We live in a world that constantly bombards us with the message, “YOU NEED MORE!”
You cannot possibly be happy unless you buy the latest gadget and upgrade your “old” with the new.
Unfortunately, this mentality is untrue. Actually, it has the opposite effect on us!
Instead of feeling satisfied, we fall into the trap of never feeling like we have enough. We just keep wanting more.
This is where minimalism comes in!
Today, many people have gotten tired of hearing the false message of consumerism and have swapped it out for a minimalistic lifestyle!
Instead of buying things that you “want”, this lifestyle focuses on only owning things that you NEED.
Below are 15 simple ways to embrace minimalist living.
1.) Sit Back and Identify What “Things” Make You Really Happy
This isn’t referring to identifying every little thing in your home that you currently love.
First, you need to figure out what aspects of your home currently make you happy when you see them.
Do you love certain furniture, ornaments, or wall art. Identify the TOP THINGS you love.
Write them down.
This will help you to prioritize when you decide to start going through your belongings and getting rid of the clutter.
2.) Start Small. Don’t Overwhelm Yourself
Like most people, you have probably accumulated a lot of “stuff”!
Don’t overwhelm yourself by tackling everything at once.
First, identify which area of your home (or life) you would like to de-clutter first.
Your closet, kitchen or bathroom? Perhaps your Social Media “friends” list? Maybe your financial situation?
Depending on which area you decide to tackle first, identify a small task withing this “project” and accomplish it.
This way, you won’t become overwhelmed with the burden of “de-cluttering your whole life”.
Stop and be proud of each small accomplishment along the way.
Example: Going through your dresser drawers and getting rid of all the clothes you don’t wear regularly should make you feel FREE!
3.) Embrace the mantra “Quality Over Quantity”!
When embracing minimalism, it doesn’t mean that you can’t own the things that you enjoy the most.
Instead, you choose your possessions wisely. Invest in better quality items that will last you longer.
- Find a simple and timeless decor style that you LOVE and invest in some good quality pieces for your home.
- Opt for a minimalist wardrobe – a simple style that you can easily mix & match pieces to create different outfit options.
- Only keep dishes that you use on a regular basis.
- Only keep the ornaments and decor that have SERIOUS sentimental value and bring you joy. (Don’t keep thins just because they’re trendy.)
If you own something, it needs to be something you plan on having for the long-term.
4.) Take a Social Media Break
You open your phone, swipe to the social media app, click on it, and start scrolling, scrolling, scrolling…
It’s like a involuntary movement that you have no control over.
Do you check social media when you wake up, on the way to work, when you use the restroom, on your lunch break, as you cook dinner, etc.
Do you feel anxious or bored if you have a break where you cannot check your Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter?
Even if you don’t feel like social media is something that holds you back or effects your mental health, take a break!
It can be a weekend, a week, or a month! JUST DO IT.
You will find that you will have fewer distractions and more time to cultivate a greater peace of mind (and more time to de-clutter the rest of your life).
5.) Surround Yourself With Like-Minded People
Do you have friends who support your lifestyle change?
Or do they constantly pressure you to “treat yourself” and “keep up with the Joneses”?
This doesn’t make them bad people, but it can be challenging to stay connected with someone who doesn’t even try to support what makes you happy.
If you know someone who embraces minimalism or wants to make the change, connect with them! Share ideas and support each other.
(Pinterest is a wonderland for minimalism ideas.)
In the end, you should also declutter your group of friends and “inner circle of trust”.
Choose friends who built you up, just the way you are. You don’t need to buy anything new or change who you are to maintain your standing in a relationship.
6.) Simplify Your Finances
This part may look difficult, but it is very easy!
If you want to have “minimalist finances”, you will need to have access to all your financial information in one place!
This is where “creating a budget” comes in!
To create a budget, all you need to know is the amount of money you make per month and the amount of money you spend per month.
All of these apps will track your digital spending from your credit and debit cards. (EASY! It does the work for you.)
All you need to do is input all the data and credit/debit card information – then the app will start to track your budget by itself. Don’t forget to input any purchases you made in cash.
7.) Stop Buying Impulse Items
Our society is obsess with consumerism!
Every time you scroll through social media or turn on the tv, you are bombarded with ads that are tailored to your interests and desires.
It’s a dirty trap, and marketers & advertising agencies know how to trap you! Don’t fall for it!
The problem with the consumerist culture is that you will never feel like you have enough. Every time you “buy something you really want”, it is replaced with something else.
Before you go shopping, write a list of what you intend to buy.
If you see something you really want, check the list. If it isn’t already written down, walk away!
Not only will this healthy habit build self-control, it will also build your bank account. Cha-ching!
8.) Downsize Your Living Space (If Necessary)
Does your monthly rent or mortgage bill make you cringe?
Do you feel trapped inside the “American Dream” – the perfect house in the perfect neighborhood didn’t make you happy after all?
DOWNSIZE TO SOMETHING SIMPLER!
If you live alone, you don’t need 2 bedrooms. (Have a pull-out couch for guests to sleep on.)
If you have a family, your children can sleep in the same bedroom for a while.
The four walls you live in doesn’t have to be large to feel spacious! Minimalistic decor can help with that.
Having a large home isn’t on the list of “things that matter in life”.
Your home should be a place of peace and happiness, not a place that stresses you out.
9.) Expect To Feel A Bit Uncomfortable In The Beginning
After you have de-cluttered major parts of your home and life, you may find yourself feeling confused.
Aren’t shelves supposed to be filled with books?
Aren’t your closet and drawers supposed to be filled with decent clothes?
The problem is that our culture has ingrained in us that “empty spaces” have to be filled with something.
The reality is that empty spaces give you room to breath and stretch out.
Give yourself a little time. You will learn to appreciate these empty spaces – a lot!
10.) Categorize All Your Purchases as “Needs” or “Wants”
“Needs” are the things you actually need to survive. For the most part, this includes food, water, and paying your bills.
“Wants” are the things you think would make your life more comfortable. This includes a newer vehicle, eating out at a restaurant, taking a vacation, buying a new outfit, etc.
The #1 reason people get into credit card debt is because they wanted something before they could afford it.
It’s completely fine to have some “fun money” to spend, so you can enjoy your life. However, 90% of your spending should be on your “needs”.
Don’t let your “wants” sabotage your minimalist lifestyle. Less is actually more!
- 25 Amazing Habits That Will Drastically Improve Your Life
- 15 Minimalistic French Fashion Trends & Outfit Ideas
- How to Be Happy? 13 Habits of the Happiest People
Remember, start small and take on minimalism task-by-task.
It’s an incredibly beneficial lifestyle that makes room for what is important in life.
Minimalism is not about having less. It’s about making more room for what actually matter.” -Unknown