Minimalist living has been surging up as a trend recently.
If you’re a regular on any kind of social media, you’ve likely seen a ton of beautiful photos focused on minimalist living. You know the ones we’re talking about – the photos of stunningly simple apartments or women blissfully sipping their morning coffee sitting in a tangle of white sheets.
Maybe your introduction to minimalism has come in the form of one of the many minimalist podcasts or documentaries out there. Regardless of how you discovered minimalist living, if you’ve found yourself here, you’re probably looking to learn more.
Minimalist philosophies have actually been around for much longer than you may think. It isn’t something new. Rather, people have recently re-discovered minimalist as a strategy for surviving the hectic, busy, and often overwhelming nature of the modern world that we all live in today.
“But how does minimalism help?” you might be wondering.
In this article, we’ll be exploring just that. This article will dive into the details about minimalist living, including the basic principles of minimalist, the benefits of a minimalist lifestyle, and how to get started if you’re looking to live a more simple life.
We think that minimalism is a great lifestyle choice that can help manage a lot of modern problems. So let’s get started learning more about minimalist living.
Inside The Mind Of A Minimalist
A minimalist lifestyle is essentially about decluttering your home (and your life) and learning to live with less. It focuses on getting rid of things that don’t add value to your life so that you can focus on what’s important to you.
For some people, this comes naturally; for others, it can be more of a challenge.
One of the key traits of a successful minimalist is that they know what is truly important to them. With this in mind, they focus on their priorities and eliminate the other distractions. Priorities for a minimalist could include family, friends, career, or even having a big fancy house and a shiny new car.
It really is different for everyone, and there isn’t a “right” way to be a minimalist, so don’t fall into the trap of thinking that you need to live in a tiny home with exactly 50 possessions to be a minimalist (although this is a perfectly acceptable choice too).
Is Minimalist Living Suited To You?
If you happen to be the kind of person who, when granted a few million dollars, would buy mansions here and there, spend their time accumulating a huge array of clothes, shoes, perfumes and other possessions, then minimalist living might be a bit far-fetched for you.
However, this isn’t a bad thing. Everyone is free to adopt a lifestyle that suits their personal philosophies, but if you’ve found your way here you’re probably already trending towards a more minimalist lifestyle.
If you’re interested in minimalist living, you can probably make it work for you. One of the great things about minimalism is that it’s flexible. You are free to accommodate minimalist philosophies into your life as much as you deem appropriate.
Minimalism: A Way Of Life, Not A To-Do List
Sure, there are a bunch of steps that you can take to get started with minimalist living. However, it’s important to realize that minimalism is not a list of tasks to do once and check off your to-do list.
Rather, to be successful with minimalist living, you need to embrace it as a lifestyle.
It’s not as simple as going on a decluttering spree and thinking “oh yeah, let’s throw some stuff out!”.
To be successful, you need to change your perception of how you view material possessions and work towards only keeping those that are truly important to you.
And after you’ve done that, you need to focus on not falling back into old habits and accumulating a whole bunch of stuff again.
Remember – more stuff means less time to focus on the things that are most important to you.
Basic Principles of Minimalist Living
This is what people adopting minimalist philosophies tend to believe in:
- A realization that they only need limited materials to get by in life. Once you have those items that meet your fundamental needs, accumulating others does not continue to increase your happiness. Instead, it becomes a waste of money, time, and precious space.
- A strong belief in quality over quantity. This principle is applied to every single material possession, down to the hairpin.
- The desire for freedom. Peace of mind can only be achieved through freeing yourself from clutter, be it physical or otherwise.
- Money as a means to an end. Minimalists use money as a way to achieve their goal of enriching their lives through experiences, rather than the accumulation of money being a goal in itself.
- “Experiences over possessions” underlined a thousand times.
Benefits Of Minimalist Living
We think that minimalist living has some amazing benefits and that anyone seeking to fundamentally improve their life should, at the very least, give minimalist living a try.
While some people may find that an extreme minimalist lifestyle is not for them, there are certainly many simple minimalist strategies that can be incorporated without a significant change of lifestyle.
If you’re still on the fence about minimalist living, consider some of the benefits and how it can positively impact your life.
Some of the benefits of minimalist living include:
- It can free you from financial strain, especially if you’re on a budget.
- It provides a simple pathway to a stress-free, low anxiety, and generally happier life.
- Minimalist can help you easily declutter your house. They say that the environment you create is a reflection of your state of mind, so think about your ideal environment and create it!
- Instead of subconsciously wasting money on material belongings, minimalist living can help you find a surplus that enables you to travel or do other things you truly enjoy.
- Helps improve relationships in the home – if you have less stuff lying around, there is less reason to get frustrated with others for creating mess and clutter.
- It can aid you in going green and striving for a zero waste lifestyle.
Additionally, minimalist living can help you find a sense of freedom and more time for yourself, which are amazing benefits for improving your personal wellbeing.
You’ll Gain A Sense Of Freedom…
You won’t realize you’ve been tied down by your belongings until you free yourself from them.
You’ll heave a huge sigh after you’ve decluttered your house and reduced your belongings down to only those things that you truly need or love.
You may also find that once you’ve made the initial transition, you’re able to lessen your attachment to your physical possessions even more.
You’ll find yourself less drawn to buying things you don’t need and may even wonder why you ever thought you needed the newest iPhone anyway.
And finally, with more money in your pocket you’ll also have more peace of mind, which allows you to enjoy your life without overwhelming financial stress.
…And Find More Time For Yourself
Living a minimalist lifestyle can help you create more time for yourself.
By trimming back the areas of excess in your life, you can focus on the parts that really matter to you.
This could mean having more time to practice your hobbies, go to the gym, or even just close your eyes and relax.
How To Get Started With A Minimalist Lifestyle
Are you ready to take your first steps towards a more minimalist lifestyle?
Here are some steps to get started:
1. No More Mindless Purchases
This step is critical.
It doesn’t matter how often you declutter your home and life – if you keep replacing your old stuff with new stuff, you’ll never truly experience the benefits of minimalist living.
If you’re a shop-a-holic, it can be hard to curb your spending habits. However, for a lot of people, shopping is a mindless activity done on autopilot. If you’ve ever bought something and then later wondered why, you’re probably a mindless spender.
Luckily, it can be relatively easy to curb mindless spending. Next time you find yourself ready to buy something, ask yourself:
- Do I really need it?
- Will it add value to my life?
- Would I trade hours of my life to have it? (think about how long it would take you to earn the money to buy that item).
- Is it a good quality item that will stand up to repeated use? (think quality over quantity)
- How long will I use it for?
2. Declutter Your Home
Your initial decluttering session will usually be a grand purge.
However, you’ll definitely find something that you’re not quite ready to part with just yet. Don’t force it – decluttering can be a gradual process and you can work on getting rid of more clutter as you get more comfortable with having less.
In all likelihood, you’ll always be decluttering to some extent. If surfaces (such as your kitchen counter) start to build-up clutter, declutter at once!
Keeping surfaces clear and clean is an easy gateway to an equally clear mind, so always clean as you go. It’s easier to maintain a good baseline than letting things get out of hand again before you declutter.
One important point to note when you begin decluttering is that decluttering doesn’t equate to haphazardly throwing things into the garbage. Instead, try to find a good home for anything that is still usable and in good condition. This could include donating items to a charity, or maybe giving them to friends or family that are in need.
You can also attempt to earn some extra cash by selling your clutter. Alternatively, you can recycle unwanted items, or even re-use them in a minimalist manner. To get started with decluttering, check out our post on How To Organize Your Garage On A Budget: Tips And Tricks.
3. Declutter Your Phone Too
Did you think that decluttering would be limited to your home? It’s an easy mistake to make, but if you truly want to embrace minimalist living, you need to declutter as may aspects of your life as possible.
Your phone is a great place to start!
Those repeated pictures of the nice blue flowers in your garden or the dozens of selfies you took on your last night out – do yourself a favor, and make them go away. This kind of clutter serves no purpose, so do a regular audit and delete those extra photos.
Unnecessary emails, text messages, and all the extra digital noise we tend to hold on to should be obliterated immediately as well.
4. Declutter Your Schedule
If your schedule is always hectic and jam-packed with commitments that you don’t really want (or need) to do, then clear it out!
It’s important to practice self-care sometimes, so get bold and say no to commitments that aren’t essential. As a minimalist, if something stresses you out and doesn’t add to your happiness and well-being, you should find a way to remove it from your life.
Get your life on track by having a nice organized schedule, including only those items that are the most important to you.
5. Focus On Quality Over Quantity
Repeat this over in over when you see things that seem like a really good deal (and any other time you feel tempted to make an impulse purchase).
While buying cheap items might seem like the right thing to do to keep your budget under control, this can also result in you filling your home with low-quality items that just don’t last.
As a minimalist, your focus should always be on quality over quantity. You want to find high-quality items that will stand the test of time. Investing in high-quality items will also help you avoid creating unnecessary waste.
Minimalist living is a great way to reduce stress in your life and identify the things that are truly important to you. It’s also an equally amazing way to practice being grateful for what you have, no matter what that may be. On top of all of that, through a minimalist lifestyle, you can significantly improve how you manage your finances.
Newbie minimalists usually don’t leap into an extremely minimalist lifestyle right away; rather it’s done over time. So move at your own pace, find what works for you, and incorporate minimalism as much as you can into your current lifestyle.
You’re sure to enjoy the benefits!