As I’ve been drinking the self-help Kool-Aid for over a year now, one of my biggest personal battles is minimalizing my lifestyle and even becoming a minimalist. We talked about my battle with minimalism on the main channel, but unlike Demetri, I’m not as comfortable wearing only one gray shirt or moving all my screen savers to grayscale backgrounds. On the flip side, minimalism has challenged me to slowly decrease my wardrobe, sell some dust collectors like my PS4, and focus on making my living space more organized and intentional.
In this episode, I want to talk about the lesson minimalism taught me last year that has snowballed into a powerful lifestyle change for me.
One lesson The Minimalists don’t teach you but has worked wonders for me is the technique I call Painting Yourself into a Corner. When I moved apartments this past year, I was intentional in my decision to choose the smallest room. At my previous apartment, my room had more storage than I knew what to do with, and this resulted in possessing way more than I needed. I had clotheslines, old games, an excessive number of shirts, and piles of shoes that sat there going to waste. When I wanted to find the game, shirt, or pair of shoes I actually needed, I had created so much friction finding what I needed with all the clutter I created.
When we toured my current apartment, I saw this move as an opportunity. I saw the smallest room with its odd rectangular shape and thought: “this would be a great way to challenge myself to let go of all the unnecessary stuff I have.” So, I decided I would live in that room, and when I began packing for the move I realized how much stuff would not fit in my new room. There were piles of clothes thrown out, random junk tossed, and I even gave away two pairs of Converse shoes and kept only my black and white pair.
For the first month of living here, I was undoubtedly stressed. June was filled with LSAT studying, finding what else to throw away, and figuring out how everything I wanted would fit within my downsized living space. There were times when I freaked out and didn’t know if I could even make a bed, desk, and dresser all fit into my room, but this challenge was an important moment of growth for me. By signing the lease and agreeing to a smaller room, I effectively painted myself into a corner where I was forced to get creative with how I could become comfortable. I had to purchase some organization shelves, a standing rack for my clothes, and learn to utilize my dresser as a nightstand.
I was forced to find solutions, and this taunting move has brought me to a place of fulfillment and comfort. I love my room. It is simple, quaint, and comfortable. Everything I need is here, and nothing more. Honestly, if I tried buying more things I do not need, they wouldn’t last long because I would quickly run out of space and something would have to give way.
Thus, I am telling you about my lesson to challenge you to consider the space you take up and ask yourself “do I need to spread out like this?” I’m not advocating for anyone to get claustrophobic, but simply reflect upon how you spread your livelihood out and decide whether this space brings you happiness or stares back at you like a void of despair. And next time you move or make a big purchase, consider: do I need that big of a house? Could my desk be smaller? Do I need that many kitchen cabinets? You’ll find you can not only survive, but be much happier with much less.
Have an awesome week!
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