The Perks of Minimal Living: Clearing Clutters in your Room can Lead to the Greatest Reward
This is the 6th week of Minimalist Monday. I read through the 5 previous articles again and realize that I wrote a lot about the detriment of acquisitiveness but didn’t mention the joyous side of this lifestyle.
I’ve travelled rather extensively in the past years and always loved the feeling of being on the road. There is a wonderful lightness about having all possession in a suitcase or a backpack. This nomadic life is so little and empty in possessions, thus so full in experiences. I’ve came to a conclusion that people try to surround themselves with stuffs to resemblance and outward richness to disguise their inward poverty. But they never really succeed. If we are inwardly rich, we won’t be compelled to prove our outward richness to anyone. We won’t even think about proving anymore. This is true freedom.
When I walked in my old room after two years of living away from home, all the stuffs inside started clutching my throats. For the last 5 days, all that I did was tossing. Truth be told, this little project resulted in 40 full XL-size garbage bags. More than 30 bags were for donation. My entire comic books library was donated to the foundation for children living with HIV/AIDS. I’m sure these books can brighten the kids’ days. Clothes and shoes that no longer fit or I no longer want to wear were given away too. They can bring warmth and happiness to many others. The more clutter I cleared, the more exhilarated I felt.
During this process, a truth dawned on me: I can actually throw away things. This is a huge Aha! moment. If you look around, you will find stuff that is there just because we are used to it being there. It has somehow claimed its own place and taken roots in our house. We don’t even question its right. We need to be more suspicious. Ms. Minimalist Francine Jay put together in her wonderful guide book to minimal living The Joy of Less a list of questions we can use to interrogate each item:
What are you and what do you do?
How did you come into my life?
Did I buy you, or were you given to me?
How often do I use you?
Would I replace you if you were lost or broken?
Did I ever want you in the first place?
By asking this, I identified a bizarre amount of stuffs that don’t deserve the space in my room. They, in the other hand, can bring true happiness to many others whose lives are less fortunate. So why not give a new and useful life to these stuffs, some happiness to others, and more peace in our life?
After freeing myself from 40 bags of items, I receive the most precious reward: time.
- I save time in choosing: Being a woman, instead of quarrelling with myself over which clothes to wear today, I make my choice with ease because all that’s left is outfit that I like. Plus, I don’t have much options to consider anyway. Did you know that the amount of choices is in reverse correlation with our happiness level? Besides, why make a fuzz about our outfit? We are not in the spotlight – even though marketing and the media try to convince us otherwise.
- I save time in shopping: My view about malls has a radical change. Now I hate malls. They are good servants of consumerism, manifestation of superficial luxury. I quitted hanging out at the malls and window shopping altogether. Besides, because I only purchase what I need, the amount of time being at the store plummets.
- I save time in working: I no longer need to spend 15 minutes looking for something. Everything has its own place. And there are fewer of them for my brain to keep track of.
A minimal life simplifies daily routines. Therefore we have more time to be with important people and do what we love. Combine this with the peace of mind from emptiness in our room and clarity in our soul, what else can one ask for?
Couple this read with other articles on Minimalist Monday.
Come back next Monday for more wisdom on the art of simple living.