how amazing it felt to get rid of all that extra stuff.

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I believe this turning point changed my entire mindset, and I realized that less really is more.

The new house was quite small, but I was okay with it. Having a small house and no TV meant that we spent most of our time outside.

Through this, I learned to value experiences rather than possessions.

I’m now renting a small cottage-style house with my partner. Since we’ve both embraced the minimalist approach, we live together in perfect harmony.

I don’t hold onto items I don’t use, and instead donate them to a local charity. As Marie Kondo says, if it doesn’t “spark joy” or serve a purpose in your life, let it go.

Less stuff means less stress. Less clutter means less cleaning. Less cleaning means more living!

RELATED: What I Learned About Myself When I Purged Almost Everything I Owned

Minimalism is a simplistic approach to life. I believe that everything you own needs to have a place. If there is no place for it in your home, there is no place for it in your life. My home is my sanctuary.

Minimalism came to me naturally over time, and with it I realized how dramatically I could improve the quality of my life.

I now have more time and energy to focus on the experiences that bring me joy.

Minimalism isn’t just about having an organized or clutter-free home. It’s about having a more fulfilling life, and focusing on what matters most.

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Jess Notting is a contributing writer for Unwritten and The Mighty. Her work focuses on relationships, health and wellness, and self-care topics. Visit her author profile for more.

This article was originally published at Unwritten. Reprinted with permission from the author.