The hustle and bustle of our society today is exhausting, especially in a place where more than 1 million people call home. There is peer-pressure, here in Silicon Valley, to always have the nicest possessions and most up-to-date technology. It surrounds us and we often feel obligated to keep up with the trends. These possessions overwhelm our passions, free-time, and relationships.

Just when it seems as if we have everything we need, people like Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus, who call themselves The Minimalists, remind us that it is possible to be even happier than before by letting go of excess materials in order to make room for more love, more passion, more time, and more experiences.

Minimalism is about clearing the clutter, both physically and emotionally.

Millburn and Nicodemus left everything that they worked hard to achieve during their first 30 years after reportedly feeling a lingering discontent. “A few years ago, while approaching age 30, we had achieved everything that was supposed to make us happy: great six-figure jobs, luxury cars, oversized houses, and all the stuff to clutter every corner of our consumer-driven lifestyles,” says their website.

“And yet with all that stuff, we weren’t satisfied with our lives. We weren’t happy. There was a gaping void, and working 70-80 hours a week just to buy more stuff didn’t fill the void: it only brought more debt, stress, anxiety, fear, loneliness, guilt, overwhelm, and depression.”

In an effort to reclaim their lives, they embarked on a 21-day journey toward minimalism. However, it is an entire lifestyle shift and doesn’t necessarily need to happen as quickly for you. Many others have found happiness through slowly encompassing minimalism over many years. No matter how you choose to live your life, we hope it is one full of purpose and happiness.

If you find yourself drowning in your life and would like a chance to breathe again, we fully support your journey toward minimalism.

How To Start Living Like A Minimalist

  1. Ask Yourself Why – Why do you want to live a life of minimalism? Write down the reasons that make living a simpler life more appealing.
  2. Delete The Duplicates – Go through your possessions and get rid of anything that appears more than once. Two copies of the same movie? Put one in a duplicate box. Multiple kitchen utensils that serve the same purpose? Decide on your favorite and put the rest in the box. After the entire house is rid of duplicates, put the boxes in storage. After 30 days, donate whatever is left in the boxes that you really didn’t need.
  3. Start With Small, Clutter-Free Spaces – Pick one space in your home, and make it a clutter-free zone. Whether it is your kitchen table or a dresser, make sure the space is never a blackhole of unnecessary belongings. Soon enough, you can expand the space until your entire home becomes a clutter-free space.
  4. Like Ross, Dress For Less – A limited wardrobe is one way minimalists have simplified their lives. While it may seem more difficult to dress adequately every day without having a plethora of options, you may find it actually becomes easier with fewer choices. Project 333 encourages using only 33 items for three months as an entire wardrobe (clothes, shoes, accessories).

Your Minimalism Can Help The Community

The Catholic Charities of Santa Clara accepts car donations, which are then sold to junk yards for parts or to another buyer, in order to fund programs that help our community grow out of poverty and afford the most basic life amenities: food and shelter.