Since the middle of last year, I've been really interested in the journey of minimalism.
Before I started examining it, I always thought it was about people living in barren rooms. One set of cutlery per household. White walls. A table with a single chair. On that table is a single white vase and one flower poking out of it. It was the stuff of odd personalities and high-brow 'artists' beyond the reach of us ordinary folk.
I’ve discovered that is not what minimalism is about at all. It's a journey. It's a lifestyle. It's making room and making time for the important things. Room not just in the physical sense but room from a mental perspective. When we talk about removing 'junk', that doesn't just mean the old VHS videos and cracked CD's in the attic, or 6-sizes-too-small piles of t-shirts you're convinced you'll wear again one day.
It's about removing toxic relationships and toxic people from your life, removing distractions that serve to waste your time, and focusing on the things that make you a better person—allowing you the time and space to best serve those who are important to you. It's all about making things (and aligning people and relationships) as fit-for-purpose. It's about clearing the path for a more meaningful and intentional life.
So far, I've removed 50% of my old clothes, 90% of my CDs and DVDs, and I'm currently working on removing lots of music gear—including bass guitars and a piano—as well as reducing the clutter around the house. It's incredibly liberating. I've also minimized my digital clutter, removing the majority of my social networks, turned off all phone notifications, deleted apps, and cancelled subscriptions. This is helping clear the path for focus.
The next decisions to be made are how I shape my life going forward. How can I maintain and build relationships with people? How can I let some of those relationships go? What are my real passions? What adds value to my life?
I feel like I've always 'ended up' in situations rather than forged my own pathway. So this is the next stage of the minimalist route for me. The clutter is going... so what next? How can I best use my time?
I'm looking forward to the journey, and continuing to clear the path along the way.