The minimalist movement is designed to bring greater clarity in your life by reducing clutter. Non-essentials are prioritized, not entirely eliminated. You begin to recognize what matters, what brings value to your life, and what’s simply taking up space in your home and mind. Minimalism has garnered new attention recently thanks to Mari Kondo’s decluttering method on her hit Netflix show, but the practice has been in place for much longer. Ancient Buddhists and Taoists committed themselves to a life free from distraction. Minimalism as a Western concept emerged first as an art practice in the 1950s, which transformed into a lifestyle by the 60s. Today, minimalism is a flexible framework you can use to start simplifying your life. These tips are ideal for aspiring minimalists who are interested in decluttering without compromising their quality of life.
List Your Five Favorite Things
If you were moving away and could only bring five things with you, what would they be? These five things should help give you an idea of what you value the most. Don’t worry about essentials like food and water. Think about objects you turn to for comfort and engagement. What about them speak to you? Why do you want them in your life? As you begin to understand what you value, it will also become easier to let go of things you do not need or use.
Avoid Purging Everything
Minimalists are not designed to live an obsessive-compulsive life; they should not be fixated on having everything in a perfect or clean state. Instead, they need to live a life that is filled with personal meaning and fewer distractions. You may get inspired and decide it’s a good idea to throw everything in your closet away, but avoid going to extremes. Start decluttering your home one space at a time, focusing on one room each week. This way, you’ll slowly learn what works, what doesn’t, and how you’d like to move forward. Even just cleaning out your fridge can be a step in the right direction.
Think About Your Life At Large
Beyond material goods, minimalism also encompasses the way you live. Does your current lifestyle and habits line up with your ultimate goals? Do you feel like you lack purpose or motivation? Are you longing to do things but too afraid to take the first steps? Restructure your life by first observing your greatest obstacles. If you struggle with credit card debt, develop a repayment strategy, and work with a credit counselor if needed. If you want to go back to school but aren’t sure how to cover the costs, research the pros and cons of private student loans. Weigh your options and be mindful of what you do. Act intentionally and understand even the most advantageous things we do for ourselves have some disadvantages.
Start Repurposing And Recycling
Find ways to appreciate what you have. Before you’re tempted to go shopping for more clothes, take a look inside your closet and see if you can’t make some new outfits with articles you already own. Buy fewer items and use more of your current possessions; donate and recycle items you no longer use but also find ways to repurpose things rather than give them away. Some of the easiest ways to live more minimally include using glass food jars as storage containers, using old t-shirts as cleaning cloths, and transforming tissue boxes into desk and drawer organizers.