Finding My Why In Minimalism


If You hadn’t guessed already, I love minimalism…

I love everything about it, every single thing and although it often gets berated for being unobtainable, I see nothing but good. And I think that’s because it saved my life, in more ways than one. You see when I ‘found’ minimalism I had just about lost all hope with myself and my life, the way it was. I was in a constant state of overwhelm, I was fighting chronic and mental illness, my marriage was hanging by a thread and life as I knew it was falling apart.

Minimalism was my light in the dark. It literally picked me up from suffocation and allowed me to breathe. For me, it has always been about so much more than a tidy home, it was a door to freedom that I didn’t know I could open. It was a path to understanding and therefore accepting myself as I was, instead of constantly walking away from who I was to become something more. I guess minimalism showed me that it was okay to be me.

Have you ever felt penned in, so penned in that you can hardly breathe, so penned in that you can’t see a way out, let alone stand up and try to find it.? That was me, constantly losing my breath, constantly feeling weighed down, constantly feeling stuck, in my home, in my body, in a rut. It was a dark place to be and maybe I would have come out of it - maybe there was another way to get to where I am without decluttering my home, my mindset and my life, I mean to some I guess it’s extreme. But I’m glad I chose this route, or that this route chose me.

I see people declutter and re-clutter all the time, make room and then clutter it again with stuff. I use to do that too and it wasn’t because I didn’t want a simplified home, it was because I didn’t know my ‘why”. I didn’t know why I was clearing the clutter and so I ended up with more, even though I knew how much better I felt with less. I couldn’t break the habit of buying more. And it was all because I didn’t know my why.

However once I finally realised the real meaning of minimalism, I learnt it off by heart and there was never the option of going back, of re-cluttering and starting the process again. The only option was to walk, toward the door, toward the light, to breathe in the mix of white space and freedom.

Because that’s what saved me, the light and minimalism was my light. It was dim at first, barely there but the more I simplified the brighter it got, until I was basked in dappled light that shone on my windows and warmed up my soul. Minimalism and what it represented went far deeper than what I kept on my shelves, it represented time, simplicity, fresh starts and at its core, hope. Now I’m aware that this may seem overdramatic but as I write this I have goosebumps, that’s how important minimalism is to me.

It changed my relationship with my home, with my family and with myself. It gave me the space and lightness I needed to carry on and not only to survive but to thrive. It planted a seed of hope that grew and grew, until I couldn’t imagine living any other way. It showed me to slow down and pare down to the bones of what mattered. It kept me going when I thought I couldn’t take another step, it kept me walking toward the light.

And it may seem ridiculous that something as simple as decluttering could change ones life but that’s where it started; with a box, with fresh eyes, with a thought. It wasn’t easy, not at all but was it worth it? A hundred times yes.

My why of minimalism is as simple as it is complicated. But simply put, this one word, that conveys nothing and everything, saved me. Again and again and again. That’s my why, how about you? Maybe your why is a simple as a tidy home, maybe it’s time and space in your life, or maybe it’s something more. Maybe simplifying represents hope because maybe you too, are looking for the light.