Many people consider minimalism to be some sort of fad that is solely based on restrictions. On the contrary, it’s a lifestyle that can actually make you feel free – if implemented correctly.
“Minimalism is a tool that can assist you in finding freedom… Freedom from the trappings of the consumer culture we’ve built our lives around.” – Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus
Today’s problem seems to be the fact that we assign too much meaning to things, often forsaking our health, relationships, passions, and personal growth in the process.
Minimalism allows us to rid ourselves of life’s excess so that we can focus on what’s really important.
Minimalism comes in many shapes and sizes, and there is certainly no one, ‘right’ way to live a minimalistic lifestyle. At the end of the day, it’s up to each of us to decide what is necessary and what is superfluous in our own unique lives. As long as we keep the end goal in sight – to search for happiness not through things, but through life itself.
Some misconceptions about minimalism…
- Minimalists never spend money.
Minimalists simply buy things with more intention, being purposeful about the people and practices they are supporting with every purchase.
- Minimalists live with fewer than 100 things.
It’s uncertain where this figure originated, but it’s contrary to the true ethos of minimalism, which is that it is different for every individual.
- Minimalists all live alone and don’t have kids.
Practising minimalism means you have more time, energy, and resources for the people you love – family and relationships are arguably more important to minimalists!
- Minimalism has to be extreme to be ‘successful’.
Not at all. You can choose to practise minimalism in just one area of your life, and it could positively impact your well-being, as well as that of the planet and all its inhabitants.
“The less you have, the less you have to worry about.”― Buddha
Ready to rid yourself of excess stuff; reclaim your time, money and energy; and learn to create more and consume less?
Here are just a few way to get started…
- Start by finding just one thing to remove from your home.
- Once you’ve made a start, commit to decluttering one room each month.
- Before you make your next non-essential purchase, consider whether it really adds meaning and value to your life.
- Jot down some guiding principles on what types of things you’ve found to be truly valuable, and what purchases have simply ended up gathering dust.
- Slow the influx of new things by logging out of your online shopping accounts, or consciously avoiding the mall for a set period of time.
- Practise attention minimalism by muting all device notifications while doing deep work or spending time with loved ones.
- See how much space you can create in your calendar for the next week and month.
- Think about the simplest actions or habits that have the greatest positive effect on your life. Commit to priorisiting these over all others.
- Be intentional about each day by writing down your top three priorities every morning.
Over time, you’ll start seeing minimalism as less of a lifestyle, and more of a filter through which you make all your decisions. These decisions will be small at first, but with each one, you’ll be able to shift your physical, digital, and even emotional life in a more conscious direction.
“Until we have begun to go without them, we fail to realise how unnecessary many things are. We’ve been using them not because we needed them but because we had them.” - Seneca