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What exactly is a minimalist lifestyle?
For starters, it definitely isn’t a radical lifestyle. You don’t have to get rid of your car, your smartphone, your laptop, or things that you’re emotionally attached to. A minimalist lifestyle consists of getting rid of unnecessary stuff. This will allow you to live a more meaningful life. The best thing is that everyone can live a minimalist life, even families with children.
By living a minimalist lifestyle you’ll feel better and less stressed, and you’ll also help the planet by generating less waste. It’s a win-win situation for everyone. So how can you embrace minimalism in your everyday life? Well, there are several ways you can live with less. Although it might seem really hard at first, it’s not impossible.
Here are 7 tips for helping you live a minimalist lifestyle
1. Don’t let your possessions become extensions of you
According to the psychology of stuff and things, our possessions allow us to show our true self (or the one we’re willing people to see). They can also signal our membership to a certain socio-economic class. It’s toward material things that we build our personality. This creates a sentimental bond with them.
But in the end, material things are just material.
It’s stuff that we’ve accumulated throughout our lives. In order to cut the bond, you’ll have to start by not giving meaning to material possessions. After all, everything you own can be replaced.
For stuff that has a sentimental value, like photos and videos, you can store them online.
2. Get rid of unnecessary things
Once you’ve internalised that everything you own can be replaced, you can continue your minimalist journey by getting rid of unnecessary things. And how can you do that? It’s really easy. Start by cleaning small spaces, like the bathroom cabinet.
Before keeping something, ask yourself when was the last time you use it and honestly answer if you will be using it again. You’ll be surprised by how many unnecessary items you own.
3. Before buying, ask yourself if you really need it
There are a lot of reasons why we buy things we don’t actually need. Like buying out of habit – habit is really powerful and it can push us into mass consumption. Think about what your buying habits are. Awareness is the first step.
Now, over the next 7 days make a mental note that every time you are at a till about to hand over your money to take note of what it is you are buying. A second, to reflect if it something you really need.
4. Own Fewer Items Which Are Higher Quality
Buying high-quality items doesn’t mean you have to spend more. Instead of purchasing 50 t-shirts, buy 10 with the same budget. They’ll last longer and you won’t have to keep buying them every 3 months.
Items which you use every single day are worth investing a little bit more in. In the long run, a more expensive item which maintains its quality and value over time is better than buying a bunch of cheap stuff which needs to be replaced. A luxury, pre-owned watch is a good example. Investing £2,000 – £3,000 in a watch might sound steep and the opposite of anti-consumerism but in fact, it’s not.
When you invest in a piece of art + history you know that you can resell it and exchange it for something else you really, really love and want further down the line. And in the meantime, you can really enjoy wearing your stunning watch every single day. Minimalism is about downsizing in order to enjoy what you do have that much more!
5. Reuse Items
This point might seem like a contradiction with the one about throwing away unnecessary items. But there are some differences. While you must throw, or give, away anything you don’t need, you might want to keep and reuse stuff that will serve other purposes. Like reusing jars and pots as containers.
Now, don’t go crazy with this one and start keeping every pot you find on your way, as it will have the opposite effect. Only keep those that will actually be useful. You can recycle the rest.
6. Have a clutter-free zone
Clutter makes us feel overwhelmed, anxious and depressed, it is a primary source of stress in our daily lives. But you can quickly get rid of it. You can start by keeping a small space clutter-free, like your kitchen table or a drawer. This small space will serve as an inspiration too. And before you even notice, you’ll be living the minimalist dream in a clutter-free home.
7. Live in the moment, enjoy life
This is an extremely important tip. When you live in the moment, you’ll start enjoying life and valuing other things. Material possessions will not be as important as they used to be.
There are a few things you can do every day to live in the moment. Like spending 5 minutes a day doing nothing. Some of you might think it’s almost impossible, or a waste of time. But by forcing you to stop for 5 minutes and focus on your breathing, you’ll be recharging your batteries.
What are your thoughts on the minimalist lifestyle? Would you adopt it? Let me know in the comments below.