Less is more by Mun

I love space. I like things to be spaced out where I could see my things at one glance and I know exactly where my things are – It is just so efficient. I don’t have to fret and grapple, especially in the mornings when I wake up just in time for breakfast, travel and work.

To achieve that, I keep things minimally. I buy only the things I need. I only bought a TV, a sofa set and an induction cooker for my new home as I inherit the rest of the furniture from my sister’s house – I think I saved RM 15,000.00 there. Many around me were discouraging– It’s a new house! You should buy new beds, table, pillow etc., but I refused. Other aspects of life where I decrease the number of things include only printing when required. The rest of my documents and works are in soft copies. I rarely waste food – I do grocery shopping every fortnight and cook what I will finish eating.

I have been living like this since the beginning of my adulthood for years. It is only later in life, that I realized that what I have been practicing was:- minimalism.

Minimalism has really given me more. As elaborated above – I have more space, time and money. Yes, buying new things is exciting or as Marie Kondo would put it as joy due to the dopamine it produces, but I prefer to go deeper; I believe that the joy should be balanced with value.

Does that mean that all my things are hand-me-downs? No. The key here is: – balance. Before buying or receiving something, ask yourself –

·      How many times will I use this item?

·      Will it affect my work/ professional life if I don’t own this?

·      What are the other alternatives?

Take for instance, I was working in a job where I had to take pictures of sites and meet clients. I owned a phablet of about RM 400.00, so you can imagine the picture quality. Furthermore, it wasn’t presentable during meetings with directors, senior government officials and bosses. Was it time to buy a new mobile phone? Let’s run through these questions on the new phone:-

·      How many times will I use this item?

Everyday. I don’t only use it for work but for personal use – faster internet when I need to search for information is helpful to me.

·      Will it affect my work if I don’t own this?

Yes, the site visit report will not be clear and it affects the readers’ perception and decision on the clients that I am presenting on.

·      What are the other alternatives?

Looks like nobody has a spare phone with high-definition camera to spare and I don’t have a DSLR. The decision is clear.

No alt text provided for this image
Zero Waste Couch

Minimalism reduces anxiety. Your brain is calmer when you see less things. (Ask your friends who study psychology). There’s no need to be afraid of losing things because there are just so little things to be mindful of. I was backpacking Europe for 2 weeks in 2017 and all I went around was a bag with 3 sets of cloths and stockings, a pajama, a pair of slippers, some moisturizer with minimal makeup, a phone charger, my headphone, some detergent – you see the point? I could remember them even now, so packing and leaving a place to travel to the next one was easy. There’s no “oh man….I’ve forgotten to take that RM300.00 serum set from the hotel bathroom!” or “have I kept my wireless mouse in my bag?”

No alt text provided for this image
Mun on her Europe trip

Finally, by practicing minimalism, I have prevented myself from constantly chasing for things and be stuck where I would be doing things I don’t like just to make money – which, is a situation that many are in and it is saddening. Life is too short to be stuck in a situation like that. I have therefore, a lower threshold to achieve financial freedom and potentially achieve 

F.I.R.E – Financial Independence, Retire Early. That is why, less is more.

By Mun

2 thoughts on “Less is more by Mun”

Leave a Comment

Established in 2016, Zero Waste Malaysia (“ZWM”) is a non-profit organisation (PPM-044-10-29032018) registered under The Registry of Societies of Malaysia.

This website runs on green hosting - verified by thegreenwebfoundation.org