Every Monday I post Real Life Minimalists, a profile of one of my readers in their own words. If you’d like to participate, click here for details. (Note: the schedule is now full until February — but if you don’t mind waiting, feel free to send me your submission!)
Today, we hear from Jessica, a long-time reader and commenter. She tells us how minimalism has changed her life, and inspired her to share her experiences on her wonderful blog, Minimal Student.
The summer before I moved away to university I realized I was in quite a dilemma.
I had so much stuff that I would never be able to fit it all in one car (unless either myself or my Dad – the driver, wanted to skip the journey).
That’s when I knew that I had to get let a lot of it go. But recognizing I wouldn’t have a lot of money living by myself sent me into a frugal mentality which meant that I didn’t want to waste money or throw anything away in case I needed it one day.
In the end I started to look around for ways to constructively get rid of my stuff. A friend of mine suggested holding a boot sale, so I did. When I saw how much extra space I gained and how much money I made from junk that I didn’t even need, I became addicted to getting rid of stuff. I began putting things up for sale or auction, or just simply donating it.
Bit by bit I chipped away most of my belongings; clothes, shoes and books. I realized that instead of feeling sad or regretful, I actually felt better for it.
Then I went online and found others who felt the same. These people would become my minimalist heroes, heroines and friends. I felt inspired by the movement away from consumerism. Looking at the masses of people converting from collecting and hoarding to selling and giving made me want to join them.
Eventually the question arose, why not share my experiences? So I started the Minimal Student blog to reach out to others like me who are trying to find happiness and balance through minimalism. I just hope I can share my happiness with as many people as I can.
Since I’ve started, I’ve never looked back. I feel I’m part of a massively growing community that is trying to turn the tides on the old ways of thinking about what wealth and success really mean.
The support I get from my fellow minimalists has been a lifeline for me and has given me strength when times are tough. But it’s not hard to continue along this path if I observe the rewards I’ve reaped from minimalism. My life has changed and improved so much I can’t even begin to imagine where I would be now if I hadn’t stumbled across minimalism all those months ago.
This fall, I will be beginning my year abroad in a completely foreign country, Japan. Without minimalism, I would have been afraid to leave behind all of the stuff I would have been attached to. But now, I feel fearless because I know that I don’t need things to be happy.
I have found happiness within me, so I now can take it wherever I go.