Cut The Fat With Minimalism

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Life’s too short to make mundane decisions for our daily routines.

By ShuQi Liu

In today’s consumerist and capitalist society, it is easier to preach than to practice minimalism. “Less is more” is hard to achieve when we are conditioned to produce, distribute and exchange in constant flow.

I was intimidated by minimalist principles for 1.5 years. Earlier this June, I finally underwent the overhaul. Due to major house renovations, I made the purge. It was a cathartic experience throwing out previous possessions. With decluttering, I began a minimalist lifestyle.

Devoured books, magazines and cd collections amassed in the 2000s, as well as trophies won at school competitions were tossed out of the closet. I no longer needed them in my current life.

I also carefully curated pieces to remain in the wardrobe. Fashionable party wear in crazy designs had to go. Items which brought confidence, are versatile and made with quality materials stayed.

The hardest was letting go of sentimental relics. The emotional struggle was real. With resolution, they had to vanish to make space for the future.

Decluttering was a time-consuming exercise, but it led me to reflect on thoughtful spending. This essentially involves making intentional purchases that create happiness. After many years, my favourite sleepwear from Peter Alexander are still worn to death. A tried and tested Lululemon top that holds up at yoga ensures I enjoy regular exercise.

Sticking to that pair of Ksubi jeans which is comfortable, flattering and durable is a no brainer. Finally, I got to understand and appreciate that life’s too short to make mundane decisions for our daily routines. Recently, I deliberated over a tub of clay mask from Aesop. I made the purchase because it works wonders with minimal effort.

It’s true. Millennials don’t need many pairs of jeans. We know better to focus on values rather than accumulate material possessions. We are not defined by material wealth and ostentatious brand associations. We are who we are.

The Editor’s Note published in Female magazine’s May 2017 issue will resonate with many: The aspirational “C”s of ‘90s Singapore have been replaced by culture, creativity, curiosity and a sense of calm.

Editor Noelle Loh is spot on. Grow, enrich your life. Car, condo, cash, credit card and career no longer function as the 5Cs that lead to happiness. Consuming less is the start of minimalism.

By simple terms, eating healthy and getting regular exercise can actually be achieved without fancy gym memberships and expensive salad bowls. With a bit of imagination, running and swimming outdoors work wonders. In equal measure, we can cut the fat with humble ingredients. Eggs, bread and tomatoes are everyday kitchen staples for an accessible, nutritious breakfast.

While it may go against the grain for many, consuming less starts with working less. When we shift our focus to build loving relationships and contribute to others in a meaningful way, we grow as individuals on a daily basis.

Planning to lead an intentional life starts with working towards our mission. This brings joy, the perfect happy pill to live the best version of ourselves in the moment.

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