Introduction to Minimalist Living
Minimalism is the embodiment of less is more; it’s a way of life that emphasises experiences rather than possessions, emotions and achievements rather than things.
Having fewer belongings frees up money and encourages a simpler life. There are many benefits to minimalist living, including reduced clutter in your home, lower levels of stress, and more time to focus on relationships. Adopting a minimalist lifestyle involves several aspects and one of theme is your home.
Learning how to live minimally in your personal space has been shown to boost mood, improve your general outlook, and help you keep more money in the bank. Here’s how to get started on a trend that is sure to transform your life.
Take a Step Back
The first thing to do when you decide to follow a minimalist lifestyle is to take a step back and assess what you have and how it makes you feel. Do you feel guilty owning more than one of a given item, say televisions or leather jackets? Do you have more belongings than you have space for? Do have items you rarely or never use? Looking at these possessions objectively allows you to see that they aren’t improving your life and that you likely don’t need them taking up space in your house.
Get Rid of Things
Because the main goal of minimalist living is to live with less, you need to get rid of a good bulk of the items you have at home. Go through everything, setting aside things that are ready to be thrown out and making a pile that you can donate. This isn’t about getting rid of everything you own, but it does mean being strict about what you hold onto. You don’t have to do this all at once. Start with one closet and work your way through the storage spaces and rooms of your house. Make sure to get rid of anything you have duplicates of as well as items that you have no use for. And it isn’t just clothes, it means reviewing ALL your possessions.
Use Caution when Buying
You might feel like getting rid of so much gives you a good reason to go shopping. That couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, you need to be very careful when you do buy. Of course, you need necessities like hygiene products, clothes, and food, but it’s also a good idea to take a moment to determine if you really need everything you’re considering purchasing. Just because something is on sale doesn’t mean you need it. Why have 15 mugs when you never have more than 8 people in your life?
If your aim is to pare down what you have and only bring into your home what you really need, it pays to choose quality items that are going to last for a while. This goes for shoes, clothing, appliances, and furniture. You’ll have to pay a little more, but you’ll save in the long run because you won’t have to replace it all so often.
Living in a culture of materialism can make it very hard to be satisfied with a minimalist life. If you’re truly going to make it work for you, it makes sense to learn how to be grateful for what you have. You may no longer have a closet that is bursting with clothing, but you can be thankful that you have items that look good and that you can count on for many years to come. You’ll find that as you get into the habit of being grateful, your innate desire for more belongings dissipates and less and less you crave more.
Stay on Top of Things
Purging your space feels good, but if you’re anything like most people, things tend to get out of hand again pretty quickly. Minimalist experts encourage regular purges so that you can keep your lifestyle aligned with your goals instead of having to start all over again. Your time frame should be something you’re comfortable with, once a month, for example.
Your Actual Space
Now that you’ve pared down everything in your home, you’re on a great path toward minimalist living. Now it’s time to consider your actual space. Do you live in a home with rooms you hardly ever use? Have your kids moved out and you don’t need all the space anymore? You might want to consider downsizing, which can really help you control the number of possessions you end up with. Think about it. A smaller home means less furniture, fewer decor items etc. Maybe giving up your four-bedroom house in favour of a small apartment is just what you’ve been wanting for your life. That’s minimalism at its best.
The Role of Spiritualism
Many people who seek a minimalist lifestyle are also looking for a spiritual connection. For some people, this is found in the pews of a church. However, it doesn’t have to be in the form of organised religion. Some people find that a connection to the Earth in the form of a vegan diet or a regular trip to a monastery or retreat is what they need to balance society’s current view on material goods and a desire to live with less. Whatever it is, this spiritual connection allows you to stay on your path toward minimalism.
Benefits of Minimalism
When you free up your life by letting go of material pursuits, you give your entire life more freedom. You’ll have more money for experiences like travel and time spent with loved ones. You’ll have time to focus on your hobbies and interests. More focus on happiness and less on getting the latest gadgets improves your outlook on life and lowers your stress levels, both of which can improve your overall quality of life.
There’s no getting around that minimalism isn’t the easiest thing you’ll ever do, but it pays to give it a try. With time, you’ll get better at it and it will become second nature and you’ll love all the benefits it offers for your family. Start small and work your way toward an entirely minimalist lifestyle and enjoy each step along the way as it improves your life.