LIVING LIFE WITH LITTLE
written by Lottie Lewis
When you search Google for a definition, amongst other things you’ll find: “A minimalist prefers the minimal amount or degree of something”
So, living a minimalistic life is all about living with less, right? Right. But we think that sometimes when you choose to live a life with less, your life can become richer.
When you pack up your van with a few possessions and your favorite battered longboard strapped to the roof, and you drive away from rent and work and bills and routine, you lighten your load.
The lack of space forces you to pick only the things that you really need; a camping stove, a wetsuit, a bag of dog food, a pair of worn-out denim shorts, and your favorite jacket that’s seen you through all seasons. You leave bags of unwanted clothes in the doorway of the charity shops in town, sell a few bits on the Facebook marketplace, give a couple of dresses to your little sister who always wanted them.
Dog-eared books and hand-me-down crockery and snowboarding gear are packed away into sealed boxes and stashed in your parent's attic. All of a sudden you have very little to your name. Just the bare essentials.
And suddenly, the pressure falls away. Work’s on hold. Your things are stripped back. Your diary is blank. You find yourself with less of everything, including less on your mind.
When you open yourself up to a life of less, the greatest riches of the world often fall at your feet. With no deadlines or workdays to wake up to, the morning becomes yours again. Stretch in the early morning sun that filters through the salty van windows. Wander down to the waterside with a coffee in hand, dog at your feet, for the dawn surf check. Move slowly. There’s nothing to rush for.
Indeed, the people who have nothing much to their name are often the happiest. Money can’t buy your love, and the sunny souls that you meet camping out in the dunes in Portugal, the locals born and raised in the Indonesian tropics, and the surf bums who’ve been living in their vans for most of their lives have the widest smiles. Sure, it’s not always easy, and you’re clothes are normally grubby, but the wetsuits hung on the wing mirrors and welcoming, freckled faces tell of a life lived with a different kind of richness; community, time in nature, and appreciation of the little things.
There is no need for newness when you choose quality over quantity. By shopping consciously and choosing well-made over well cheap, you’ll save yourself money in the long run. We always choose natural or recycled fibers when making your clothes at INMIND, making sure the clothes you wear will last through thick and thin. A coat with a bunch of stitched-up rips and colorful patches tells a story of forest exploring, clifftop wave watching, running with the dogs, and spark spitting fires, surrounded by good friends and cold beers. That pair of dungarees you seem to live in may be ripped at the knee and patched on the bum and missing a clip, and they may not look smart or neat or clean, but they will always be full of life, even when they become threadbare.
Being a minimalist can help save the planet too. By shopping in refill stores, growing your own food, and being conscious of the packaging your food comes in, we can reduce plastic pollution and emissions and save money too. Reduce, reuse and recycle, in that order. Some of our jackets are made from recycled polyester fibers, meaning we limit the number of new textiles we use when creating an item.
It’s the perfect time of year for a Spring Clean. You’ll not only declutter your apartment but your mind, removing the rubbish and making space for only what makes you happy. As surfer’s, we don’t need a lot but offshore winds and glassy days, and we can turn a blind eye to the garages that have surfboards stacked floor to the ceiling.
As Marie Kondo said, “Keep only the things that spark joy.” If each and everyone one of those single fins and fishes and longboards makes you happy, then you definitely needn’t ditch any of them.
Try giving it a go! You might be surprised by how little you really need.
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