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Minimalism for the Beginner

How often do you look around your house, room, or wherever you live, and realise there is far too much things you don't need, use, or ev(115271)en want? You may or may not do it very often, but everyone does it, it's part of our nature to keep items, even when they aren't of any use to us. I'm here to promote minimal living, the definition is fairly self-explanatory, live with less.

Keep in mind that this kind of lifestyle is not for everyone, some may choose to implement some aspects of minimalism into their life, in one way or another (like I do). I personally believe living this way brings a lot of important values to one's lifestyle, including time management, organisational skills, and relieves stress. Here are my 10 tips for becoming a minimalist.


1. Plan

Now, you may be thinking - 'What does planning have to do with it? I just want to live in a tidy room!". Well, that can be done, and it's not hard, but a lot of the time when people begin something or embark on something straight away with little or no planning; they fail. Why? Because they haven't analysed the process, they can't see the end result.

So here's some things to think about when planning:

  • What's annoying you about your lifestyle at the moment?                                          Is it the dishes left on the bench? Those old paintings hanging on the wall that you don't want to take off because your great grandmother painted them? Whatever it is, write them down and then order them by priority (I prefer to do this using a to-do list application).
  • How can you eliminate these problems or annoyances?                                                 Maybe it's by reminding yourself to wash and put away dishes straight away after your last meal of the day, or repositioning furniture in a room to give it new life.
  • What is your end goal?                                                                                                    What do you want to achieve from doing this? How is it going to help you, what are the benefits?

The more you plan, the more success you will likely have, remember to be patient during this part.


2. Procrastination is for the Weak                                 

If you managed to finish a plan, then you're in for the next challenge, that means Doing. Procrastination is a problem that most people face on a daily basis, sometimes it can be little things such as putting off a slightly important phone call, but the worst thing about procrastination is that it grows on people. The more you procrastinate, the more it piles up. This can lead to stress and overload.

With constant procrastination it will be hard to live minimally, why? Because you're constantly putting things off, you may see a coffee mug sitting in your office at home, but you leave it there and tell yourself you'll pick it up later. Two weeks later, you see it sitting there and realise the state it's in, you spend more time cleaning it than you would have if you picked it up straight away. From this example we can see that one thing leads to another, if you want to start living a more minimal life, then you have to start by Doing instead of Being


3. Perseverance 

As with anything, perseverance brings results. It's not likely that someone will conform to a lifestyle change within a day, nor a week for that matter. They say it takes 30 days to make something a habit, and 6 months to make it part of your life. In order to stay committed to what you're doing, you need to focus. Here's a few tips to help you stay motivated:


  • Take some time out to think about what you need to do                                         In the morning when I wake up, I don't get up straight away, instead I lie there for a few minutes, taking it in and thinking. During this time I think about what I can do to improve my environment. After a while of doing this, it begins to become a cycling thought. You'll be aware of your surroundings, and you'll feel the need to fix them.
  • Think of the benefits that minimalism will bring to your life                                Even though it may be hard to keep on going with a challenge like this, you have to remember the outcome. Look back to your plan, weigh up the pros and cons. If you think that you can benefit from this style of living then you'll find the motivation one way or another.
  • Little things can help                                                                                                         Sometimes I find that little things, such as changing your desktop wallpaper, or rearranging a piece of furniture, can give you great inspiration for minimal creativity (yes, there is such a thing!). You'll find that after making a change, you form an image in your head, an image of how you want something to look.


I'm not going to tell you how to live as a minimalist, and note that when I talk about living minimally, I don't mean to cut out everything that you don't need. Paintings on the wall are certainly a suitable object to own. I'm merely pointing out what I see as a better way of living. Don't be afraid to throw away things you don't want, just do it.