How Moving 37 Times Caused Me to Think Minimally, Socially and Live Light On the Go
Everyone is talking about minimalism nowadays. To be honest, I don’t even like the sound of the word. To me, it sounds cold and boring. But what if we shift our perspective and look at it as a way of life? Let’s make a conscious effort to think clearly about the things we buy. Let’s think about where they come from and the people they affect.
Today, minimalists are known for living light by getting rid of their things.
I have a different take on the subject.
Why not remove the things that no longer bring value to your life? Instead of keeping what no longer serves you, give those things to someone who really needs them.
Non-minimalists worry about wanting the things they’ve thrown away later on. That is totally understandable. But listen — I have never regretted discarding anything. Ever.
How I Got Into Minimalism
It all started when I left for college with just two suitcases in 2005. With school came the opportunity to study abroad, take on exciting internships and move on to the dream of a lifetime: a co-op at NASA Kennedy Space Center. That’s where the intense moving began. For three years, I relocated to a new city every three months. I moved from Houston, Texas to Cape Canaveral, Florida. Then, from Cape Canaveral to West Lafayette, Indiana. It felt endless!
The moves took a toll on me, but I kept reaching for the stars. I soon began collecting three sets of everything!
In 2015, six states and 37 moves later, I got married to my long-distance boyfriend of five years. And for the first time in a decade, I had all my things in one place. That was when it hit me: I had too much stuff.
Since I was living with someone, working on a startup and paying off my student loans, I needed to consolidate and reduce. That said, I couldn’t bring myself to throw my things away. I’d paid so much for them! But then I thought about it. I realized that other people could benefit from the stuff that no longer served me.
Ever since I got married and left a six-figure salary to work for myself, I knew that I needed to figure out how to control my spending. My husband and I wanted to be in good financial standing.
So, I started reading articles and books, watching videos and listening to podcasts. That was when I stumbled on the two people whose methods changed my life. They truly changed my perception of spending and clutter. I learned about the Mari Kondo Method and Dave Ramsey’s EntreLeadership, and I learned about the 7 Baby Steps that’ll get you out of debt (also known as the “Snowball Effect”). In addition, I found influential YouTubers whom I absolutely loved — and still do: Light by Cocoo, Lavendaire and Rachel Aust.
To this point, after applying these new insights, my husband and I paid off two out of our six student loans. We also made over $3,500 by selling our things.
We decided to give away some of our belongings to people who needed them more than we did.
I sold some and donated the rest, and I experienced so much joy in doing so. It was the same kind of rush you get when you buy stuff for yourself, only this time I was decluttering my life and helping others.
By the end of it all, we had so much extra space in our apartment that we decided to downsize. We now live in an 800 sq. ft. loft and feel right at home. We’re minimalists now, and our lives are light, rich and happy. Note: I barely bought anything. Just two books! And I’ve been going on YouTube and Pintrest a lot.
To get where I am today, I came up with my very own keep-or-toss method that I would like to call The Laila Method. Lol. If you would like to get your hands on this list, please subscribe to my mailing list (just fill in below) and let me know you subscribed and I’ll send you my questionnaire.
My definition of Active Minimalism is this simple: Live a life that is light, fun and allows you to do things you couldn’t have done with clutter.