Do You Want to Follow Minimalism to Live a Stress-Free Life?
When you hear the word minimalism, you might think about art, music, fashion or architecture and decor. But here I want to talk about minimalism as a lifestyle. How letting go of things can change your life.
The idea of minimalism has been around for years. But the modern minimalism movement started around 2006 and ever since it’s a word as common and trendy as the word millennial.
What is Minimalism?
Basically, it’s the idea of simplifying your life down to the essentials.
Ranging to different ways of interpreting minimalism. Some people may be extremes with really little furniture while others may not seem minimalist but you’ll find them applying the concept to their lives in some way or the other. By removing a lot of unnecessary things from our lives we can experience a lot of benefits like better financial state, reduced stress, more joy and quality time with friends, family and ourselves.
Minimalism can be used as a tool to change your lives.
There are many examples of the use of minimalism to explore alternative lifestyles. Be it moving into a tiny house, travelling even with little money and getting out of debt. It’s very much known to have a transformative and positive impact on life.
Minimalism doesn’t happen overnight. It’s not a lifestyle type, it’s an evolving and ongoing process. Sometimes even taking months to years to adopt. Starting to learn minimalism might not immediately feel great. In fact, the first time you downsize might feel like a mistake. But it grows on you, and you get there. A way of living where less is more.
How can a Minimalist Lifestyle Benefit You?
Broadly speaking, there are three spheres of your life that a minimalist lifestyle can impact.
#1. Physical space
How cluttered is your physical living space? Applying the concept of minimalism to your physical surroundings can make life easier. Lesser the things, lessen the chaos. By asking yourself what is necessary and what is adding value to your life, you can reap the real benefits of minimalism as a lifestyle choice.
Here's another relevant article you might want to check - Do You Want More Space In Your Cozy Home?
#2. Time management
Saying no to things that aren’t on top of your priority list. We end up wasting our days with things-to-do even if it may not be essential or productive. Something even like social media may take up a lot of your time, which might get overwhelming. Minimising your schedule to accommodate important and productive behaviour adds more value and less stress to each day.
#3. Financial impact
By keeping and buying only the things you need, cutting back on expenditures on things you may not need, you’re naturally spending less and saving more money. You’ll find yourself more conscious of your spending habits. Overall, putting you in a better financial state.
How to Become a Minimalist at Home? Where to Start From?
Your clothes make up for the bulk of things you own. I know even though one can never have too many clothes, there’s always a better way to go about it. The idea here isn’t to buy new clothes but it is to keep things that bring you happiness. The whole Mary Kondo method of organising your wardrobes and house laid focus on only keeping things that bring you joy!
As tough as it may sound, here is where you start.
Lay out your entire wardrobe and separate your clothes into three piles. The first category being- ‘hell yes’ because you can’t live without these clothes. The second category of ‘Maybe’, clothes you’d like to come back for a review. The third is definitely a ‘NO’ for items you’d like to give away. Any piece of clothing that you haven’t worn in the past 2 years is a clear cut
Indication for getting rid of it. A ‘maybe someday’ approach to such items is what keeps you from letting go of unnecessary pieces. So do yourself a favour and let that birthday dress you wore 4 years back go.
How to avoid falling back into the vicious trap of buying too many clothes? Simple. Avoid buying too trendy or fast fashion items.
Because what sucks about trendy pieces is, you can’t wear them after a certain point. They go out of fashion as quick as they came in. Don’t we all know? RIP to all those animal prints we bought.
As tempting as it may be, you gotta control the urge. Ask yourself one question- did I like it before it was trendy? If yes, go ahead with it. If not, a timeless fashion sense lets you use your clothes over and over again.
Avoid buying sale items as our peanut brain really overrides logic when it sees sale boards flashing around. Like stores wasn’t enough, there are plenty of online sales that lure us into their trap of buying things we don’t need.
Avoid buying one-time-use clothing pieces or event-specific clothes as they don’t go a long way. Also, repeating statement items is not everyone’s cup of tea. Keep a check on it by asking yourself- will I use it multiple times? If yes, go splurge!
#2. Digital declutter
Avoid information overload by doing a digital declutter every week. Unfollow accounts that no longer brings you joy.
Filter out social media accounts you follow every once in a while. By following less you can actually see more of the things you’d like to see.
- Delete photos you don’t need.
- Delete music you no longer like.
- Delete contacts you no longer need.
- Sort out your email. Unsubscribe to unwanted emails.
- Arrange and declutter your desktop icons as well as rearrange phone apps.
I know it sounds like a lot of work. But I assure, along with your devices, you’ll find your mind feel more at rest. A stress-free mind would allow you to be more productive.
#3. ‘Just in case’ items
Items that you hoard under the name of ‘just in case’ is a big no-no. More often than not, just in case items continue to remain just in case. Storing them for that one odd time when you might or might not use them is not worth the space they take physically and even mentally.
Sort out items like medicines because come on, we all have way too many of those. Extra stationery like sticky pads lying around and pens and highlighters that don’t work.
In fact, start with cleaning out one space in your house every week to get rid of all your hoarded items.
#4. ‘One time use’ items
Another similar category of belongings you should review is ‘one time use’ items. Especially when it comes to your kitchen, there are many ingredients or spices specific to one meal. A lot of this is stuff that you don’t actively use, also stuff that is full of preservatives. Do yourself a favour and slide your pasta sauces into the trash bin. Not only will you save money but will also end up eating clean, healthy, homemade food.
#5. Cheap rip-offs
I get it. There’s nothing wrong with buying cheap brand replicas or Fashion street/Sarojini clothes. I mean, who doesn’t love a variety of tops? The only problem with them is, the fact that they might not actually be as useful as you think they are.
As tempting as it may be, you’ll find yourself hoarding more than you could use. Or maybe using it once or twice, only to get bored of it or maybe even spoiling it. Cheap replica of clothes, bags, belt spoil before time and lead you spending more on multiple rip-offs that don’t last. A couple of washes or a little rough wear will have them looking old. Many might disagree, but saving up that money to buy one good quality item like a belt or a bag would serve to be more useful in the longer term. In short, instead of having many cheap items, have few good quality items.
Yes, ladies! Hang in there because you need to hear this. Our love for jewellery shows in the fact that we’ve all gone overboard with buying it more than once at least. Be it cheap jewellery or expensive, it’s going to be a hurdle in your journey to adopting a minimalist lifestyle. How? Let’s talk about this one.
Cheap or trendy jewellery, like the tassel earrings that I’m sure we all own, are pieces that one, go out of fashion really quick. Two, spoil in no time. Three, are likely to never get used again. Four, sit in your jewellery box forever. Hence, think twice before to go on earrings spree for such items.
Does that mean expensive jewellery is the answer? No! There’s nothing against buying diamonds and gold that you regularly use. But buying event specific and very expensive jewellery items are more of a liability than an asset. Even when it comes to gold as an investment option, its security is surely a headache. The point of minimalism is to simplify your life by taking away things that cause stress. We bet you’ll sleep better without that 5 lakh worth necklace in your home.
#7. Plastic bags
Yes, plastic bags along with extra cleaning products. Plastic bags infest every house in a noticeable number. One big plastic bag with all other plastic polythenes is a part of almost every Indian household. What’s wrong with it is the fact that they take up space and create more chaos for you when they’re lying around.
Carrying cloth bags with you whenever you go shopping will not only keep you from storing too many polythenes but it’s also environment-friendly. A shift to reusable cloth bags is a change you’ll definitely appreciate in the longer run.
This list grows bigger once you start moulding your lifestyle the minimalist way. You’re more aware and make conscious decisions to simplify your life. The most important advice for you to keep in mind as you start to practise minimalism is to take it easy and slowly. Identify the chaos around you and simplify it. You might not be 100% successful at it right away. There will be times when you would feel you got rid off too much, too fast. And times when you’ll buy unnecessary things just to fill that void. The key is to forgive yourself and keep moving ahead. I hope you’re all able to use minimalism to transform your lives.
What were the unnecessary expenses and habits that you bid goodbye to for a simpler and worry-free life? Tell us in the comments below and head to our Homes and Gardens community for more tips and information around this topic.