10 things i learned living a minimalist lifestyle

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8. i could let go of the past.

The past doesn’t haunt me, but it’s still in the past. I used to be the kind of person who kept every birthday card, every little keepsake, every memento, but not every memento is actually important. It took a lot, but all of the stuff that I kept in a shoebox under the bed and never looked at, I realized I could let it go. And in the process of doing so, I learned what kinds of mementos are important to me. Photographs, family heirlooms, and antiques suddenly seemed so much more real and important. They always were, but because I held on to every little thing from my past, I couldn’t fully appreciate them.

9. minimalism put my hypocrisy on display.

I fancy myself an environmentally sound person. I like to buy local, eat organic, save energy, and be a generally good person. But increasingly as I’ve gotten older, my wants have overridden my values. At 20, I didn’t want a television. At 30, I had two. One in the living room and one in the bedroom. Why? I wanted to watch Netflix in bed OR on my couch. I’m entitled to that, right? I mean, sure, I guess I am. But why be that way when it’s incogruent with my core values?

It’s a difficult thing to articulate, but by giving in to some of my more basal desires, I robbed from myself a great deal of inner peace. It was as if my mind, without really consciously thinking it, hated what I was becoming. What minimalism gave back to me was a stronger sense of self control. I remembered a lot of what made me tick as a younger person and was able to get back to a lifestyle that really made me happy.

10. it’s easier for me to be happy.

When I consider all of the things I’ve talked about so far, I realize that it’s just easier for me to be happy this way. It’s easier to take stock of everything in my life and feel less suffocated. Minimalism has this effect on me, and it may well have the same effect on you.

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