Minimalism is not a Punishment

Minimalism might sound like self-denial, even a punishment but it isn’t. Minimalism means removing all the unnecessary distractions so that you can focus on what is important.

You cannot become a minimalist in one single day. You start small. You pick up a box and go around the house picking all the things which are not required or not used. In the beginning, it will be extremely easy but as you go along, it will get tougher. And then you will start questioning what really adds value to your life.

De-cluttering needs to be done several times. Sometimes, you would want to keep that jeans which is one size smaller. The next time, you will give it away. Like for me, books took a little longer to go. I used to hoard books – buy and keep, not read. I couldn’t resist a book sale till quite recently. But now I don’t feel the need to buy any books, even if they are on sale because I have too many. I started questioning myself ‘Why was I buying all these books and not reading them? Why this need for ownership? Why do we need to OWN something to be happy?’ Gradually, I was convinced that what mattered was reading books.

De-cluttering happens on a lot of levels including digital de-clutter. Keeping a lot of movies, books, photos on your laptop is also creating clutter in your life. After my laptop crashed 4 months back, I have got into the mammoth task of going through my digital clutter. Some words of wisdom from me: don’t click too many pictures, and certainly don’t keep too many pictures to prune later. That never happens. I have 30 versions of one single shot!

When you are a Minimalist, you buy less but you buy the best. You don’t watch TV, so that you can read, play, bond with family. You don’t buy a bigger house because you don’t need a bigger house. You don’t take a loan or credit just because you can. You don’t waste your time maintaining a huge house, which you don’t need anyway. You hire a cook to do the basic cooking, so you can get a me-time, and time with family. You make things over buying them because you want only healthy options for your family. You also make because you want to minimize chemicals going into your body. You don’t buy more and more new clothes because you don’t need new clothes for every occasion. New clothes do not bring you happiness, those occasions do.

Minimalism is not about not buying things and then craving for it. Minimalism is when you don’t buy and don’t even feel the need to.

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