the astonishing way that minimalism improved my life

a couple of years ago, I had a job at a locally owned bookstore here in edmonton. one weekend, we were having a sale, and my manager asked that I put some of the sale products on the front display table. I set up a well-organized and balanced display, but when my manager returned, she told me that I needed to put a lot more products on the table! a customer overheard this, and laughed as she undoubtedly saw my dumbfounded reaction to the instructions. “you must be a minimalist,” she shared, “I can tell you like the empty space!”

this comment didn’t really ring a bell for me - I hadn’t heard the term minimalist before, and I’d never considered that I might have a different space-design preference from the people around me. three years later, minimalism has become a definite hot topic, and I can’t help but feel like it’s still the ideal style for me.

robineylea - anxiety and minimalism

interestingly, minimalism has become more of a lifestyle than a personal style: it’s become more about keeping your life balanced and organized. this lends itself to fashion (which I’m learning about now!), decorating, organization, and planning. 

as someone who struggles with anxiety, I have definitely noticed the power of minimalism on my mental space. when I get home and my candles are balanced out along my tv stand, my mind breathes a sigh of relief. when the floor in my bedroom is empty, I sleep better. when I’m in the kitchen and my countertops are bare (save for my coffee pot!), I feel less inclined to overeat. I know that this sounds dramatic, but I genuinely mean it. living as minimally as possible makes space to sort out my mental dirty laundry, and this makes life easier. 

if you’re interested in trying out minimalism, I have a few pointers that help me to stay balanced.

one / consider minimalism the act of making space for the things you really love. it can be really hard to part with things, but I promise it’s worth it. minimalism isn’t about getting rid of everything you own - if you really love something, then keep it!

two / think of empty spaces as a luxury. having space on my countertops or the surfaces throughout my home directly translates to my level of stress in a given room. creating that space feels so luxurious to me (which might sound odd), and it definitely creates relaxation for me.

three / remember that donating things gives them a second life. when getting rid of stuff, I often felt a lot of guilt: either I spent good money on an item or received it as a gift from someone I cared about. I soon realized that when I hung onto these belongings out of guilt, I continued to carry around that guilt anyways! if I spent $100 on something and just let it sit in my closet, I felt guilty for wasting the money, and that guilt stayed with me. donating items will get them into the hands of someone who will use them!

I would definitely not say that I’m a minimalism expert in any way! I’m still learning all the time - I love watching youtube videos, reading books and browsing pinterest for ways to expand further into minimalism (any suggested favourites are welcomed!). the life changing magic of tidying up has definitely been a favourite I have returned to many times for ideas and inspiration, and I’m hoping to read spark joy very soon. the power of minimalism continues to surprise me - it’s almost like a form of self care in my world.

have you ever experimented with minimalism? I would love to hear about your experiences in the comment section below! xo.