The Big Declutter: Rule Your Possessions, Don’t Let Them Rule You - Hope 103.2

The Big Declutter: Rule Your Possessions, Don’t Let Them Rule You

A new doco suggests that a minimalistic life is actually something we can all achieve, following the journey of two men seeking a simpler life.

By Duncan RobinsonMonday 13 Feb 2017Hope BreakfastCultureReading Time: 3 minutes

Listen: Joshua Fields Millburn from theminimalist.com chats to Duncan and Laura.

Minimalism, to some, sounds like a pipe dream: living out of a suitcase, reducing the clutter and becoming a master of your possessions.

But is it really all that difficult?

A new documentary called Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things, suggests that a minimalistic life is actually something we can all achieve.

The documentary explores the philosophy of minimalism by following Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus as they road-trip around America and share their recipe for a simpler life.

Hope Breakfasts’ Laura and Duncan spoke with Joshua about minimalism, and the “important stuff” in life.

Simplify Your Life and Focus on What’s Important

“Minimalism gets us past the things in our life, the extraneous and excess stuff, so we can start to focus on what is truly important,” Joshua said.

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After two major life events – his mother passing away and then his marriage breaking up – Joshua found himself at a crossroads. It forced him to look around and question where his focus was.

He was living the American dream, but it wasn’t Joshua’s dream. At that point of crisis, Joshua realised that maybe everything he wanted, actually wasn’t what he wanted. So he paused and took a forensic assessment of his life.

“As a minimalist. everything I own now either serves a purpose or brings me joy. I got everything else out of the way,” he said.

I’ve Got Too Much Stuff!

According to the Minimalism documentary, the average American household has 300,000 items in it. We own a lot of stuff.

Wanting to rid himself of the feeling of being overwhelmed, Joshua started the cathartic process of letting things go—by getting rid of one item a day, for 30 days.

By the end of the process, having said goodbye to many of his unnecessary possessions, Joshua started to feel happier, more free, lighter and far less stressed.

He also found he had less expenses, and his house was easier to clean.

Joshua’s friends noticed a real change in him, as his finances became manageable, and he even lost weight because he felt less pressure on his life.

“By letting go, I was truly able to look at the things that add value to my life,” he told Hope 103.2. “The reality is that process is ongoing. Those same 1000 items that increase the value to your life now. may shift with time and change. So the process needs to be on-going, where you regularly take a moment to assess the things that are important.

He added that minimalism looks different for different people.

“Different people take different approaches to reducing the clutter in their lives,” he said. “A father of six and his family might have more ‘things’ but what they have, serve a purpose and bring joy.

“In the same respect, a world traveller might just live out of a backpack as they embrace minimalism, yet the items still serve a purpose and bring joy.”

Minimalism: How to Get Started

Above: Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus

The journey of mimimalism is one that even Jesus recommended when he sent out his disciples, telling them to “ “take nothing for the journey except a staff—no bread, no bag, no money in your belts. Wear sandals but not an extra shirt..” (Mark 6:8-12)

To start the process of decluttering your life, Joshua recommends you ask yourself one simple question: ’How might your life be better with less?’.

More Info

Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things can be viewed or purchased on itunes, Netflix, Amazon,  Google Play and Vimeo.

Find out more at Joshua and Ryan’s website, theminimalists.com.