“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” – Leonardo da Vinci
Excessive consumerism is not a foreign concept to me. Back in school, I had to have a wardrobe full of clothes. When I started my first job, I had to buy a new shiny vehicle. When I bought my apartment, I also had to buy all sorts of stuff to decorate my new home with. Not to mention the furniture and other home appliances I acquired when I bought my flat.
I have spent a couple of years living between London and my home country. I finally relocated to England in the autumn of 2007 to start my new job, leaving all of my worldly possessions behind. I received a nice relocation package from my new employer, but moving all of my stuff to another country would’ve been impossible. I had two suitcases when I arrived in London and moved into a rented flat that was fully furnished.
Back then I made a promise not to buy any more stuff because I was now renting and sooner or later would be forced to move. My plan didn’t quite work. Somehow, over the period of six years, I managed to accumulate a lot of stuff. No furniture or home appliances this time around (well, apart from my 32’’ TV), but heaps of clothes, books, DVDs, a laptop table (not sure now why I thought I needed it), picture frames of all shapes and colours, lots of crap from my shopping sprees at IKEA… the list goes on.
Back in September, I decided to move to a cheaper place, and so I got rid of half of my belongings and packed the rest into five big boxes and two huge suitcases. It felt liberating to declutter. It felt awesome! My plan was to stay with my sister while looking for a new place to live, so I left all my stuff with my former flatmate while looking for a new place to live.
I moved into my sister’s place with one suitcase. I’ve been staying at my sister’s for over a month now, and I have the following things to wear/use: two office skirts, three office shirts, two office jackets, one office dress, one cocktail dress, three jumpers, one pair of jeans, one pair of boots, one pair of flat shoes, one pair of high heels, one trench coat, one puffer jacket and one leopard print scarf. Apart from my laptop, my hairdryer and a few other items that are of a personal nature, this is all I have with me.
Do I miss any of my other possessions? No!
Do I miss my telly, my DVDs, my laptop table? No, no and umm… no!
It is amazing but five boxes and two suitcases worth of stuff suddenly seem like a lot to be carrying around with me. Having just one suitcase of essentials is truly awesome – I can wake up in the morning and set off wherever I want to without having to worry about stuff. I actually shudder at the thought of having to go back to my old flat to collect my boxes (and a telly… and a laptop table… and a floor lamp).
I wish I didn’t have to.
It’s amazing how so many of us get attached to material things (including myself) and find it hard to let go. It took me many years, but I’ve finally come to realise that I want to live a minimalist lifestyle. At least, while I’m renting.
So this is what I’ve decided to do. I will minimise my possessions. From now on, apart from food, personal care items and necessary items of clothing, I will not be buying anything else, until I am ready to settle down in one place.
Maybe in London… or Windsor… or Bath.
Maybe somewhere on a remote, exotic island.
Maybe back in my hometown.
I honestly don’t know where I will end up living. It could be anywhere. I am wide open to new exciting possibilities.
One thing for sure: possessing less stuff is liberating. Somehow I feel free… I can only imagine what it feels like to be debt free. I am sure it feels beyond awesome, and I cannot wait to experience this feeling first hand…