I had never really paid any attention to minimalism until the start of this year…I’m 26 and have no idea how I’ve lived my life without the values of minimalism and what minimalism has taught me.
So, what was my lightbulb moment? I was mindlessly scrolling on Instagram (as you do), and came across an account called @minimisewithme which is an amazing blog created by the beautiful Jess from Sydney. I actually got in contact with her and asked her to write a guest post for The A&J Muse and was thrilled when she said yes!
If you want to read that amazing article, just click here!
She sent through the post to us, and after reading it, THAT’S when my mindset started to change. I realised how much importance I was placing on material items and ‘having’ things for the sake of show and tell. Unfortunately, going to a private uni can kinda do that to you. You play the comparison game and you spend money on clothes, makeup, shoes, and bags just to keep up appearances to impress people.
So, then at the start of 2017 I lost my job and needless to say my money mindset became A LOT more frugal. I was only buying the necessities as that’s all I could afford. No clothes shopping, no new makeup, nothing…but you know what? I actually didn’t want those things anymore.
I want to share with you guys what my understanding of minimalism has taught me and how it’s changed my mindset, how it’s improved my quality of life, and taught me what is ACTUALLY important.
Minimalism Has Taught Me These 5 Life-Changing Things
#1 I Don’t Value Materialistic Items
I used to be a big fan of fast fashion (and yes if I’m wanting something on the cheap, I’ll still go to those stores). But, when I was at uni everyday, I didn’t want to wear the same thing every single week. I had appearances to keep up! I’m not even afraid to admit that. So, I went shopping on the regular and packed my wardrobe with all these clothes that would either eventually go out of fashion, or I would grow out of very quickly, and by that I mean grow out of the style…not the size.
I’ve been out of uni for a year and half now and I’ve probably only bought a few items – but those items are classics that I’ve paid a little more for, and items that I truly see myself wearing for years to come.
I’ve also moved house recently and seriously had to downsize for the one bedroom apartment my boyfriend and I rent together. I looked at my wardrobe one night and actually felt DISGUSTED with the site of it. I had SO much stuff and I have literally given away half of it. I’m still trying to minimise my wardrobe more, but I think I made a pretty darn good start.
Now, don’t get me wrong…if you’re someone who loves having their wardrobe packed with clothes and you CAN afford it, by all means. But if you’re struggling to save money, minimalism has taught me to re-think what you truly value and perhaps material items will be something you can finally cut back on. The lesson here? Minimalism has saved me money on my wardrobe.
#2 Clutter Is Bad
Not only did I feel my wardrobe was cluttered, but my apartment was as well. Not overly, but let’s just say there are things I’m still hanging up on my wall from my childhood bedroom. No, there’s not photos of Dumbo or anything like that (that’s hanging up at my parent’s house), but just things that no longer match my style…or my boyfriend’s for that matter.
When you move in with someone, you have to compromise on how you want your space to look. I’m a bit of a control freak at heart and I get attached easily to things – especially if I’ve had them for a long time.
But after moving to the city and furnishing a new apartment (with pretty limited space), we had to think about what we could get rid of. I love looking at minimalist living rooms and bedrooms and there’s just a certain mature aesthetic it evokes, which is definitely the style my boyfriend and I have grown into.
Minimalism has taught me that clutter is bad and it just makes you feel scattered. It’s ok for your style to change as you get older and put those childhood hangings into a box and store them away (at your parents place, cos you’re trying to be minimal here).
#3 What Expenses I Prioritize
When you hit your 20’s you’re suddenly hit full throttle with life responsibilities – if you haven’t experienced that yet, then just wait. It’s not as bad as it sounds but it does hurt the bank account when you suddenly have to pay bills…alllllll the bills (like pls, I’ve never paid for water in my life).
This means you don’t really have any spare cash to spend on YOU, and if you do, it’s pretty minimal.
Minimalism has taught me that by not needing a lot of stuff in my life, I’ve been able to save more money and REALLY prioritize what to spend my money on…like food.
Just kidding. I’m about to start my own business and I see that as the most valuable investment for me right now. Whatever extra cash I have, I want to spend it on things that will benefit me long-term and fuel my passions.
So, I ask you this…instead of spending your money on allllll the clothes and stupid little things, where else do you want to put your money that will ACTUALLY benefit YOU? Whether it’s starting your own biz, investing in a hobby, saving up for holidays…it’s something to really think about.
#4 Relationships Are Important
I’ll admit, I used to be pretty lazy when it came to catching up with people and keeping in touch. But that’s the beauty of having really good friends, you can go about your life for a while and pick up right where you left off.
Being with people doesn’t cost money…unless you’re coffee or wine addicts, but that’s not the point. Sharing experiences with people is important and you SHOULD make time for those important people in your life.
When I was unemployed, I got sick of being home by myself everyday all day. Yes, I was keeping busy on the blog, but I also wanted to go out and enjoy my life. And I realized at the end of the day, things don’t matter…people and relationships do.
Relationships are what inspires us, pushes us, keeps us sane. The current social culture of sharing is SO big and that’s the way it should be! We all want to share our experiences with our friends, our family, and with the world!
Minimalism has taught me that by not placing significance on ‘things’, I’m placing more significance on my relationships and making an effort.
#5 I Can Find Happiness In The Simplest Of Things
I used to be someone who was ALWAYS thinking about the future, that I forgot to be present and enjoy what is right in front of me. Whether it’s just having a cup of coffee, eating icecream and watching a movie with my boyfriend, or going for a walk outside.
By not being obsessed with ‘things’ and accumulating more items, I’m able to find the joy in my everyday life and live more in the present. While that past Amanda who was always trying to think about tomorrow creeps in every now and then, I simply stop, look around, and re-centre myself.
Minimalism has taught me that happiness does not come from having things, but having moments with yourself, and with those people you love.
Overall, minimalism is freaking awesome and I implore you to read more about it and see how you can practice minimalism in your own life. But now guys, I want YOU to tell me how minimalism has improved YOUR life!! And then a while down the track, ask yourself…what has minimalism has taught me? Leave me a comment below, and share with me your experiences!