Beginning anything takes a recipe of commitment, excitement, and inspiration. When I began my quest for minimalism, I read several blogs. I hopped on Google and searched, “minimalism blogs.” It was that simple. After reading a few posts, I was curious, but not persuaded that minimalism was right for me. Give up most of my stuff? I do not know if I could live on 100 items… Minimalism seems to be more than what I am cut out for.
Fast forward to a week (or so) later.
I found myself Skyping a friend who lives a minimalist lifestyle and sure enough, after closing our conversation, I went back to Google, typed in “minimalism blogs” again, and scoured the results on and off for a few days. Each post convinced me that perhaps even I could make this work because what I found was not a single, uniform path I needed to adjust to, but that I could tailor minimalism to my individual needs.
I also picked up a few books to gain different perspectives about minimalism and attempt to give answer to my excuses (see: live simply). Two in particular that have provided a wealth of inspiration and practical guidance are: Walden on Wheels by Ken Ilgunas and Off the Grid by Nick Rosen. Some may ask, “Isn’t living in a van extreme?” I would answer that it depends on your perspective and experience. The object of reading these stories early on are not to jump ship immediately and start living out of my own van (I do not even own one!), but to assure myself that there are people – ordinary people – who have made the decision to simplify to their preference and that I could do the same.
Reading books and blogs officially launched my implementation of living a minimalist lifestyle. I do not assume I have everything planned out to a tee, but rather seek to continue growing through this project. I believe that we never stop learning, so I challenge myself to study new ideas and add to my bank of knowledge. We all have to start somewhere, right? I discovered that my assumptions were right: downsizing to 100 items was too much for a new minimalist like me to handle, and neither would it suit my lifestyle. Had I simply read the post that advertised living on 100 items or less, I would have sought out a way to live it out – possibly finding myself with more regrets along the way. Instead, I read that post and let it serve me as excitement. It inspired me to search for clever and smart strategies to evaluate items I already considered getting rid of. I put limits on how many items in a particular category I would hold on to and how many I would let go. Just like my bullet journal is tailored to my needs, so would the entirety of inspiration to my minimalist lifestyle.
Do not simply settle for the first piece of advice you find. It is better to do your homework than to jump ship and find yourself in over your head. Every beginning needs a bit of inspiration to start out, so treat it as an investment!