When talking about minimalism, people often tend to put it under a negative light. Their main argument is “Why live like a hermit and refuse to take advantage of all the luxuries and tools of modern life?”. Well, the point they get wrong is that minimalism is not about sacrificing things and throwing them away. Instead of being a set of rules to live by, it’s more like a state of mind in which you value yourself more than the material things you own.
To suddenly embrace a minimalist approach in the way you live your everyday life might be too big of a change if you do it all at once. So keep reading to find out what are some small and simple adjustments that you can gradually introduce to your lifestyle in order to stop feeling overwhelmed by the messiness of your life.
1. Get rid of the duplicates.
Are you one to promptly take advantage of the “two for one” offers? In the heat of the moment you might think it’s a bargain, but if you think about it, do you ever use up both of the products? If it’s a commodity the answer might be positive, but in other cases, from now on start asking yourself if it’s something you really need to have two of. This way you’ll manage to free up space in your home and do a preemptive declutter. In this spirit, grab a box, go around your house and put in it all the stuff that you have duplicates of. Now look at the contents and consider what are the things you really need to keep; the rest you can either donate, sell or throw away.
2. Set up a clutter-free space.
If you’re the kind of person that tends to get attached to material things for the sentimental meanings tied to them, you definitely don’t need to eliminate them all. Minimalism can be introduced by small steps. Start by turning a specific area of your home into a clutter free zone. It can be a drawer, your desk, a corner of a room. Go through each object in that space and ask yourself if that brings you joy or if it distracts you from it. When you live with fewer distractions, you’ll automatically have fewer things to think about and thus more energy to focus on what’s important for you. In time, you can expand the clutter-free space a little each day.
3. Minimize your dependence on technology.
In this day and age, although everyone recognizes that one of the main sources of stress are our smartphones, the idea of getting rid of them is simply unrealistic. What we can do in order to feel less overwhelmed by them, is to take charge of the ways we use them and therefore of the time spent checking our screens. Start by going through your notification settings and turn off all of those that you aren’t interested in getting. Look though your apps and uninstall those you’ve barely ever opened. But most importantly, check your emails and unsubscribe to all of the newsletters you never read. You’ll start feeling the difference straight away.
4. Dress with less.
Whether you’re an impulse buyer or not, you probably have items in your wardrobe that you never wear or you haven’t worn in a long time. Take everything out and go though each piece: if you haven’t worn it in the past 6 months, get rid of it by putting it in a pile of stuff to be donated or sold. Try to keep the minimum number of clothing necessary, which will make it easier for you to choose your outfit each day. Accordingly, become a conscious shopper: when you’re about to buy an article, ask yourself whether you really need it and if you’d buy it if it costed 3 times the price.
5. Borrow instead of buy.
How many of the books that are lying around your house have you actually read? Instead of keep buying items that you might never put to use, you can try going for the borrowing route. Next time you’re interested in a specific book, check its availability at your local library and buy it if you really want it at your disposal at all times. The art of borrowing can be applied to a number of other items in your life. For example, if you’re going to an event that requires a specific dress-code, instead of buying the clothing you’ll wear just for that day, you can rent it, which will let you save money and prevent you from cluttering your wardrobe.
Applying a minimalist approach to life is a choice and there is no right or wrong way to do it. In order to put yourself in the right mood to start decluttering, listen to this soothing music:
Will you give a try to any of these lifestyle changes? Let us know in the comments!