You should start packing.
Then, you will realise that your things are weighing you down from moving.
There are many videos on YouTube that share about a Minimalist lifestyle. I have watched several of them and what these YouTubers had in common is they had all uprooted their lives and moved to another country.
I had moved from Singapore to the UK in January 2022 and that experience was stressful and time-consuming because I had too many things. I vowed to be a minimalist thereafter but I see myself creeping back into my old behaviour of buying and accumulating things after 3 months. Right now, the only thought that can keep that desire in check is the thought of moving once again.
Therefore, if you aspire to be a globe-trotting executive or digital nomad, adopting a minimalist lifestyle will be the FIRST STEP in preparing for your BIG MOVE.
How to Start?
Is your new job going to fund your move? If so, you will have the luxury to keep your things and make your company foot your shipping bill. However, if you are moving before landing a job or gig, I assume you would want to reduce the cost of the move. My best advice is summarised in this article.
Why it may be more difficult to be a Minimalist if you are living in a 4 Season Climate?
However, I do confess that it is tough being a minimalist, especially living in a 4 season climate which requires different types of clothing for different weather. Coupled with a coupon-chasing and bargain-hunting habit, I find myself lapsing into my old behaviour of buying things just in case I need them in the future because they are on discount right now.
Also, there is always a trade-off between comfort and trying to be a minimalist. I can always own fewer clothes but I may have to trade off with lowering my hygiene standard by washing my clothes less often and being reeking with an awful smell. I may also have to suffer from the cold winter because I do not want to own another bulky winter coat. Therefore, I will probably donate most of the clothes that I can’t bring along if I were to move again.
This is the best video of a YouTuber sharing her 4 Season Minimalist Wardrobe as of June 2022. She made me think that it is possible to still look presentable and stylish even with a small wardrobe.
What I am doing to curb my desire of buying discounted things?
Make a List of everything I own.
This is the most important habit to remain a minimalist. I realise that my coupon-chasing habits are turning me into my mum. I am not able to discern if I really need that thing when there’s a huge discount.
Therefore, when I started creating a visual inventory of my belongings on Pinterest in June 2022, I realised that I had something to counter the desire. I just need to look at my inventory of clothes to check if that new piece of clothing will give me at least 5 new looks before swiping my card.
I only realised the importance of maintaining this list after my friend told me this was what she learned from the article I had written for her. After watching this video, I realised that he also shared the importance of maintaining a list of all the things he has. It set me in a frenzy to start making an inventory count of my things.
How to be a minimalist if you are planning to become a mum in the near future?
When I was living in Singapore, I noticed many of my peers who are mums are starting to clutter up their homes with things for pregnancy and their babies. I felt so relieved when I watched this video. Now, I will not feel bad if I do not buy those things for myself or my kids. This assurance from another mum will certainly make my next move easier.
Minimalism gives you Optionality in Life
I was sold by the idea of Optionality after reading the book Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder by Nassim Nicholas Taleb. He was the first person who introduced this paradigm concept in my life. I have not heard of anyone talking about this idea in my life and I do not think that YouTubers are talking about it yet or people care enough about it to search out this term.
If you want to know what Optionality is, check out this post which did an excellent summary (still very deep and long though) of the book.
Basically, the idea of optionality is that you can “lose small often, but win big every now and then.” The decision to move may not turn out as you wish. In reality, there were more bumps in the new country you chose to relocate. However, as a minimalist lifestyle made the cost of moving low, you can always choose to move back home or to another country. Eventually, you will hit a jackpot and land on a green pasture.
You want options in life. Moving into an unknown makes people jittery and that’s why most people find excuses not to relocate.
The thought of packing up your belongings should be the last reason why you are not jumping at that new opportunity that presents in front of you. A minimalist lifestyle gets you ready before everything else falls into place.
Not sure if you should take the leap of faith to move to the UK?
Do you need some career advice on whether you should move to the UK to explore new terrains? There could be many seemingly rational reasons telling you not to (e.g. you do not want to leave your aged parents alone, the salary is lower and the tax is higher overseas…) but deep down you know you want to. Each person’s situation is unique and I can guide you along the way to help you make a more informed decision. Get all your questions answered in a personal relocation consultation service with me.