Freedom. Doing what you love and focusing on what is important to you. Your paycheck has lost your interest. Your free time isn’t taken up by buying things and fantasizing about material well being. Bargain hunting is something of the past. You even got rid of feeling guilty, because you don’t buy cheap clothing and other environmental unfriendly crap. Does that sound too good to be true? It isn’t, and getting there is only a matter of taking some simple steps. The first step is the key to it all: declutter. Something so simple, yet so powerfull.
Stuff. It’s just everywhere. In our society, everything revolves around stuff. Something so normal, you would almost forget it isn’t normal at all. In fact, it would be better to just stop that nonsense all together. We can wait for forever for consumerism to go away, or we can take matters into our own hands. And then immediately throw it out, literally. Making that move is in reality not as easy as it sounds. To get there, you first have to focus on all the crap you already have acquired over the years.
What I mean by ‘focusing on all of that crap’, is actually nothing more or less then throwing it all out. Give it away, sell it, send it to some friend in need. Who cares. You probably already have some things in mind you should get rid of, whilst reading this. But decluttering isn’t about the few things that are actual crap. Decluttering isn’t your big spring clean up. It is about changing your relationship with stuff. It is breaking your ties with the material things around you, and returning to the core of it all. That is, what is left after you take away the crap. It is just life as it was, before we all forgot that stuff isn’t important at all.
We are weirdos, stuff isn’t something normal
This may all sound very strange to you. A bit floaty even. But the funny part is, that we are being the strange ones. A life completely taken over by stuff, isn’t a normal thing at all. It’s only something from quite recent, and originates in a very specific part of the world. That is at least what we found out, when we were traveling in our tiny campervan for a year, in Morocco, Albania and Georgia. There literally isn’t so much stuff in these cultures. The stuff we did see, is mostly all functional. When something brakes, it won’t get replaced as easily. They just fix it. When stuff remains broken still, it will get dissembled and parts will get another use.
What a mess
What we, Westerners, see when we travel through areas alike, is a big mess. It may seem chaotic and a big bunch of old rusty rubbish, but the funny thing is, that all of this stuff is mostly functional. In the mean time, our houses are full of actual crap. Our crap is however locked away in fancy cabinets, and was expensive and new. Their crap was cheap, most often reused, and solely functional. In fact, their crap isn’t even crap at all. For us, Anniek and I, this insight was pretty eye opening. The focus shouldn’t be on how it looks, and if things are pretty. Functionality has a lot more to offer, and can help to withstand consumerist habits.
Just throw it out
Making the move to declutter drastically, was rather easy for us. We had decided to travel for a year in our self build tiny campervan. Not only did we have very limited space, but we also needed every penny we could earn for a little bit of travel budget. It was a perfect opportunity, to declutter, de-worry and earn some money, and so we sold about everything we had. On the road we even continued our new habit to declutter, even though we didn’t have a lot of stuff on us to begin with. A simple rule did the hard work: if stuff remained unused for a few weeks (and doesn’t have a clear purpose), we had to get rid of it.
Are you on the minimalist team, and ready for yet another step? Check out our article about the mental version of decluttering: de-worrying.
Eager to share something? Get it out there and leave a comments down below!