I Watched Netflix's Minimalism—One Hour Later, I Wanted to Overhaul My Home

There are a lot of changes I've noticed in myself since I ended my stint as a full-time traveler and moved to New York City, but one of the biggest is the way I consume. As a backpacker, I was somehow able to whittle down my possession to a few essentials, but now that I've settled into the city, my appetite for things is almost insatiable. I shop as a hobby, buy $20 sandals to wear once, and think of costume jewelry like plastic cutlery—totally disposable.

I knew that my lifestyle wasn't exactly smart or sustainable (for the world or my wallet), but it wasn't until I watched Netflix's Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things that I started to realize my relentless lifestyle was eating into my happiness, one impulse purchase at a time.

The documentary follows Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus, aka "The Minimalists," and shines a light on the insanity of trying to buy happiness. An hour later, I wanted to donate the masses of unused clothing in my closet and pare back my life to the basics.

So what is minimalism all about? I quizzed the film's director, Matt D'Avella, to find out why it's so much more than a buzzword. Here's why learning to live with less could change the way you see the world—it did for me.