I’ve been thinking a lot about minimalism lately, and how it can contribute to a more fulfilling life. I see freedom in owning less. By owning less, I can have more time for the things that really matter to me in life. In fact, I am shifting this blog’s focus to a minimalist/financial freedom perspective, because that’s how strongly I feel about it.
I have not always been a minimalist, and I am not fully there, but I see the value in only having the things you need in life. The more things you have, the more energy you have to put forth to take care of and/or maintain those things. Even something as small as household decorations need to be dusted regularly. So, the more items you possess, the more cleaning you will inevitably have to do.
I used to save every little thing I bought/received. For instance, I love signing up for “freebies” online, which are basically free samples or even a free full-size product of anything from food to beauty products. It didn’t matter what the freebie was, if it was free, I had to have it. I accumulated so many free lotions, perfumes, protein bars, etc., over the years, that I didn’t know what to do with them. Every so often, I would pull out my freebie stash and look through it, only to put it away again.
It wasn’t too long ago that I finally realized how silly it was to save up all those freebies, especially the ones I would never use. I threw away a bunch of them not too long ago. I stopped signing up for freebies that I knew I wouldn’t use or didn’t know anyone who would use them. I now only sign up for freebies that I know I will probably use. For example, now that I am getting older (I will be 30 in May), I find myself actually using those anti-aging freebies, so that is one freebie category I will definitely still request.
Back to the main topic of minimalism though: I think it is something you can apply to your whole life. How many things do we buy, covet, and go into debt for? Is it really worth it? I remember one time in my early 20’s, I just had to have this “cool” sweatshirt from a popular store in the mall. It was $70, which to me has always been a ridiculous price for a sweatshirt. I mean, it’s not even a coat. Nevertheless, I was at that stage in my life where brand popularity sold me. I bought the sweatshirt, and I wore it a handful of times before getting tired of it.
Thankfully, brand popularity does not have as strong of a hold on me as it once did. If I like something, it is usually because I genuinely like it, not because it has a brand label slapped across the front of it. Ironically, I keep reading reviews about certain brands from people saying the quality of the clothing has declined. I have noticed clothing getting thinner myself over the years. It seems brands are nonchalantly lowering the quality of the clothing in the name of money, while keeping prices the same. They know people will buy their products because of the brand name, even if the quality has gone down.
I can tell you from experience that things do not equal happiness. If you spend your life trying to fill it with things, you will always be searching for the next thing. Your happiness must come from within, and for me it comes from knowing that God loves me and cares about me out of billions of people. He cares about you too, you just have to believe it.
Moreover, I believe Jesus would be against materialism, and for minimalism if He were alive in today’s times. You never read about Jesus’s cool new American Eagle robes or Nike sandals. His main priority was telling people about the Gospel, not impressing people with popular items.
I’d just like to note that I am not against owning things you want. I think if you want stuff, and you work for it, you should be able to have said things. I like electronics myself, and my husband loves audio equipment. The point is, you do not need to have a bunch of things to be happy.
Want to learn more about how to live a minimalist lifestyle as a Christian? Stay tuned to future posts on minimalism.