It’s true that certain trends come and go, and Minimalism may seem like a buzzword right now. But there are many elements of this approach to living that I love. If Minimalism is something you know nothing about or feel intimidated by, fear not! In this How To, I’ll give you a quick rundown on the best parts of this approach to life and show you how to live more minimally.
What Is Minimalism?
Many people think Minimalism is about living sparsely and without material things, but that isn’t necessarily true. At it’s heart, Minimalism has the goal of gaining more enjoyment from life by getting rid of things you don’t need. In many ways, there are parallels with the KonMari Method which I wrote about in my last How To (How To Make the KonMari Method Work For You). The KonMari Method has you asking yourself the question ‘Does it spark joy?’ If an object does not bring happiness, and is not a necessary item in your life, then why keep it?
With Minimalism, the approach is very similar. But while the KonMari method is specific to organizing and tidying, Minimalism can apply even more broadly. Decluttering material things is a useful exercise with tons of benefits, but we may also need to consider other distractions or obligations which clutter our lives in different ways. That could be anything from spending too much time on social media, to investing in unhealthy relationships.
What’s So Great About Minimalism?
Anything that allows you to enjoy life more has got to be a good thing, right? Minimalism helps you evaluate the things in your life which make you happy and make room for more of them. When you are bringing fewer material things into your life, you’re likely to save money, carry less debt and spend less time tidying or pursuing more material things. When you’re able to spend time doing more of what you enjoy, you lead a more fulfilling life!
How To Get Started With Minimalism
There are no hard and fast rules to Minimalism – in fact it’s going to be very different for each person. That said, here are a few steps that will help you get started with living more minimally.
Evaluate What Makes You Happy (And What Doesn’t)
To identify what to eliminate from your home or life, it’s important to first think about what makes you happy. For example, if you love to read, maybe having a cozy, quiet nook where you can sit and enjoy your books will bring you so much joy. Knowing this, you can take the steps to get rid of the things in your life that prevent this from happening. You can then find the time and space to add more of this pleasure into your life.
Make A Plan And Set Goals
Once you have identified what you want to achieve, it’s time to make a plan of action. Breaking goals down into small, manageable tasks is the best way to prevent overwhelm! Put dates to your efforts and keep yourself accountable. An example of some of your goals might be:
- Giveaway/sell furniture that’s no longer needed now you have less things
- Eliminate 30 minutes of TV or Facebook time from your day
- Set up your reading nook
- Make time to do what you enjoy!
Pick one thing to declutter and tackle that item across all rooms of your home. Here’s a simple example – how many places in your house do you have pens? If you’re like me, you might find pens in bedrooms, kitchen drawers, office, and multiple bags! Gather them all up, get rid of those that don’t work or are surplus to your needs, and then store the ones you love in a practical place.
Other items that we often have unnecessary duplicates of are bed sheets, towels and mugs!
One In One Out Mindset
All too often I see people go through a major decluttering effort, only to gradually acquire more things over time and end up right back where they started. If you implement a One In One Out mindset, you’ll stand a much better chance of staying decluttered.
The One In One Out approach is especially great to implement if you have kids. They will soon latch on to the idea that a new toy received as a gift will mean that some other toy must go into the giveaway pile. This allows you to manage the number of things that make their way into your home, while still allowing your child to feel in control of their possessions.
Practice Making Do With Less
When you’re used to living with so many things, the idea of living with less can make you feel anxious. A great way to slowly introduce yourself to minimal living is to wean yourself off items a little at a time. You can start by packing away the parts of your closet that you don’t wear into a container and putting it in the attic. You might find that you don’t miss that 90% of your clothing as much as you imagined. Next time you travel, set yourself a goal of packing only what you need, instead of several ‘just in case’ items. Guess what – you’ll survive!
Spend on Experiences Rather Than Things
Although Minimalism may be different for everyone, one broad goal is to spend time enjoying experiences rather than things. Take the time to think about which people or places bring you joy, and make an effort to spend time enjoying them. Or maybe as you buy less things, you can spend the money you save on a trip to somewhere you’ve always wanted to visit.
I have really only scratched the surface of what it means to live minimally, but even if you implement just one of these suggestions, you will no doubt experience some positive benefits in your life!
As always, if you need help tackling decluttering in your home, contact me for a free consultation – I’d be happy to help!