A reader on the Live Simply Blog wanted to know why minimalists equate possessions/’stuff’ with stress or burden. I agree with the author’s answer, which you can read in the link.
The question reminds me of a comment someone else made, let’s call him John. When I explained how ‘very minimal’ the author’s belongings were (as she recently shared this info on her blog). John said; “can one truly be happy with so little?” Her not having a proper bed was a bit much for him. It was clear to me that he attached happiness with having more stuff.
It’s a very typical way of thinking in our society; the more stuff you have, the happier you will be. e.g. I have to have those bright coloured scatter cushions this summer because it’ll be so much nicer than these ones I bought last season.
I don’t consider myself a hoarder but I am one of those people who needs new things for every season and every occasion, because heaven forbid I wear the same dress that I wore for Maggie’s wedding to Lisa’s engagement party!
Like I’ve mentioned on my blog before; I want to change my lifestyle to be more simple. It’s not that having stuff is a burden. Its the acquisition and maintenance thereof that is the issue. It basically boils down to money. It costs money to buy these unnecessary things and it costs money to maintain that lifestyle.
Most people I know live beyond their means and are in debt most of their life. We’ve been raised to believe that and it’s ingrained in our heads everyday by media that having this and owning that will elevate our status. Therefore people strive to keep up with trends and ultimately conform to the rat race lifestyle. They say we NEED this we MUST have that. No we don’t.
Some people think it’s impossible for them to be financially free, its almost a joke to them. But like I told John; its a lifestyle choice. Being a minimalist doesn’t mean you’ll start living like a hobo. It just means that you start purging what you have and purchase less than you did before.
And when you purge, it needn’t only be tangible things. You could spend less time browsing 9Gag and instead spend that time positively, like playing chess with your son?
I know that living a simpler lifestyle will help me live a less stressful life.
a) I’ll be saving money
b) Less maintenance/less chores = more life!
c) living a more organic lifestyle is better for our immediate environment as well as the general well being of our planet.
Who would NOT want to live this way if it meant that everything and everyone involved will be better off?
Honestly; if I had a big income then I would definitely be tempted to live a more luxurious lifestyle with all the bits and bops that make my home and closet look like something out of a magazine. However I do not earn mega bucks. I can only dream of going on overseas holiday trips let alone go regularly like the person who commented on the Live Simply blog.
Still, it might be hard for you in your four poster, queen size bed to believe that she on her roll up mattress is truly happy living like that. Why is it so hard to believe that she feels so comfortable and happy with just living her life the way she wants to despite the ‘norms’ of society?
When you go on holiday, you pay thousands to live in a small cabin with only 3 outfits for the whole week. You go fishing everyday, you feel so relaxed and at peace don’t you? Then why is it so hard to think that one could live like that everyday, if you just choose to do so.