I embraced minimalism and now all my belongings fit into one suitcase09/11/2019
Do you know how many things you have? I don’t. But I do know that since I started owning less, my life has felt simpler (and my house is tidier).
My old flat was full of useless ornaments, I had way too many shoes and I had loads of old clothes in my closet that I had convinced myself I would totally wear some day, even if I hadn’t for years.
When I moved to the UK a few years ago I had a proper clear out. I gave away most of my clothes and furniture and whittled it down to things I felt I really needed, along with a handful of sentimental items.
In the end, all my worldly belongings fit neatly into one suitcase. It was one of the most freeing experiences ever.
What irks me, however, is that minimalism is now being sold to us as a hot new trend.
This recent surge started with Marie Kondo, telling people to only keep things that bring them joy. Which was great – because for me, ironically, there is nothing that brings me joy like throwing away things I don’t need.
But with the rise of the Marie Kondo effect and minimalism, there are now countless books you can buy about how to streamline your life. You can follow minimalism influencers. You can even hire a minimalism life coach.
Capitalism is so ingrained into our society that even the idea of owning less has become a commodity.
It’s become another temporary trend – one that although it preaches buying and owning less, will actually go on to create significant waste.
To achieve #minimalismgoals, people are going to throw out perfectly good objects and buy new ones in the hopes they may match their new pared back lifestyles.
I have been guilty of this myself. The other day my partner bought six champagne flutes and I immediately put two of them in a giveaway box because we didn’t ‘need’ them.
The textile industry alone is responsible for 10 per cent of global carbon emissions, making it the world’s second biggest industrial polluter. It’s estimated that £140million worth (around 350,000 tonnes) of used clothing goes to landfill in the UK every year.
It’s obvious to me that the way we are consuming now is completely unsustainable. We are completely disregarding the devastating effects modern consumerism and production has on the planet.
On the whole we’ve still become so complacent and removed from how things are made that we look the other way when brands destroy perfectly good clothing so it can’t be sold at a lower price later on. We don’t really need all this stuff.
In my case I tend to donate items that I don’t need to charity shops, which is something we should all do more of, but even that doesn’t fully outweigh the footprint of buying the item in the first place.
Due to fast fashion and how disposable clothing has become, sustainable fashion advocates have suggested that even this is not good enough. Charity shop donations often go to developing countries where they undercut local businesses and people treat charity shops as a ‘dumping ground.’
However, if you do commit to a long term plan of minimalism and sustainability, choosing not to buy in the first place, the impact on the planet and yourself, could be wonderful.
You don’t need to subscribe to the minimalism ‘trend’ to implement it in your day to day. You don’t need to buy books on it, re-decorate your house or revamp your wardrobe so it fits into your ideal of what minimalism is supposed to be.
Instead, it’s a lesson for all of us in being aware of what we’re buying and why we’re buying it.
Owning less has definitely made my life simpler and easier. It’s made me appreciate the things that I have better.
Instead of treating myself to the newest trend or fashion item, I treat myself by spending time with friends and family, on experiences and creating memories.
Because in the end, all of these material things won’t really matter. I’m not going to look back on my life when I grow old and think about all those amazing items I’ve accumulated.
I’m going to think of how I’ve spent time with my loved ones, and all the wonderful memories we’ve created together. You can’t take it all with you, so be sure you’re responsible and aware of what you own.
Invest in more happiness. There can never be enough of happiness.
Source: Read Full Article