How to change the way you view materialistic objects
By Aiden Feizi, Contributor
What do you think of when you hear the term “minimalist?” Is it someone living in an empty space, or someone who rejects worldly possessions?
Although minimalism is not a new concept, it has only recently, and slowly, engrained itself into popular culture. The concept varies from person to person, but the core ideology is to remove possessions that do not bring the joy and value you crave in your life and that distract you from reaching your goals. It may begin with going through your clothes, donating the ones you do not wear, and getting rid of knickknacks—for the purpose of becoming a person who only purchases necessities in life.
When the film Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things (2016) was released, discussion about this topic rose to an all-time high. After I first watched this film, I knew this was what was missing from my life. I spent a full day cleaning out my house and donating half of my possessions. Now, I do not expect everyone to mimic these same actions, but I wholeheartedly believe this can increase your quality of life, especially for college students. Here are some pointers to begin.
Start with a small goal
At times, we find ourselves creating this unattainable goal we are not able to achieve. Instead begin with something small. You can start with one area of your living space and start decluttering. If you see something you have not picked up for months, evaluate how much you need it. If you don’t need it, get rid of it.
Put items you are unsure of in boxes
If you have items that make you feel uncertain about whether you should toss or keep them, place them in a box and hide it. If you find yourself reaching to open the box and grab something, you probably need that thing. If months go by and the box remains unopened, you may want to consider tossing the item.
Does it bring you joy?
Do the items bring you happiness when you hold them? Your possessions should benefit your life. They should help you reach your short- and long-term goals. When I am in the midst of deciding if I should donate something, I like to consider whether this item fulfills me or if I am only attached to the feelings it has brought me in the past.
Spend less time worrying about your items
When you are overwhelmed with clothes, makeup, and knickknacks, you end up spending a lot of time worrying about them. The less time you spend worrying about what to wear, the more you can focus on improving your life and working on what truly matters—whatever that is to you.
One in, one out
I follow this rule to a T. Anytime I purchase a new item, typically clothing, I choose to donate a piece of the same type of clothing. This is the simplest way to eventually becoming clutter-free.
Multipurpose items and creativity
Go around your room and use items for different purposes. When I first began my journey, I found it exciting because I became more creative in how I used everything. My mugs became holders for my incense and paintbrushes. I started creating my own hygiene products using the giant tub of coconut oil I left in the back of my bathroom cabinets.
Regardless of who you are and what you own, everyone can be a part of this journey. I invite everyone to just try decluttering a little bit and see where this simplicity can take you.