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Digital Subscriptions > Psychologies > No. 153 > Living with enough

Living with enough

Are you drowning in stuff that you don’t need, overwhelmed with life admin and so busy you haven’t got time to sort it all out? Perhaps minimalism, the new lifestyle trend taking the world by storm, is the answer to all your problems, says Anita Chaudhuri

Dossier

Several years ago, Joshua Fields Millburn was director of operations for an American telecoms company. He had a six-figure salary, a big house and a fancy car. But, despite all that, he was surprised to discover he wasn’t particularly fulfilled.

‘I saw that all the people above me at work were unhappy – they were having heart attacks in their 40s. I thought, “If I work hard enough for the next 10 years, I could be just like them…” Suddenly, my future didn’t seem so appealing.’ At around the same time, Millburn’s mother died and his marriage ended in the space of a month.

Inspired by the Exile Lifestyle blog by Colin Wright, Millburn quit his job and set up The Minimalists with his long-time friend Ryan Nicodemus. ‘I had a lot of stu… Hundreds, thousands of books, DVDs, cupboards full of clothes; all of these things I had allowed to enter my life without question.’

“Over the course of eight months, he jettisoned 90 per cent of his things. As he let go, he began feeling freer, happier and lighter”

In time, Millburn realised that most of his stu. – about 90 per cent of it – was weighing him down, and keeping him from the freedom, happiness and fulfilment he so desperately wanted. So he let go. Over the course of eight months, he jettisoned approximately 90 per cent of his possessions. As he did so, he began feeling freer, happier and lighter. As the external clutter was removed, so was the internal clutter: emotional clutter, mental clutter, stress and anxiety. And, in the process of letting go of so much stuff, the duo created several bestselling books, a podcast and served as the inspiration for a hit Netflix documentary. Meanwhile, their blog now attracts up to three million readers a month.

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About Psychologies

We encourage you to fall in love with life, to get out of your head and into nature. Spring is officially here and we’re encouraging you to try a ‘micro-adventure’ –  a 24-hour foray outside into the fresh air whether it’s walking in the hills, or sleeping under the stars. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, exhausted and fed up of slaving to support a lifestyle that doesn’t make you happy, then read how decluttering and minimalism can help you start creating a life based on values, not things in our  dossier. Join our month-long Psychologies Decluttering Challenge with expert Cait Flanders, author of The Year Of Less, who will coach us on how to simplify our lives.