I’d like to kick off 2017 by discussing my personal journey of minimalism with you. I want to preface this article by addressing the concept, and sometimes misconception, of what it means to be a minimalist. I know that the aesthetic of minimalism is going around on social media. However, true minimalisim is a mindset that goes a lot deeper than an aesthetic for photos. Minimalism is whatever you want it to be for you. It is a deeply personal thing. You do not have to live according to someone else’s definition or opinion of minimal living. I also want to address the fact that my personal experiences come from a place of privilege. I grew up not really wanting for anything; I was provided for. And now that I’m an adult on my own, I am often able to afford the things that I want.
All that being said, minimalism is teaching me what drives our wants and needs. I want to share my experiences with this journey thus far and hopefully share some insight I’ve gained along the way. Perhaps minimalism can help you, too, simplify your life as an INFJ personality type.
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I have always been a bit ruthless when it comes to getting rid of things I no longer want or need. My INFJ nature leaves a lot of room for sentimentality, but it also makes me prefer order and efficiency. I go through my wardrobe regularly to get rid of the things that no longer fit or make me happy when I wear them. I began delving into minimalism within the last six months or so. My living accommodations are quite small, but they are more than enough. I was tired of not being able to find a place for the things I own, so I got rid of a lot of things that didn’t need a place anymore. In the last few months, I have donated about half of my books, a large amount of kitchen items, and so many clothes. I have also gotten rid of several bathroom items, including towels since I had too many, and I even donated about half of my movies. I threw away all of the remaining DVD cases and organized my movies into a portable case so that there is less to store.
If you have been wanting to clear out your space for a while, but don’t know where to start, I suggest picking something that isn’t too sentimental for you. Once you begin purging items from your home, you’ll probably find yourself continuing until you are finally free from excess and love the things you own. One of my favorite things about getting rid of items that don’t make me happy is replacing an item with one that I truly love. The way I see it, there’s no sense in having multiples of an item that you never use/don’t actually like if they can be replaced with one item that you truly love and want to use.
Getting rid of all of this stuff is only part of the story.
Yes, minimalism requires us to have less stuff blocking our space. As an INFJ, I become incredibly overwhelmed by clutter. I am constantly reorganizing and redecorating my space to make everything as efficient and beautiful as possible. A lot of thought goes into my living space. However, minimalism is a mindset for more conscientious consumption. It helps me to make fewer impulse purchases. When I do go out shopping, I look at an item and ask myself if it will make me happy every time I use it. If the answer is no, I don’t buy it.
Of course, there are some things we absolutely must buy. For example, we all have to buy dish soap. I don’t think that dish soap can really make a person super happy every time they use it, but minimalism allows me to be a smart consumer and buy a product that is from a responsible company. Instead of buying tons of cleaning products with yucky chemicals, I began researching how to make my own cleaning products using safe and sustainable items, such as vinegar and castile soap. I have always been adamant about buying cruelty free products. My journey with minimalism reinforces that notion and gives me the space to think before buying. As an INFJ, it’s important to me to live a life that aligns with my conscience.
Minimalism has allowed me to have more physical space, but it also allows me more mental space. I am learning to get my spending under control. I am figuring out ways to spend my free time that don’t require a lot of money. It has been liberating to take things a little slower and enjoy this quieter existence.
Like all things, minimalism is a process, and I am enjoying learning more about it. There is a Ted Talk and a documentary on Netflix by two men who call themselves The Minimalists. I highly recommend checking them out if you want a place to start. There is also an endless stream on YouTube of people going through their own journeys with advice and tips to share.
When it comes down to it, minimalism has allowed me to take a giant step back and analyze the way we spend money as a society. It’s given me a lot of perspective as to what actually matters in life. It’s helping me get my own finances in order, which gives my INFJ future-oriented brain some peace. Most importantly, practicing minimalism is helping me to appreciate what I already have.
So, INFJs, maybe this is a good time to reevaluate your living space and items you own. Help put your mind at ease by having less stuff surrounding you. Remember, this is your journey and you are in control of what you allow into your life. I wish you the best of luck!
If you have any questions about resources for minimalism, please comment below.
Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful. —William Morris
Until next time,
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