Let's go back to the 8th of August, 2010. We were at the Travelodge hotel for a mini honeymoon celebration. We kicked back with a little "telly" and Hoarders the American television series was on. We were captivated by the episode that was on. The lady seemed normal, she just had a lot of stuff. One quote in particular that stuck us was "How could one person have five garbage bags of yarn in their closet" We looked at each other, there was in fact five garbage bags of yarn at our home. When we got home from our mini holiday, we took to getting rid of stuff we didn't need immediately.
We realised we were beginning to become hoarders. We would buy nonsense stuff just because it was on sale and we loved going to the recycling depot's second hand store and filling a bag with junk for a dollar. The recycling depot would have all sorts of clothes, books, electronics, sporting equipment and furniture for really cheap which was difficult to pass up. One time we got a working Sony PSP there in our $1 bag!
Changing our habits from a Sunday afternoon of digging through someones garbage at a recycling depot, to clearing out our junk and donating it to the recycle depot was a hard change. We had to fight our urges to fill a bag while we were there. Our apartment building also had a free table for unwanted items in the laundry room, which we would take from on a daily basis. Now we were donating what we didn't use or need on a daily basis.
At this point in our lives we didn't know what minimalism was. We were just focusing on not becoming hoarders like the ones we saw on TV. The problem was that by going to the recycling depot we saw the kinds of things that people were getting rid of and it made us want to make use of some of the perfectly good stuff we were finding there. It took time to realise that there is a line between not letting useful stuff going to waste and buying stuff you will never use.
Another thing that pushed us towards minimalism was moving apartments. We both hate moving and somehow we seem to move pretty often. Each time we move it seems that we get rid of more stuff in order to make the move easier. We tried to pare down our stuff to just the things that we like the most.
Fast forward to August 2014. By this point we had started to learn about minimalism. We were watching Youtube videos about people living with 100 things and we were watching videos on how to minimize. We were very interested in living more, with less. We started going through a room at a time and downsizing our stuff.
So what is minimalism then?
To us it's about focusing on what matters most to us in life, and eliminating anything that stops us from pursuing those dreams. Next we had to figure out what we loved more than anything and apply minimalism to our life to correspond to our dreams.
We wanted to find our passions in life, but as many of you know, it's terribly difficult. We wanted to use minimalism to help us find our passions. Once you get rid of the clutter in your lives, you can begin to see what you actually need in life.
We always knew that we love to travel. We would save our money year round and spend it on a holiday once a year. We love to meet new people and go on new adventures. Minimalism has improved our lives by getting us to focus more on our goals and focus less on acquiring possessions. Less stuff means it is easier to organise, clean, and travel. living more minimally is a space saver, time saver and money saver. That being said we still have a ways to go considering we have quite a bit of stuff stored at our family's houses but it is something that we work towards. It has been 8 months since we stored our stuff, and it is becoming more clear what we will actually keep when we get home.
Learning about minimalism and heading in that direction prepared us for living on a two year working visa since we were used to the idea of living with less.We didn't have much of a choice except to be minimalists, living in England, because we weren't able to bring over much stuff. We can't buy many things either because in all practicality we won't be bringing it back to Canada and also because of financial constraints. We simply can't afford to travel the way we like to, if we buy new stuff. Living in England has demonstrated that it is easier than we thought for us to live more minimally. It also helps to know that when we leave we have to fit everything back in the two suitcases we brought with us here. We are trying our best and thinking twice about everything we buy and focusing on the goals of seeing new places and meeting new people. So far so good. :)
Minimalism has helped us discover our dreams and help us pursue them. If you would like to hear more about minimalism feel free to pop a message in the comments below.
If you enjoyed this post, you may like our post "What We Learned in Our First Year Living Abroad."
For a long time we wanted to travel but just never got around to doing it. Both of us have always had pretty entry level jobs that do...
Welcome to the Wanderlust Vegans Kitchen! We will be providing you with simple, easy recipes every Friday for healthy meals on your travels...
Amsterdam is the capital of the Netherlands and the most populated city in the country as well. It is a very cosmopolitan city with interes...
This post is a bit of a change from the travel blog. Instead of travel photos and vegan food we're looking at documentaries that meant s...
Travel Diary Day 2-3 After a 50 minute train journey from York, we made it to Durham which is a well known university town. Durham ...
If you missed last month's update, find it here: "Veganuary: The Month to go Vegan" Well, our last month living in Engl...
We had a little bit of a change of plans when we left Durham . We were headed to Lincoln, but unfortunately our friends we were due to visi...