If you think that a minimalist is someone who lives in an empty space with only a mattress, chair, bowl and spoon, then you’ve got minimalism quite wrong.
In truth, minimalism isn’t about living with nothing, it’s about living with only what you need.
Minimalism comes down to removing all the clutter and excess in your life in order to gain a life with more meaning and abundance. This is defined by identifying anything that prevents you from doing what is important or which gives you little satisfaction in return.
7 Steps Toward Becoming A Minimalist
Consider how much time you give to the things that don’t actually matter or don’t give you much in return. Take a look around your home and identify all the things that take a lot more of your time to maintain than the joy they give you in return.
To begin with, here are seven steps that will help you to move toward a minimalistic lifestyle.
1. Finding A Good Fit For You
Seeking to live with only what you need is what binds all minimalists together. “They see excessive possessions as distractions” says Joshua Becker, co-founder of the Becoming Minimalist blog.
Joshua said that after donating, recycling and removing any unnecessary stuff, his family downsized to a smaller home and mortgage and saved a great deal. They went from having four TVs to owning only one. But they found that keeping only one car actually made things difficult, so they invested in an inexpensive second car.
Each person will have a different level of minimalism they desire. Our life purpose tends to dictate what tools we need to accomplish that purpose. However, if someone’s goal is to travel the world, they will not need much more than what can be fit into a backpack and maybe a luggage or two.
2. Begin Slowly
This part is quite easy. Becker suggests grabbing a box and going room by room placing anything you don’t want in the box. There is really no hard decisions to be made at this point.
The next step forward is to begin opening your closets and drawers and evaluate whether any item is actually adding “value” to your life, and if not, let it go.
3. Make It A Game
People tend to avoid decluttering; more often than not they get stuck on whether to sell or donate, or they get caught up in worrying about whether they will need an item in the future.
For anyone who struggles with decluttering it is recommended you try the simple MinsGame - it is a system created by the two guys, Joshua Becker and Ryan Nicodemus, known as The Minimalists.
The MinsGame works like this: Start on the very first day of any month, and with a box on hand, get rid of just one item. It could be a worn out pair of shoes, an old magazine, a broken mobile phone, or some obsolete software. On the second day, get rid of two items, then three more on day three and so forth. Adjust the number of items you do for each day to coincide with the date. Before you know it your box will full and you will have removed many items which no longer serve you.
4. Write Down Your “Why”
Ryan Nicodemus suggests that if you’re sick of working nights or weekends to pay off credit card debt, student or mortgage loans and you’re tired of paying for cable TV packages that you don’t have time to watch, then put it on paper.
Knowing your ‘whys’ will give you great leverage when you think it’s too hard to keep going. Your ‘whys’ will help you to remember what really matters.
5. Eliminate Consumerism
This is actually really about learning to be content with what you’ve got.
“As we find another room full of stuff we don’t use, we have to face the fact that we tend to buy more than we need,” Becker says. These unnecessary things will just end up stealing our energy and hijacking our time and space.
6. Take a Digital Holiday
Digital clutter is a HUGE issue in our modern life. Stopping the flow of it into our minds and lives from social media, smartphones, tablets and laptops is a challenge for all of us; the temptation is all too great to stay plugged in. However, it is taking away our ability to be present in our environment and with the things that are important. You might also be surprised by the level of peace and relaxation from taking a digital sabbatical. Let your friends and family know you are unplugging from it for a weekend, and then actually do it.
7. Travel Light
When you next go on vacation, pack only for some of the time you will be away; so if you’re planning on traveling for 10 days, pack for only 5. Use the hotel’s guest laundry room to wash your clothes so you can wear the same things more than once. See how it makes you feel to travel with less luggage.
Get Useful Storage Organizers
If you are ready to tackle the next steps in becoming a minimalist and decluttering your home, and would like some expert home storage solutions to help you minimize and restore order and organization to your space, then the professional team at Bayou Closets can help you.
If you reside in the New Orleans area you qualify for a FREE In-Home Design & Consultation with an expert from Bayou Closets, simply by calling (504) 475-2029 and mentioning this offer. Don’t delay, call today to begin living your life uncluttered!