How Minimalism Can Benefit Your Life as a Student By Nicole Favors
As a student, there are many things that require your time such as academics, work, relationships, and exams. You might be asking yourself where to start minimalizing in the first place. The best place to start is with visible clutter. When you start by tackling the visible clutter, it will become easier to start addressing relationship clutter, financial clutter, academic clutter, etc. It’s important to remember that you don’t need to get rid of everything you own. Focus on getting rid only of the items that no longer spark joy for you. “To truly cherish the things that are important to you, you must first discard those that have outlived their purpose. To throw away what you no longer need is neither wasteful nor shameful,” says Marie Kondo, an expert on decluttering. Her book, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing,” was on the New York Times' bestseller list. Sarah Olmedo, Professional Writing major at Woodbury had some advice: “It is not about doing one universal true thing. It is about looking at things from your own perspective, and being like, “Does this thing spark joy? Is this thing really that important to me?” I think it's also important to understand keeping things clean and perfect isn't an end all be all, and there's no right way to have something clean.” Letting go of items is a difficult part of the process, but holding onto items is also something that Sarah struggles with. He talked about the emotional connection that develops the longer he is with an item, thus making it harder to want to part ways with it. In most cases, he will purchase the item if it sparks joy, but there are also other times when he buys things with no specific purpose. Olmedo said, “There were always things that I wanted when I was younger, but I was unable to afford them or unable to have access to them. In a way, it's part of healing my inner child. Once I started having my own money and I could spend it however I wanted, I just wanted to invest in all the things I never got to invest in. They're just little things that bring me joy.”
Mistakes With Minimalism Initially, people think that everything is resolved after doing one round of decluttering and/or organization, but that isn’t the case. If you struggle with decluttering, you might have a difficult time maintaining the mindset of intentionalism. To not get back to where you initially started, you must understand how you fell back there, to begin with. It varies from person to person, but this means being aware of the things that you purchase or even prior to purchasing items. Remember to think about whether the item will ultimately add value to your everyday life and if it won’t you don’t need it. It’ll only be another thing that is requiring your time and since your time is important think about the areas that you actually do enjoy putting your time into. Is what you are going to purchase worth the money and care you’d be putting into it? If not, it’s safe to say that you can pass on that item so that you can save yourself from future stress.
Positive Impact of Minimalism
In an article with Acenda Integrated Health wrote, “If you're a minimalist, your mind gets a lot of relief. You'll be better positioned to reorganize your mind and life. Remember, positive thinking will let you have fewer mental triggers as you have fewer things disturbing your mind. When you have less stress, your heart rate will improve, your fatigue levels will reduce, digestion improves, and your overall mood will be better. Life will improve, and you'll achieve your goals and work through major challenges.” Overall, minimalism has a lot more benefits than it does disadvantages. It will take time to adjust to a new mindset regarding items and remind yourself that the more that you own, the less time you will have to attend to other things that you genuinely enjoy. The more physical items you possess, the more you will have to attend to keep the item clean, organized, up to date, or even repaired. Therefore, based on the benefits, that minimalism can add to your life, it’s worth a try considering that you’d only be gaining and taking a step forward to improving your life as a student.
Relationship With Decluttering: An Interview with Sarah Olmedo
Sarah Olmedo (he/his/him, she/her/hers) is a fourth-year Professional Writing major at Woodbury University. His current relationship with decluttering is positive, despite not having much time in his schedule to engage in decluttering due to schoolwork. Typically, when he does have the time to clean his space in his room, he feels overall better about himself and what he’s able to accomplish when his environment is clean. There are times when he wants to stop everything that he’s doing just to clean, but at times, he must prioritize homework over cleaning. There are certain days when Sarah doesn’t spend most of his time at home which results in him forgetting about what areas need to be cleaned or even certain items that he owns. Monday is typically Sarah’s long day at school, so when he comes back home from his night class, he’d rather just relax than start organizing his space. Letting go of items is a difficult part of the process, but holding onto items is also something that Sarah struggles with. He talked about the emotional connection that develops the longer he is with an item, thus making it harder to want to part ways with it. In most cases, he will purchase the item if it sparks joy, but there are also other times when he buys things with no specific purpose. Decluttering has improved Sarah’s life by allowing him to be more focused in his day-to-day life. When he’s in a clean space, it allows him to have one less thing to think about, as it provides a stress-free life. Marie Kondo is someone who has not only helped Sarah by looking at examples of decluttering and understanding spaces that work for each individual person. Those are Sarah’s ideas about decluttering as a student and ultimately, he’s hoping that his advice can help improve and add value to your life! It was a pleasure interviewing share in hopes that this advice from a student regarding the topic can help assist any one of your readers with your relationship with decluttering. “Everyone has a different version of what they think is clean and decluttered and you know, since that varies from person to person, whatever works for you and makes your space feel the best and the safest for you, as long as you're not growing a bacterial culture in the corner. It’s something that’s meant to be personalized to help you with your space and no one else can dictate that for you.”