“Minimalism is a tool to rid yourself of life’s excess in favor of focusing on what’s important—so you can find happiness, fulfillment, and freedom.”
Minimalism for Beginners- You Have To Find Your “Why”
You are being drawn toward living a simpler life, and have recognized the stress and mess that years of accumulation has brought you.
You know that more stuff does not = more happiness and maybe there is another way to ‘do’ life outside the lines of more, more, more, bigger, bigger, bigger that have been drawn around us.
Understanding why we do something or why we want to create a better, more minimalist life helps us see the beauty in what we’ve created. We form an appreciation for our why. Without knowing why we’re headed where we are, we cannot truly embrace the process or idea of simple living.
You could make a list of all the reasons you want to live more simply. If you are sick of not having enough money, write it down. Mad that you never get any time with your kids? Write it down. Tired of all the stuff that is piled up? Write it down. Too stressed out to sleep at night? Put it on paper.
I came to the realization that the way we are “told” to live is basically bullshit.
Get a job(that you may not even really like), buy a bunch of stuff, and be in debt.
I realized that I wanted something different.
For me, minimalism is creating life habits that align with your values to allow you to live a purposeful, happy life.
How Do I Start Living Like A Minimalist?
First of all, minimalism is whatever you want it to be for you. It does not mean you have to get rid of everything.
You will figure out what your version of living a minimalist lifestyle looks like as you go through the process.
And the process is ongoing. It is more of a journey than a destination.
I have identified as being a minimalist for quite a few years now and I am still learning and evolving as I go.
One of the best things you can do on your journey to minimalist living is to start small.
You know how easy it is to be too enthusiastic about getting started with a new project. You want to dive in and get everything done in a day.
Slow down there Captain!
Trying to do too much at once is going to lead to burnout. You are in this for the long haul, remember?
This is a complete shift in your way of living and it is going to take time to figure it all out.
If you want to live a more minimalist lifestyle to try and simplify your life I applaud your decision. You are going against the mainstream in choosing to make this major life change.
Related– The 10 Best Books On Minimalism
Start With One Small Area To Declutter
If it is the amount of clutter that is bothering you, focus on one area and spend 10 or 20 minutes a day going through that area.
You may find it overwhelming at first. We have an emotional attachment to our belongings and it can be difficult to part with them.
Consistency is key when it comes to developing new habits. Really focus on staying with your decluttering trend every day. Yes, this may take a while and that is okay.
Keep only what is truly essential. If it serves a real purpose then it stays. It can even be for aesthetic purposes. I have wall art. I just like looking at it.
Keep doing this. There is no end to this process. Keep at it until you are satisfied with the amount of stuff you have. Remember that this is your journey.
Learn To Live With Less
Our Western society would have us believe that more is better. Be busy all the time. Spend your money on useless stuff. Be in debt.
There is a better way to live. It takes courage to actually make a change.
Those of us who choose to live a more minimalist lifestyle eschew this philosophy. We realize that marketers and advertisers just want our money.
So maybe you should write down all your debts.
Um, yeah. Get at it. So many people want to bury their head in the sand when it comes to how much money they owe creditors. The debts are not just going to disappear. And BTW, making the minimum payment on your credit card bill means you will basically NEVER get it paid off.
So get out a pen and paper and start writing. Sobering isn’t? Hopefully this will help you realize that you do not need more freaking stuff.
Ask yourself “do I really need this?” all the time.
Before you swipe your credit card, ask yourself “Do I really need this?” And ask yourself all the time. At first you may easily justify purchases out of habit, but as the question sinks in, you might find yourself realizing you don’t need many of the items you impulsively buy.
You will eventually create a fulfilling life that isn’t rooted in consumerism.
Ask questions! What things, people and activities are currently adding value to your life and which aren’t? What do you wish you had more time for? Here are some questions to get you started:
- Which 3-5 things are most important to you in life? Does the way you spend your time reflect these?
- What part of the day do you usually look forward to the most? Why?
- How does your living space make you feel?
- How many hours per day do you spend feeling rushed, stressed or anxious? What (or who) is causing that?
- What is your favourite place in your house/apartment? Why?
- How often do you do things just for fun?
- What activities always leave you feeling fresh and re-energised?
- Which of your commitments (side projects, clubs, memberships, etc.) truly add value to your life and which don’t?
- If this week had an extra day, how would you spend it? How good are you at saying no?
As a beginner minimalist you want more time for ourselves and those close to us.
We are realizing that less is more.
LESS clutter, time commitments, negative thought patterns and toxic relationships
MORE time, space, money, peace, and energy for things that really matter to you.
You will learn that it is okay to be quiet and still.
You may have to dig deep in order to do this. To let go of certain ingrained beliefs you have about what life is supposed to look like.
So what does living a minimalist lifestyle mean to you?
What draws you to minimalist living?