Photo Cred: minimalismlife.com
“Tis the season of Netflix and getting lost in a good book” – that was a declaration I made for my winter break off from graduate studies. One of the many films I checked out this past month on Netflix was titled, Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things.
Minimalism – at least according to the film – is “a tool that can help you find freedom” from the things that cause bondage to your life whether it be clothes, shoes, jewelry, video games, food, etc. In a nutshell, doing more with less, much less.
Although the idea of simplifying my life has been a consistent thought, I never made any direct moves towards that lifestyle until this film. Granted, the film was good but the individuals in the film came from a place of privilege. I couldn’t relate to anyone and couldn’t find anyone that really looked like me – a lot of people who were empty while working in corporate America and realized it wasn’t for them so they gave it all away.
Rather than finding ways to critique the film, I took what I could from it and decided to apply it to my own life.
For starters, I went straight to my closet and got rid of SEVERAL articles of clothing. I chose which ones would leave my possession if:
I haven’t worn them in the past 12 months (with the exception of out of season clothes that I probably will wear when it is warm)
Had multiple of the same looking item (I had 3 white, knitted sweaters….why, Alana?)
Clothes that needed to be fixed ( I always have intentions on learning how to sew but clearly, it’s not happening today and hasn’t happened yet)
Clothes that were too big and I was waiting on the day to get thick so I can fit them
Nail polish (most were expired anyway and the ones I do have, I will continue to use those until I run out)
Hair products (tossed the ones that were expired and not buying any more until I use up the ones that I already have)
Those are the three I chose to focus on: why? My discipline needs a lot of work and I didn’t want to get too much over my head or get consumed by the idea of “new year, new me” so I started small.
What I did realize was that “minimalism” is a fancy way to say “discipline” and “self-control” which have been around waaaaaaay longer AND the Bible addresses this several times.
Going against the grain of the very society that tells me I need the latest and most expensive (because apparently expensive is synonymous with quality) and a lot of it. We waste so much money, time, and much-needed space on things that have no eternal value – no value at all, really.
Going on day #8 and so far so good. With the exception of groceries, I haven’t purchased anything new. I’ve made attempts to shop online but I always exit out the browser. This process of enhancing my discipline and self-control is forcing me to be creative and exhaust the resources I have – because I have more than I need. I get to play dress up in my closet and find several ways to wear the same articles of clothing; I get to style my hair in different ways with the same product to see how much that one product can do to my hair and truly get what I paid for; and most importantly, I get to show my daughter what it “physically” looks like to appreciate what you have and be content with the current. I want her to have a clear definition of needs and wants at a very young age – something I wasn’t able to grasp as early as I wish.
I will be providing monthly content regarding this journey as I hope my strengthened discipline will transcend to all areas of my life: financially, emotionally, physically, even spiritually.
Decluttered space. Decluttered soul.”