Minimalism: 2 years on, living with non-minimalists + what now?

by - September 12, 2018

It feels right to finally give you a two and a half year update on my minimalism journey. I cannot believe it has been this long. My minimalism playlist on YouTube is the most watched and followed playlist on my channel.

Above is a photo of a corner of my bedroom that I am particularly proud of. I am obsessed with open spaces and try to keep furniture to an absolute basic minimum. My rule is that if it's not going to be in frequent use it should go. In this way I am able to enjoy the paintwork and the gorgeous warm solid teak flooring against my dresser. I still can't quite get over how big this dresser is. The mirror is almost as tall as the door.

Having minimal furniture means I am able to splurge that extra bit more on the furniture I actually need and that is a bed, dresser, reading chair and one nightstand. I make that emphasis on one nightstand because I really don't think it necessary to go all symmetrical when you don't need a nightstand on both sides of the bed.

I also have an Instagram page to document the process of turning my home into a sanctuary. Do give it a follow if you love all things natural wood, blush pink and white. I'm inspired by beach houses and of course the Hamptons. Here's a link to my personal Instagram page.

Getting rid of stuff has become easier 

I am ruthless. I am really strict with anything that I sense is making both my physical and mental space feel cluttered. Understanding this feeling is something that comes with time. As your mind gets used to the idea of not having twelve pairs of shoes you start to notice other things you need to cull. This is fuelled by that feeling you get when you see a clear space as a result of the stuff you have got rid of. I make snap decisions and I realise it is through the snap decisions that I make the best ones.

I suffer from regret quite often

I regret getting rid of some stuff but I value that as a learning experience. If you don't get rid of stuff you regret, how will you ever learn to get rid of stuff you really need to get rid of? I get over the regret by reminding myself that regret is an essential part of my journey of living a simple life. Making mistakes helps me learn better ways of culling. Despite regret I feel so much lighter. I can travel, I moved to London for six months and have now moved to America.

Living with non-minimalists

Living with non-minimalists has been the biggest struggle in this journey, bigger than getting rid of sentimental items. They don’t understand my lifestyle but I learnt to respect theirs nevertheless. My only advice for this is to lead as example.

Overcoming people’s opinions on my lifestyle has been difficult. 

Anyone who has ever stepped out of their comfort zone to try something bold and significant will always receive resistance. The worst is when people question how much of a minimalist I actually am based on what their definition of minimalism means to them.

Minimalism still scares me

When I started I was worried I'd get rid of stuff I'll need later and what my friend would think. I was worried I'd lose my identity and everything I gave meaning to in life. That was it, meaning, whatever you apply meaning to becomes bigger than what it actually is. Your mind is subjective. When I take on a big project I really throw myself in the deep end. I have high expectations of myself and expect perfection. On top of that a lot of people around me enjoy pointing out non minimalist things I do. Like the amount of makeup I own, the 'expensive' clothes I buy and get this, my bulk buying toothpaste, and the list goes on. That too is subjective.

Minimalism is not about number. 

It's progress. There's no end point to minimalism and that's the beautiful thing about it. What you find meaningless may bring great value to another person.

So what is minimalism? 

To me minimalism is allowing yourself to live the life you want to live. It is the quiet of a summers night. It is the view on top of the mountains. Most importantly, it is freedom. It can get to the point where you're renting the things you already own at the cost of your happiness. I seek to get rid of stuff both physical and non-physical that do not bring me value. Minimalism is ever changing, growing as you grow too. The beautiful thing about minimalism is that there's no right or wrong. There is no right way for you to live. That's the reason I chose minimalism. To remove myself from the social conditioning of 'get a job get married have kids, teach your kids to do the same and then die'. To simply live as I want.

What's next?

I want to share my thoughts, projects and new ideas with you but without the word 'minimalism' attached.  I may share a video with 'minimalism' in the title but that would only be to reach the right people. Everything I do is based around my minimalist lifestyle and I want to share that authentic, or more candid part of it.

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