I have been wanting to write about The Minimalists since I watched their documentary a few months ago. I love, love, love these guys. I pretend they are my best friends and quote them often. If you haven’t, you should definitely check out their film Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things, on Netflix.
Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus started their minimalist journey after both of them discovered that though their lives were full of stuff, they felt empty. They had been chasing the “American dream” only to realize they were running a never ending race to an imaginary finish line. As consumers, their lives were consumed with material things, possessions, making money, etc. This resulted in depression and losing what matters most: relationships with the people in our lives.
They have been minimalists for a few years now, and you can see there is something different about them. They have this air of ease and contentment that people only dream of having. They spend their days writing and traveling the country and world sharing their passion and helping others declutter their lives in order to make room for what matters.
Minimalism is the thing that gets us past the things so we can make room for life’s important things—which actually aren’t things at all.-The Minimalists
This spoke volumes to me. At the start of the year I felt convicted and compelled take care of myself in body + mind + spirit, and to be more intentional with the relationships in my life. Part of growing in mind is clearing out the clutter. In a very practical sense, Garrett and I did declutter quite a bit. We made a total of five trips to Goodwill and it felt amazing. However, it was also sad to see how much money we threw away on pointless stuff that was catching dust in our spare room. It has made me so much more aware of any transactions I make. I am constantly asking, “Does this/ will this add value to my life?”
I love how they note that minimalists don’t focus on having less, rather, they focus on making room for more: more time, more passion, more experiences, more growth, more contribution, more contentment. More freedom. “Clearing the clutter from life’s path helps us make that room.”
So many of us can benefit from the minimalist lifestyle, and yet it is widely unpopular. In a consumeristic society, being minimal is a foreign concept. However, it is a movement that is spreading like wild-fire, and for good reason. When you realize that you have been robbed the joy that life has to offer because all of your time and money and mind have been consumed with objects and pointlessness, minimalism is a way out. It is the step towards a fresh and new beginning. It is stripping down to our cores and seeing ourselves as we truly are. It is exploring our hearts and minds and dreaming again.
It is not easy, but it is rewarding. I am constantly implementing the minimalistic philosophy to my own life. I am always learning new ways to make room for what matters most, especially the people in my life.
Love people and use things, because the opposite never works. –The Minimalists
I highly recommend checking these guys out. I’d start with the documentary, Minimalism, where they
interviewed families, entrepreneurs, architects, artists, journalists, and scientists who have studied and applied the practices of minimalism. They also have a great YouTube channel. I particularly like their animated web series, SIMPLES. They also have a stellar podcast! It’s great to listen to on your way to work. I just got their book, Everything that Remains: A Memoir, and cannot wait to read it. I will definitely be posting about it.
Anyway, I hope you have been challenged and inspired to declutter your own life in order to make room for the things that matter most.
Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things. Dir. Matt D’Avella. Perf. Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus. 2015. Web.
Millburn, Joshua Fields, and Ryan Nicodemus. Everything That Remains: A Memoir by the Minimalists. Missoula, MT: Asymmetrical, 2014. Print.