Written by Sébastien Duperron
Wednesday, June 26th, 2019
Every July 1, thousands of Quebec households load boxes on trucks, move fridges down three floors and toss old couches to the curb.
I'm lucky—I've only had to move once on July 1. And what a disaster it was: it rained, the movers were late, things were damaged, and it cost a fortune. I vowed then and there that it would never happen again.
Of course, people move for a plethora of reasons. But how many Quebec households would you say move because their current home is too small? Because they no longer have enough room for all the stuff they own?
According to a 2015 survey*, 22% of tenants were relocating due to a lack of storage space. That's huge!
Did you know that there's a simple solution to avoid moving for this reason?
Say hello to minimalism.
More Than Just a Fad?
Contrary to popular belief, minimalism isn't just the latest fad. It's a lifestyle based on experiences, sharing and relationships, which has been around for a long time. For minimalists, objects are only kept to ensure a minimum level of comfort.
Minimalism makes it possible to simplify your life, to focus on what's most important to you. To live life to the fullest.
Today, minimalism gets a bad rap because it goes against mainstream thinking. Because minimalists don't believe happiness comes through stuff. They don't cede to advertisements compelling us to buy stuff so we can fit in, be a part of the in-crowd.
The best thing about minimalism is that it can be applied however you see fit. You can choose to go to the extreme, keeping only what fits in a backpack or small suitcase. Or you can take the "buffet" approach and adopt only the elements that work for you.
De-Clutter Your Life
I chose this approach because it suits my lifestyle better. But I can't ask my wife and two children to become extreme minimalists overnight.
I have too much stuff that brings me no happiness. Once purchased, that new sweater or stereo system loses its appeal. It just becomes more stuff taking up space. Even though I live in a big house, I don't have enough space.
That's part of the reason why I've chosen to adopt a minimalist lifestyle. I've gotten rid of several items by either donating them to charities or selling them. By doing so, someone else can enjoy it—and it's an environmentally-friendly way to go. What more can I ask for?
Since I won't be spending hours shopping, putting stuff away or cleaning up, I'll have more time to do other things. I'll have more time to do what I truly enjoy.
I'll also have more money in my pocket. No more blown budgets. No more overspending. All of which will help to reduce my stress level.
It's time for me to set new goals for myself. I want to travel more, have memorable experiences and share them with my family and friends.
Feel Like Making a Change?
Examine the potential benefits and downsides to adopting minimalism. Maybe you'll want to make big changes or just little ones, like shopping less and reusing more of what you already have.
If you want to simplify or de-clutter your life, minimalism is a very solid option.
*https://www.lapresse.ca/maison/immobilier/demenagement/201606/30/01-4996860-les-quebecois-et-le-demenagement.php (French link)