Minimalism is a term that can be applied to many things, from art to music to style. Many people are adopting more minimalist lifestyles, meaning that they are reducing clutter from their life. It’s a common belief that minimalists are happy because they don’t have many worldly possessions bogging them down.
There are different levels of minimalism, from owning absolutely nothing to removing a few objects. There is no right or wrong way and it’s up to you to decide what you believe is best for your lifestyle. The idea of becoming a minimalist can be daunting, so here are a few ways to help you get started:
1. Get rid of unnecessary possessions.
When quarantine started earlier this year, I decided to do some early spring cleaning.
It was a very stress-relieving experience because when you donate items that you no longer need and can see the visible change in your space, you feel a sense of calm and control. One thing that minimalists are known for is having few possessions, which include only things that they absolutely need.
I’m not suggesting that you get rid of all your trinkets or reduce your wardrobe to a few items of clothing. You don’t even need to know how much you want to clear out when you first start.
Just pick an area of your house that you know can be shrunk down, start going through every item, and answer Marie Kondo’s million-dollar question: does it spark joy? If the answer is no, then place it in a donation bin and move on. The idea is that, by the end of this experience, you will only keep objects that bring you joy.
2. Be intentional with spending.
This goes hand-in-hand with my previous point. A good way to reduce the number of items you will eventually get rid of is to not buy them in the first place. You don’t have to forbid yourself from shopping. You just need to adopt a more intentional mindset when doing so.
It’s easy for any of us to immediately jump online the moment we see a sale. We don’t necessarily need anything, but we feel as though we can’t pass up on the deals.
Before shopping, whether it’s in person or online, ask yourself why you’re shopping and what you hope to walk away with. By clearly dictating your needs to yourself, you are reminded of what your intention is and hopefully won’t become too distracted.
3. Reduce distractions.
Some people think that minimalism is only about getting rid of stuff, but that’s actually not the case. Minimalists often don’t own much because they’ve been able to pinpoint the areas that don’t add value to their life, and therefore, get rid of them. By doing this, you can free up space and save money for things that you actually love.
Distractions can be tangible or intangible. Are you dedicating too much time reading magazine subscriptions that you actually don’t care about? Then unsubscribe from them! Have you been on the bandwagon for the latest technology for a long time, but realize that you don’t actually care about having the latest iPhone? Stop buying them.
A lot of times, we feel the need to see something through because at one time in our lives, it made us happy, but now, it’s just a distraction that we spend precious time, energy, and money on. Whether it’s technology or even toxic friendships, you have a right to reduce things that don’t add value to your life anymore.
4. Find what makes you happy.
Now that you’re rid of things that don’t bring you joy you will start to realize what it is that makes you happy and learn about the type of life you want to live.
Some minimalists live in small houses because a lot of space doesn’t bring them joy, while some minimalists only own one pair of shoes. They live like this because they’ve found other areas that make them happy, whether that’s spending time with family, working on a romantic relationship, or focusing on themselves.
Take the time to write down your feelings every day when you’re starting this journey. Through journaling, you’ll realize what areas are actually making you happy and learn how to cultivate those.
I know the concept of adopting a minimalist lifestyle may seem challenging, but underneath the surface, it’s only about taking small steps to surround yourself with things that you enjoy.
Minimalism is not something you achieve overnight, rather it’s a path that you’re constantly growing with, so take your time and embrace it.