The power of minimalism and simple ways to live with less
What is a minimalist lifestyle? This can conjure up images of people living in tiny studio apartments, small campers or tiny homes, possessing only their capsule wardrobe and a backpack full of remaining belongings. While some minimalists do choose to live this way – and that works great for them – not all minimalists go to the extreme.
Minimalism is about focusing on what’s important and what you need most to live a fulfilling and stress-reduced life. Decreasing life clutter can allow you to focus on family, friends, personal goals and interests and can even help you save money. When we reduce the urge to purchase or hold onto unnecessary items, we also reduce clutter in our homes and save those precious dollars for other possibilities.
Does living a more simplified life with time, energy and money to focus on what’s most important sound good to you? If it does, here are some tips to get started. If you’re not ready yet, that’s fine too. Maybe just one of these tips will speak to you and help make your life more peaceful and satisfying.
1. Know your goals
What do you hope to get out of embracing a minimalist lifestyle? Write down what you’re looking to gain. Is it time? Financial relief? A feeling of freedom? Keep these goals in mind and come back to them as you start to make changes.
2. Start slowly
Change is hard. Even when you’re prepared to grow, it can be tempting to revisit the comfortability of old habits. Start by cleaning your bedroom closet or kitchen drawers. Tackle one room at a time. As you continue to declutter, think about other ways you can benefit from minimalism, exploring the physical, emotional and spiritual aspects of your life.
3. Start purging
What clothes don’t fit or are worn out? Do you have duplicates of some items? What have you not used in six months to a year? Start with these items. Be sure to find your local donation center and offer these objects a second life. Not only is this helpful to your neighbors in need, but it can help reduce the feeling of guilt when getting rid of your belongings.
4. Go digital
Books, DVDs and other media take up a lot of space and add to the cluttered feeling of your home. Try going digital! You could have just one tiny hard drive instead of hundreds of physical items.
5. Meal plan
This may sound silly, but meal planning can save you lots of time and money. No more running to the store multiple times a week. No more buying expensive ingredients for just one meal. Write down a plan for the week and stick to it. Nourish your body with simple and healthy meals that are planned and affordable. You’ll save all that time wandering the grocery aisles and money spent on desperation dinners.
6. Track your budget
One of the easiest ways to embrace the power of minimalism is by simply tracking your budget. Set spending limits and saving goals. What would add enrichment to your life? Do you love attending the theater, concerts or to travel? Is your goal to have an emergency fund or save for a home down payment? Don’t buy a shirt you don’t need. Put your money toward something that will benefit your life.
7. Replace thoughtfully
Recognize that it’s still okay to purchase items you need. Things wear out – you’ll still need to shop sometimes. Choose items thoughtfully. Make sure clothing can be worn for many occasions. Replace one-to-one. Your favorite collared shirt got a hole? Purchase only one to replace the shirt you need to toss.
8. Apply to other areas
Once you get the hang of living simply, apply the principles to other areas of your life. Remove apps and notifications from your phone that you don’t need. Unsubscribe from emails that promote and tempt shopping. Go through your digital files and delete multiples. If you have 20 pictures of a dessert you baked, keep one and the delete the others.
Living with less offers an abundance of benefits. Use these tips to embrace the power of minimalism and let us know how these practices improve your daily life!