• Eco Sathi

Journey of a hoarder to A Green Minimalist

One day when my friends and i were having a coffee meeting, my friend called me "Bappi Lahiri"(an Indian singer who loves to wear a lot of Indian Jewelry) . You know why? Because of all the jewelry i was wearing as a young adult was too much. Until then i had no idea that i was going over the top with the jewelry. Well, it depends on a personal choice on what you want to wear and that incident certainly made me realize that i was just going for what my mom wanted me to wear rather than being the golden women with my own choice. But this remark didn't make me the minimalist just the second day . I continued living a "Bappi lahiri" life even after that .

I was a hoarder in terms of having unnecessary clothes at my wardrobe and not only the material items i had too many people ever roaming in and out of my life. In short, i couldn't let go of what i do not need or clinging on to some items or people made my life so crowded and cluttered. Until this point i was a very very extroverted person (at least i thought so). But constantly needing validation from other people, in terms of fashion, material possessions and also the way i am living my life made me a very anxious person. This cluttered life made me realize i couldn't manage all the books, notebooks, clothes , people that i had and i needed clarity in my life. I started reading many books on minimalism, and living with less and watching many you tube videos .Today, i am sharing with you what inspired me and how i went about living a life with lesser things.

1) Minimalist home Journey:

I moved to Tokyo for two years. I could only carry a suitcase full of clothes and necessary stuffs for moving into another place. I left all my possessions back home and headed to a new place. The room was small, we had no bed, small wardrobe, small kitchen , small bathroom, small everything. We couldn't afford luxury in the worlds most expensive city. While i missed my things back home, but we were very contented. By the time i was finishing my first year in Japan, i understood ; happiness that possessions gave, were just short lived. The real joys were in living a grateful life, to have a peaceful mind, to have a freedom to choose to do and live life in your own terms. The amazing thing is that Japanese were living minimally for centuries. In my opinion , that is why majority of them are living a very high quality life.

2) Minimalist self care journey :

I experimented on my skin, my hair and my body way too much. Until i started my minimalist journey. I had breakouts, thin hair and not so healthy body and mind. Until one day when i had a bad breakout and i visited a dermatologist. She gave me a soap and a sunscreen. I completely stopped using any other products on my face and now i do not need thousands of products in my bathroom . I am also not very keen on makeup so i stopped buying makeup for that one time party or get together. I feel more confident in my own natural self. This makes my bag pack less heavy for travelling as well!!:) I gave the products i use no more, to my friends and relatives who use them and enjoy them . This i how i got rid of the products i bought or i was gifted before starting this journey. I also started taking care of my mind and body by yoga and meditation and eating healthy also having that positive mindset really helped . For me these are the best ways of taking care of myself.

3) Minimalist Wardrobe Journey:

I was teaching a graceful women of age 75 years while i was in Tokyo. Once during a lesson i had to ask her "where do you buy your shoes from?". She said from "Ginza". Ginza is the heart of Tokyo ,the most expensive part of Tokyo . and to my surprise i asked her "isnt Ginza too expensive?" She said, "well, i would rather buy an expensive shoes and make it last longer than constantly buy cheap shoes " I had a similar kind of conversation with another women about her expensive watch. The one who got a suitcase full of fast fashion to Tokyo (that is me) now realized that its better to wear and buy a higher quality clothes and shoes and make them last for years before you actually throw them into the landfill. Minimalism is not owning less, but owning few items of value, the items that are timeless and serves you purpose for a long long time.

4) Letting go journey :

When asked what is minimalism, Joshua Becker of Becoming Minimalist says:

“Minimalism is the intentional promotion of the things we most value and the removal of anything that distracts us from it.”

Letting go is very difficult when it comes to memories and attachments. Discarding any items that doesn't serve us any purpose is much easier than that which is attached with memories. For items like these i try to organize them in a box and click pictures of the toys, gifts or cards. For first few days i try to look at the digital pictures and try to discard them in the next week if the picture is enough for me. I also try to thank the items before discarding them for the purpose that they serve in my life and say goodbye. I learned to thank the items from a book called " the life changing magic of tidying up" by Marie kondo. To talk to the items as if they were people made me change my mindset about the things around me forever.

These are my four basic steps and inspiration for my minimalist journey. I am still learning by making mistakes everyday. Another important thing to keep in mind is to be patient with a person who lives with you . May be you can inspire them with your actions but please do not try to school them :) or force them to live minimally like you are doing. You ENJOY your own journey, start the decluttering process with your things and your stuffs. They might get motivated with your way of living and start living with less too. Thank you for reading.I hope this was useful and let me know if you have already started living a minimal life or you are planning to live with less. Lastly, i am sharing with you my favorite verse of Bible. This is also very relatable when the world is going through a very difficult phase because of Corona Virus. Please Stay Safe and take care !!

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