One of the main benefits of minimalism and living simply is more space. It seems like we are taught from birth that an empty space is indicative of need, something needs to be there- it needs to be filled. When we see a blank wall or empty nook in our home, we feel the yearning to find something to place there. When we find an empty slot of time in our day, we must fill it with some activity to make us feel productive. Once we have filled all our space, we feel closed in, too busy, too cluttered in our lives.
Whether we are talking about physical space in our home, or an empty space of time in our schedule, having that space where there is room for nothing is a freeing prospect, one that gives us a chance to step back, take a breath and enjoy the opportunity that comes with having nothing planned, nothing to do or an open, uncluttered area to enjoy in your home.
Consider the freedom that comes from cultivating more physical space and scheduled space in your life-
~Freedom to rest from busyness.
~Freedom from excessive cleaning.
~Freedom from feeling overwhelmed by stuff.
~Freedom from too many commitments.
~Freedom to accomplish what is really meaningful to you.
~Freedom from too much visual stimuli and clutter.
~Freedom from spending money on things you don’t need.
~Freedom to spend more of your time how you would like.
Over the past couple of months, I’ve spent some time decluttering more of my unused possessions and activities, giving myself more space to think about new things I may want to pursue. Using some of this new space, I’ve gone back through some of the books I initially read that helped me get started on my road to simple living and minimalism. One that I came across that I loved was “The Joy of Less, A Minimalist Living Guide” by Francine Jay. I started rereading the book and was taken back to the original principles and ideas that I so love about minimalism. Francine’s philosophy takes a holistic approach to minimalism in all areas of our lives, with a strong focus first on creating physical space through decluttering, then moving on to our schedules to create inner space.
Out of her book, this statement resonated with me a great deal, and helped me realize the value of creating space in my life. “A container is most valuable when it’s empty. We can’t enjoy fresh coffee when old grounds are in our cup; and we can’t showcase our garden’s blooms when wilted flowers fill the vase. Similarly, when our homes-the containers of our daily lives-are overflowing with clutter, our souls take a backseat to our stuff.”
There are so many inspiring people, places and things in the world, but we must have the freedom, and the space to be able to first notice them, and then appreciate them. Find that space by ridding yourself of just one or two things to begin with that are taking up physical space, or taking up time in your life and preventing you from having the freedom to express your true self through your belongings and your actions.
What would you do with some extra freedom and space in your life?
Get your copy of “The Joy of Less.” By Francine Jay.