Minimalism is one of those buzzwords that has been tossed around a lot lately in blogs and magazines, but do you really understand what it is and how it could affect you?
What is Minimalism?
There are some minimalist fads that command you to live with less than 100 total items in your possession, but there are easy ways to become more minimalist without being so extreme. One of the main goals of minimalism is to de-stress and de-clutter life, making you feel less overwhelmed and consumed by material possessions. So much of modern culture revolves around shopping, buying, wanting, and obtaining things, and minimalism aims to help us refocus on the things that really matter in life.
After being caught up with the hurried pace of life for too long, it becomes difficult to slow down and act mindfully and with purposeful intention. Here are some easy steps to begin de-cluttering your life and start living like a minimalist, one step at a time.
Start Making Lists
It’s impossible to know where to start cutting clutter if you don’t have a good assessment of where you’re at right now. Grab a notebook and jot down a list of everything that seems to be taking up space without a good reason.
Make Piles to Donate, Sell, and Trash
Chances are that you have a few things that you don’t need that someone else could make better use of. Find three boxes or bins and label them as donate, sell, and trash. You may be able to make some money by selling furniture, electronics, and clothes you don’t need or ever use. Local homeless shelters and charities may be able to make use of your donated materials too. For things that truly aren’t worth much to anyone, toss them in the trash and don’t look back.
Keep Surfaces Clutter-free
It is way too easy to stash junk mail on the kitchen counter, stack old magazines on the coffee table, and let bills pile up on your desk. Declare your home a clutter-free zone and get committed to putting things in their place right away. Cluttered surfaces cause stress and anxiety, and the problem only escalates over time. Once you get into the habit of keeping your home tidy, see if you notice a difference in your overall mood and outlook.
Disconnect from Technology
The minimalist lifestyle involves more than just throwing stuff away; it’s a mindset that encourages us to avoid unnecessary distractions and live a simpler life. We’re not asking you to part with your smartphone, but try making a commitment to not use it while in bed, before breakfast, or after 7 pm. Remember board games? Invest in a couple fun games to play after dinner instead of watching TV, or join an amateur sports league to get out, active, and social.
Reconsider Your Commitments and Routines
In a similar way, many of us are over-extended and have committed to more things than any one person should be responsible for. Juggling work, friends, family, and other obligations is never easy, but there are ways to de-clutter your personal life, as well as your physical home.
Make a list of your current commitments and carefully consider whether each one brings you anxiety, joy, or fulfillment. Saying “no” can be difficult, but sometimes it’s the best and most reasonable answer too. Similarly, reconsider your household routines and talk with your family about the fairest and most efficient ways to work together to complete chores and time-consuming tasks.