When someone says the word minimalism, it can often conjure up many conflicting thoughts and feelings. For some, they imagine someone having all their possessions hidden behind intelligent storage units in clinically white rooms.
Others worry that being a minimalist means giving up all their worldly goods and living with nothing but a few outfits and saucepans for cooking in! The truth for many minimalists is that they live somewhere in the middle of these two ideas.
These extreme ideas are often the things that hold people back from living their minimalist dream, and it doesn’t have to be that way.
Minimalism is purely the idea that your life and mental health can be improved by minimising the number of unessential items we gather around ourselves and have in our homes. We can, therefore, make room for the things that matter — people and the experiences that add value to life.
For some this is getting rid of as many things as they can, leaving themselves only the essential items. But for many, the idea is to learn to live with fewer of the unnecessary items we tend to hoard in our homes.
Getting started with minimalism can seem like a daunting task. Where do you start? How do you work our what is necessary and what is unnecessary?
If you want to live a more minimalistic life but are not sure where to start then here are some tips for you to get started with your new clutter-free life.
Set Aside Some Time For Reflection
Minimalism is a lifestyle choice for many that ensures you focus on yourself, mental clarity and making sure you have time and mental space for the people and times in your life that you really value.
A great start when thinking about becoming a minimalist is to take a little time to evaluate why you want to embark on this lifestyle. Do you want to make your home a safe place in a busy and chaotic world and aim for as few physical possessions as possible or do you just want to make your life and your possessions more manageable?
Self-reflection is an excellent way of working out where your life is, where you want to improve and the things and people that are important to you.
For example, if playing music is something you love to do but you can’t fit a guitar in your home because you have thousands of DVD’s then that could be a good place to start!
Set Some Goals
Once you have worked out why you want to make the jump into this lifestyle, the next step is to set yourself some goals. Make sure you make your goals realistic and that they are measurable. A goal to live clutter-free is admirable, but a more realistic goal might be to declutter one room every month for the next six months.
Many of us are guilty of not only having too much stuff in our lives, but often we have two of the same item!
Books, CD’s, DVD’s are prime culprits for having two or more of the same thing. The same can apply to other rooms and items too, though. Do you need two pairs of shoes that are exactly the same?
The kitchen is another hotspot for this collecting habit. If you have a dinner set that could feed a small army but only ever have four guests to dinner, then getting rid of the extra items is a small step that can make a big difference.
Remove The Clutter
Clutter is something that most of seem to gather in our lives without much thought or effort, but it is a fantastic place to start to live a little more like a minimalist.
Take a slow approach to decluttering your home. A slow, methodical approach where you sort out your possessions room by room is the best way. Put your things into piles of essential items, sentimental items, things to throw away, items to sell and things to give to charity. Then when you have got rid of a lot of unnecessary items, do the process again! Soon you will be left with a clutter-free home that is only filled with items that are essential to your lifestyle or mean something important to you.
Don’t get rid of the items that you need or that are sentimental. You will regret it when you have to rebuy items or realise it was a mistake to get rid of all your old family photographs!
Minimise Your Wardrobe
Wardrobes are a hotbed of items that we never use, have forgotten about or sometimes don’t even like! Getting rid of any clothes that you don’t like or haven’t worn in the last few months is a brilliant way to quickly sort out the problem.
You can go a step further though and look into creating yourself a capsule wardrobe. This is a fantastic way of having fewer clothes that all look great on you and coordinate with each other perfectly.
Clear Our Your Calendar
Our diaries can often get as full as our homes. Our time is precious and should be spent with purpose on the things, people and experiences that add value to our lives. Take a look at your diary and clear out any appointments or meetings that don’t add any value to your life.
Next, make sure you are leaving yourself plenty of time and not scheduling in too many things all at once. It might seem like great productivity to schedule in things back to back, but it can lead to high levels of stress which will do more harm in the long term.
You can save yourself time, stress, money and space by eating in a more minimalist way.
Plan your meals in advance or perhaps come up with a selection of meals that you love that you cycle. This means you know exactly what you need to buy, you are well practised at cooking it and will have a lot fewer ingredients cluttering up your kitchen.
Don’t Impulse Buy
Whenever you go to make a purchase reflect for a few minutes to work out if you really need it. Ask yourself a few crucial questions, like how will this add value to your life? Do you need it? Will you use it?
One great tip for managing your impulse buying is to take a timeout. Walk away for half an hour and then go back to the item and see if you still feel the same way about it.
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