“Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” – William Morris
Last year, while unemployed, I had a lot of spare time to read self-development books and watch motivational YouTube videos. I would read borrowed e-books from the library while waiting for a reply on several job applications. One of the books that I came across was Marie Kondo’s book, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up”. Her decluttering method and the way she showed appreciation for things intrigued me. Her book opened up the whole idea of minimalism and simple living, and she became an inspiration, even before she became Netflix-famous. From then on, I would read more books and watch several other videos on minimalism and how I could apply it in my everyday life.
When we came to New Zealand almost 2 years ago, we left almost everything we owned in the Philippines. My husband and I brought with us 2 luggages, and 3 boxes – just the basic stuff we needed to get started with our new life. Fast forward to a year ago – right after learning about minimalism, I immediately decluttered our tiny studio apartment. I didn’t follow the KonMari method to a tee, but I followed its main principle – questioning whether something sparks joy or not. I discarded clothes that were old or didn’t fit, as well as a bunch of knick knacks and decorations that didn’t fit our style anymore. Given our “few” belongings, I was still able to declutter 5 trash bags worth of stuff. How could we have accumulated so much in just a year?
After getting rid of unwanted or unnecessary stuff, the sense of calm and relief that I felt was incredible. Seeing only the clothes that I wanted to wear whenever I opened my closet made me happier. Not having a lot of things to clean saves a time as well. And now that we have moved out of our studio apartment and into a rented house, I still bring with me my minimalist mindset. (Almost) Everything that enters our house has its purpose, its proper “home”, and we find beautiful. Because of this, our home is a place of refuge where we can relax and recharge after a tiring day. Even if our home isn’t filled to the brim with things, there’s no feeling of lack at all. Maybe it’s because of the appreciation and enjoyment of what we currently have.
I am still at the start of my minimalism journey, and there are still a lot of things I can improve on. But it’s something that I see myself doing for a long time, and something that I’d like to share with others. Minimalism and simple living has brought calmness and contentment in my life, and I hope you would start (if you haven’t yet) your own journey too 🙂