Minimalist Living

Improve your quality of life by reducing the unnecessary

In a world and time in which we are inundated with messages to have more, do more, and become more, many of us are backed into a corner where the only way to cope and resolve these cultural and societal pressures is to cave in and buy that item we don't need or take on that extra work that won't add any value to our lives. These influences are eerily abundant, efficient, and effective, but I believe there is a philosophy and mindset (one of many I'm sure) that we can adopt to help remedy ourselves from such unfavorable conditions of captivity.

Non-Minimalist Room Clutter

Minimalism living. It's not just an abstract theory in the arts or sciences, nor is it simply a means of keeping your home organized and clean. Minimalism is a lifestyle, more importantly it is a conscious decision and mindset to take action and reclaim your time and your life to be more free, less stressed, happier and to experience more out of life by removing the excesses and unnecessary things that have piled up in your life.

Not too long ago, I myself adopted this philosophy of de-cluttering and reorganizing my life and apart from witnessing the tangible benefits of making some changes, such as literally having more physical space to operate in, the greatest feeling of accomplishment comes from the sense of having 10 ton weight being lifted off your shoulder, I physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually feel lighter and more free. All of which has allowed me to focus on the things I value most and pursue my true interests and passions.

The Joy of Less, A Minimalist Living Guide: How to Declutter, Organize, and Simplify Your Life
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Here are 7 Things to help you start your minimalism journey:

1. Buy Into The Idea: minimizing has to begin as a mindset, you have to come to the conscious awareness that you have too much crap in your life, literally and figuratively, and that these things are unnecessarily holding you back from what you really want to pursue in life or weighing you down from becoming the best possible version of yourself. 

Then, acknowledge and agree that something has to change in order for you to get out of your rut and move forward. Minimalism, or the act of removing the excess (things you don't really need) is simply one means of making change, as a tool to achieve more in life, but know that there are other options too; I just happen to believe this is one of the easier, actionable mindsets a person can follow.

The minimalist mindset

2. Start Small and Start Today: look around your home or apartment, what are 5 things you can pick up right now and get rid of that wouldn't be the end of the world if you didn't have move forward? Is it an old calculator no one uses or a toy that's just been sitting around for months that no on has played with. Gather up and donate.

3. Have You Worn It In the Past 12 Months: here's a slightly bigger challenge if you can muster up the energy: remove 10 pieces of clothing from your closet that you know you can absolutely do without. You'll find your closet feeling a bit lighter and that goes a long ways to making you feel a bit lighter too. If you find clothes that you aren't sure if you want to keep or not, I suggest taking those items, wrapping them in large zip-lock bag (or any bag for that matter) and then labeling it with today's date. If from 12 months from that date, you haven't touched that bag and worn the clothes ... drop it into a box and donate to Goodwill.

Cluttered life and closet

4. Think Twice Before Making That Purchase: actually, think three, four, five times before making that next retail purchase. Do you really need that new DVD player, is the one you have really not good enough? Do you really need another version of the sweater you already have but in a slightly darker shade of red? Don't let impulse buys get the best of you, if you can, sleep on buying the item and if in a week from now you still feel like you absolutely need it, then go for it. Many will be surprised how the feeling of 'want' and 'need' quickly goes away if they just suspend their immediate urges. 

5. Downsize The Space: if you've really done a good job of decluttering and cleaning-house, you may very well find that you can move into a new place. Now that you don't have as much stuff, perhaps moving into a smaller, more affordable apartment or home, makes sense. If it saves you money and you can comfortably and happily live in more economically spacious pad, why not

6. Relationships, Make Them Count: this one might be one of the tougher exercises to follow, because who doesn't want to have lots of friends and connections in life? The reality is what really matters is having friends and connections that carry true value in helping us to grow and challenges us to become better versions of ourselves. Take a close look at all of the people you surround yourself with and that you give your time to, are these the people you truly believe will help you to get where you want/need to be? Are they contributing to your emotional, mental, and physical health and well-being or is it possible that you might be giving up really valuable time just to have develop surface-level relationships out of convenience. 

Real relationships through minimalism

7. Buddy System: because challenges in life are more easily overcome by tackling them with the comfort of others, I'd encourage you to find someone else to join-in on the journey of the minimalist movement. The buddy system works. 

Bonus: there really is no need, as an individual, to have to rent or purchase storage space for the long-term. We all know or heard of people filling their homes to the brim, only to then need more storage space at their local storage lot, to fill that space with the overflow items. It just isn't necessary, don't do it.

Storage Clutter Mess

Have at it. Those are just some simple tips and things to keep in mind as you start, but know that there are plenty of other things you can do get on track and stay on it to achieve a lifestyle of living in the moment. Minimalism, get more out of life by taking away.

7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess
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The Minimalists: Essential Essays
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