The Minimalist Experiment : The End

The End. I’ve finally made it to the end of the semester, and the end of my Minimalism Experiment. If you’ve been following along with me through this journey, you’ve seen me start with an idea based on the Minimalist lifestyles lived by Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus and inspired by their podcast, The Minimalists. You’ve also seen me reflect on my experiment based on a variety of different components of minimalism as well as from a non-violent communications perspective.

By completing this project I’ve become a lot more at ease with myself both mentally and physically, as well as gained a greater understanding of how Minimalism can help us be kind to the planet that we live on. Along the way, I’ve even managed to break and identify a few of my nasty habits that hurt both myself and my home. This experiment has also helped me to better connect with my loved ones and my passions through eliminating all of the mental and physical clutter around me.

Even though I have not stuck to each concept of Minimalism that I have laid out for myself over the course of the semester, each experience has taught me something vital about myself and non-violent communication.

W1: No Spend Week

As written in my very first post, this was a great choice for week one of my challenge as it forced me to not bring any new items into my life. I valued the concepts from this week because they kept me from buying unnecessary items and helped me to save money. Not spending money also helps me to stay away from buying fast food, meaning that I can focus on eating in a more health-conscious way. This was one of the simplest, and most effective parts of my experiment with minimalism and I have continued practising this during times where I want to save. 

W2: Clearing the Physical Clutter

Doing a big clean of my space at home was another really simple and effective portion of this experiment. Being able to get rid of so many items has been beneficial to my productivity and has helped me to feel less overwhelmed in my space. Over the semester, I found that I was able to keep my space much neater with much less effort and never had to go looking for things like I had in the past. It is true that less is more and taking the time to appreciate the objects that truly bring you happiness is a great thing that everyone should experience.

W3: Clearing the Digital Clutter

Clearing the digital clutter is another simple way to feel less overwhelmed in your day to day life. Invest in or make use of your USB’s or external hard drives and get rid of the clutter on your computer and other devices. Take the time to go through and delete unneeded photos and apps as well, which not only will free up space on your device, but also in your mind. Throughout this experiment I have stuck with this concept, deleting files, photos and apps I no longer need and keeping finished work on my external hard drive instead of on my laptop. 

W4: Being Present

The practice of being present isn’t something that can necessarily be related to the concept of practising Minimalism, but the things that you learn from a week of acting in this way can help you to make much more clear decisions when breaking into a minimalist lifestyle. Being present is extremely difficult since we are often surrounded with so many distractions and a constant worry about the past, present and future. However, this week-long attempt to simply live day by day left me feeling very refreshed and relaxed. Being present is a practice that people spend their entire lives trying to achieve, but by doing simple things like truly listening to your loved ones or not dividing your focus to multiple things at once can help anyone find a little bit of this peace, even if only for a moment.

W5: Eating Simple

This week of my experiment focused less on the types of foods I was putting in my body, and more on the habits and relationships I have built with food. This week was the most difficult week of the experiment without a doubt, and I failed multiple times. Breaking habits and creating healthier relationships with food is something that I find very difficult and have been working on for years. One positive thing that came out of this week was a realization of some of my more negative food habits which have helped me to move forward in working to eliminate some of these issues and be more kind to my body.

W6: Minimalism as an Artist

As I said in this post, Minimalism is a very difficult thing for any kind of artist or hobbyist to achieve. Throughout this week I implemented a few different tactics that helped me to find a bit more organization in my hobbies and eliminate unneeded tools and materials for a more efficient and minimal workspace. I have appreciated the work that I did this week moving forward, as it has made my business run more smoothly and made creating much less stressful.

W7: Social Media Hiatus

For this social media hiatus to be successful I set out a variety of rules for myself such as staying off social media as much as possible, turning off all forms of social media notifications, moving all social media apps to the second page of my iPhone’s desktop and fighting urges throughout the day to check up on it. After completing this week-long journey, I learned a ton about myself, my lifestyle, and most importantly, what makes me happy. While I have not kept off of social media completely for the rest of this experiment, this week made me more mindful of the effects of excessive social media use and made me realize how much can be missed out on when you are constantly buried in your phone. 

W8: Beauty Break

This was my favourite week out of the entire experiment because it made me reflect on myself in several different ways. Not only was it an exercise in self-love, but it also made me consider how many products I use every day and how unhealthy that must be both for myself and the environment. Even though I have gone back to using many of these products after the end of this week, it made me want to make wiser healthier choices the next time I purchase beauty products and also made me feel more comfortable in my skin.

Overall, being able to complete this project and dedicate an entire semester to something that I would have never done otherwise has been a fantastic and eye-opening experience. Not only have I noticed changes in myself, but I’ve spent a lot of time reflecting on how my actions impact others and the environment. If you are interested in following a similar kind of path, I highly encourage you to list to The Minimalists and explore areas of your life where you can adopt a minimalist lifestyle. 

Jess Moffitt 

I am a 20 something Canadian Public Relations and Communications student who has a passion for the creative and pretty things in life! Join me as I share my ideas and tips as a budding crafter and career woman in Studio Blue! 

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