I came across "Minimalism" over a year ago, maybe more. I've never been a hoarder or clutter-y type of person, so perhaps this was why the whole lifestyle approach appealed to me, but I've been purging and reducing STUFF in my life. This is a different process for everyone but you basically figure out what stuff makes your life better and get rid of the rest. Unrelated/it's all related, I read an article about a woman who worked for a big ad agency in New York. Her position was as a creator but she found that when she decided to wear the same "uniform" every day for work, her creativity spiked. When she wasn't worrying about what she was going to wear, worrying about how what she'd chosen was making her look/feel like, she was suddenly more inspired to create good content in her job. It sounds ridiculously simplistic, I know. Except that it works.
I kid you not. I've written a couple of blog posts about my now 18 month sustained spurt of writing creativity but essentially, I have not experienced "writer's block" in the last year and a half and I really think it's because of minimalism. Every time I sit down to write, the pen doesn't stop until I run out of time. This is not braggadocio--I still have to plot, write timelines, rethink characters, research, edit, rewrite, throw stuff out. But the impetus is there and here's why: I am constantly thinking of my work. Ok, not CONSTANTLY, but a lot. I still have a day job, I have two kids, two dogs, too many other creative interests. But I've stopped worrying about what I wear. Even as I write this is sounds silly, but sometimes silly shit works.
I got rid of every piece of clothing that didn't make me feel fabulous. Yes, I repeat the fabulous outfits a lot. But guess what, no one cares! That's because they don't notice! They're too busy worrying if the blouse or suit they're wearing makes them look (fill in the blank). I mean, honestly, can you remember what YOU wore yesterday, much less six days ago? So in the shower instead of mentally trying to put together an outfit, I think about what I need to write next. My biggest decision is "am I in the mood for a skirt or pants?" or "is it cold today and should I layer accordingly?"
I still have "stuff" in my house that I could/should/would get rid of. (I live with three non-minimalists. They are not hoarders and actually live fairly minimally, but it's just not their thing to constantly be looking for things to get rid of.) But, having less stuff means less picking up/cleaning. Seriously. Less cleaning=more time.
This is a lifestyle switch, I will grant you, and the effects are cumulative, but so worth it. Here's some other stuff I've either given up or am working on getting rid of:
If you were to drop by my house unannounced, I am fairly certain you would not say, "Oh Michelle must be a minimalist!" I am still in this process of cultivating a meaningful life and releasing the bits that are not meaningful, but I gotta say, the benefits are pretty hard to argue with!
Great, all I need is one more reason to procrastinate! As if Instagram wasn't enough...