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How much is enough? Do you know?

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How much is enough? It might seem like a very simple question. Yet, it challenges a very fundamental belief, because if you knew what your ‘enough’ was then you wouldn’t need to constantly buy more. With this I’m not referring to replacing old clothes or finished products you use on a daily basis. I’m talking about mindless shopping – the constant pursuit of adding more to your life.

I’ve been following quite a few different minimalist bloggers while on this journey of less is more. And as with all other topics there is very conflicting advice out there… about EVERYTHING!

People who inspire me:

  • Marie Kondo was my first point of contact, when I read her book: The life changing magic of tidying up. With her whole aim of #sparkjoy with the items you decide keep. It was a great starting point to help me strategically declutter areas in my life.
  • Courtney Carver is another inspiration to me, who started #project333 – challenging people to dress with only 33 items of clothing for 3 months (one season)… Her story really resonated with me, because she was also stuck in a toxic relationship and was diagnosed with an autoimmune condition like myself.
  • Then there are The Minimalists who literally live only with the bare necessities. They are traveling the world to spread the word about the benefits of minimalism, and how you can allow it to filter through into your entire life and not only your possessions.
  • Joshua Becker whose story struck a cord about when he was first introduced to minimalism. His story is very touching, about how his ‘stuff’ was keeping him so occupied, that it stole precious time when his young son asked him to come play with him.
  • Colin Wright is a writer who can fit all his belongings into one bag as he travels around the world and moves to a different country every 3 months.

As someone aiming for a minimal lifestyle all this information could be quite overwhelming to say the least, and I often ask myself:

“What is really enough…… for ME?”

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Things to consider

There are a few things to take into consideration and questions you need to ask yourself, because you can’t declutter and build a life of less if you don’t know what exactly that life looks like….. It’s pretty much the same as a construction worker starting to build a house without a plan! You need to consider:

  1. What and who is in your life? Are you single or in a relationship / marriage? Do you have children and pets?
  2. What are your dreams and aspirations? Do you want to travel the world? Or have a job that you love and want to stay with it? Do you want to change careers? Or start your own business / work for yourself?
  3. What are you spending most of your time on? Working extra hours at work? Doing chores at home – tidying, cleaning up, laundry? Maybe shopping?
  4. What do you want to spend your time on? Traveling? Outdoors? Exercise? Camping? At home with your kids and significant other? Writing / making art? Take up a new hobby? The list could be endless…..

Different approaches

After you have assessed the life and have a clear idea about what you want from it, you can decide on the approach you want to take. There are two drastically different ways you can implement it…..

  1. You can have a step-by-step approach, decluttering one section at a time.
  2. You can literally pack up your entire life into boxes and only take out what you need, when you need it and after a month (or two….. or even three) you discard the boxes with stuff you haven’t touched…..

Personally, the first option worked the best for me, because I prefer to slowly introduce change into my life, so it can stick around for longer. But minimalism isn’t a cookie cutter approach. It’s about finding what works best for you…. In my post We live in a society of more, but I want less I really delve into this.

How much is really enough?

Not only are you changing your amount of possessions, you also need to change your mindset. Personally, I tend to gravitate towards the #project333 aim, especially in the beginning. That way you have to set a limit for yourself and really assess what you want to keep in your life and, most importantly, why? It’s a challenge so you can see how little you actually need to own to continue normal life everyday. And once you’ve made the mental switch, it’s much easier to declutter the rest of your household as well…..

I’ve come to the shocking realisation that I actually need alot less than I initially thought. Sometimes we get so caught up in advertisements telling us we need everything new they put on the market. So, instead of just following it blindly, I usually ask myself: Did I need this product / item before I saw it in the shop? And the answer is usually no

So, how much do you think is enough, for you?

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