Minimalism has gotten a bad reputation in the past few years, but it’s an entirely viable and strategic way to live. It compels us to save as much money as possible, lessen our impact on the environment, and live in cleaner and bigger spaces when we own fewer things.
The thought of transitioning to a minimalist lifestyle need not intimidate us or turn us off. If you’re getting tired of having too many material belongings and want to start downsizing, minimalism might be a good lifestyle option for you. Here are some pointers to get you started.
What Is Minimalism?
But first, we need to get down to the nitty-gritty of what minimalism is in the first place. Minimalism emerged as a post-World War II aesthetic but ultimately transitioned into a lifestyle. It’s essentially the option to live with fewer resources in terms of how we conduct our day-to-day activities, and it can also refer to settling with fewer possessions.
The minimalist lifestyle is not just about having and possessing few items; it’s ultimately a mindset and a resolve to be satisfied no matter how much (or how little) we have in life. It is also ultimately an optimal, and functional lifestyle choice since switching to a minimalist lifestyle can help us save money.
Establish Ground Rules
This is something that you need to hear and embrace as you begin your minimalist journey: The minimalist lifestyle may look different for everybody. We all have different contexts, histories, and even health issues, and all these differences and more can dictate how minimalism will be expressed in our lives.
It stands to reason that the first step to slowly transitioning to this lifestyle is by looking at your own life and check the following:
- Your job
- Your living situation
- Your family members or the number of people you live with
- Your personal goals and aspirations
- Your current and future lifestyle
- Your needs and desires
After gaining a deep insight into what your life looks like now and what you want it to look like in the future, you have to determine for yourself how minimalism looks to you on a personal level. For example, if you currently live in a big house with many furniture pieces, how will minimalism express itself in your current living situation? Will you be moving into a smaller studio apartment, or would you be uncluttering your home? Whatever minimalism might mean to you, make sure it’s something you can sustain for the long haul and something you can achieve in a given deadline.
Repair, Don’t Replace
This pointer may seem obvious, but you would be surprised by how easily people give up on their belongings with just something as small as a scratch. Many consumers were upset about Apple’s decision not to include a charger or even a power adapter in every new iPhone box, but it was a move on their part to curb e-waste.
If you have a device acting up, don’t be too quick to give up on it. Bring it to a computer repair service shop to have it salvaged before you throw in the towel. Apply the same principle to everything you own, and you will soon find yourself maximizing everything you own before they completely give out.
Lose What You Don’t Use
Because the minimalist lifestyle is all about embracing a “less is more” mindset and only keeping the things you need, one of the best ways you can start transitioning to a minimalist lifestyle is by employing a “lose what you don’t use” rule. This means that when you first look at your home or your space, you need to identify items that you only used once or twice in your life and place them on a six-month probation. If you don’t find yourself using them in six months, it’s time to get rid of them.
Seasonal items like coats, boots, and scarves are, of course, the exception to this rule, so make sure to implement a different kind of uncluttering strategy for those items. For example, you can use the duration of the season to check if you would be utilizing them before deciding to get rid of them completely.
While saving the planet will require the governments of the world and the biggest corporations to make some significant changes, we can also do our part as individuals as an act of solidarity for the Earth. It’s beneficial to the planet and our wallets, so don’t hesitate to explore if this lifestyle is for you.