At the beginning of 2018 I stumbled upon a Netflix documentary titled "Minimalism: A Documentary About The Important Things" I wasn't expecting much, just a simple documentary to ease the boredom of winter break. I was instead met with this concept of "Love people, not things" which means basically how it sounds, stop putting so much emphasis on inanimate objects and remember to appreciate the people and places around us. Living in America, being a materialistic person is ingrained in us from an early age. From fast fashion to planned obsolescence we taught that anything not brand new or on trend is worthless. We then base our own worth on the things we have/buy. The documentary stressed the importance of only having in possession only the things we need, but to limit the amount of even those. A prime example is clothing. I'm going to assume most people view clothing as a necessity, but people have managed to turn this necessity into luxury items. No one needs fifteen pairs of shoes, a closet full of shirts, and a drawer dedicated to clothes we don't wear but keep just in case.
After watching this film I felt inspired to declutter my own life and it was a lot harder than I expected. I've always been an organized and clean person, but I soon learned those are not synonyms for minimalism. The stacks of books on my shelf, the neatly hung clothes, and the drawers dedicated to knick-knacks had to go. It was hard at first, parting with objects I "valued" but eventually it became almost addictive to declutter and throw away a lot of my stuff. I got rid of old clothes, movies, books, toys, and other random things I've accumulated through the years. I eventually had a room full of only clothes, several books, some beauty products, and pictures and souvenirs from my travels. It felt freeing to let go of all these things and in a way has made me feel lighter as a person.
Minimalism has also shown me that it is much more than throwing away old things. I had to teach myself to buy less, thus teaching me to want less. Of course I still see cute clothes, shoes, and accessories and initially feel like I have to have them, but my second reaction is always "will this improve my life?" If my answer is no I usually can walk away. I still have a long way to go but I have definitely felt the benefits of minimalism, and have become a more conscious, less materialistic, and an overall better human.