How To Become a Minimalist – Minimalism is intentionally living with only the things that you need. It means having and being surrounded by less stuff so that you can do more with your time and life in general. Living minimally allows you the freedom to spend less time and money on physical things and channel your energy towards actually living.
Minimalism isn’t about letting go of the things you hold dear. And it’s not about denying yourself certain experiences that bring joy and happiness to your life, either.
Minimalism is a way of focusing on the most important aspects of your life. It means parting with the things that don’t have value. And by doing so, you create room in your life to enjoy more of the things that have meaning. Don’t think about minimalism as self-restriction. It’s all about liberation. It isn’t about getting rid of material things because they aren’t good. Frankly, minimalism is about learning to be happy with less. You’re less likely to feel the desire to pursue more if you’re comfortable having less.
A simple life helps us free ourselves from the tight-hold, material possessions have on our lives. So in a sense, minimalism stands for liberation from materialism. Maybe you’d like to adopt a minimalistic lifestyle but don’t know how to go about it. To find out, continue watching and follow the simple steps below.
How To Become a Minimalist
1. Have your own set of rules in place
So, first of all, there aren’t any hard and fast rules when it comes to minimalism. Everyone’s path is different. To some, a minimalist lifestyle means only owning a select number of items, while for some, it’s all about the actual space that they take up in the world. For this and probably other personal reasons, some folks choose to look for smaller living arrangements, such as living in a tiny house or studio apartment, with only a few amenities.
And that’s the beautiful thing about minimalism. Although minimalism differs from one person to the next, it gives you a chance to look at your life and decide for yourself what minimalism looks like to you. In other words, create a set of rules that you can follow. Minimalism doesn’t necessarily mean checking your stuff or living in a squeezed space. The point is to understand what your basic goals are. So whichever way you define it, ensure that it’s something you can achieve and sustain for your life.
2. Start on a clean slate
We hate to admit it but, there are so many things in our homes that can only be referred to as junk. They serve no purpose and are only occupying space. Think about the box that your delivery came in, the broken stuff that you said you’d fix but forgot to, or the clothes that don’t fit you anymore. These items are nothing but a waste of space, and minimalism is all about making the most out of space. So the best thing to do would be to throw out or give away what you don’t need anymore.
3. Assess your life
Perhaps the most important step towards becoming a minimalist is analyzing your life. Doing this allows you to identify what’s most important to you, find out which aspects of your life add value, and bring happiness and meaning to your life. And by doing this, you can set your priorities straight. And with a clear understanding of what’s important, it’s much easier to begin the process of minimizing. If you don’t know why you’re doing away with something, it might be harder for you to adjust. Make a list of the important things and start there. And with time, you can make room for more priorities.
4. Evaluate your possessions
Once you have your priorities straight, you need to look into your material possessions. Think of all the stuff you own and decide whether they are in line with your priorities. Figure out whether they add value or if they create unnecessary mental noise. And don’t get me wrong, these things would be nice to have, but if you take a good look at yourself, you’ll probably discover that there isn’t anything of significance they add to your life. Take the time to compile a list of items you find inessential or of low value and begin eliminating them one by one, getting rid of a few every week, and so on.
5. Look at how you spend your time
Living in a fast-paced world, it’s easy to bury yourself in work, and you begin to lose time for yourself completely. And when this happens, you not only burn yourself out, but you also negatively affect your physical and mental health. When you put other things above time-for-yourself, you’re neglecting your needs. Your career will always be there but your health won’t. Becoming a minimalist isn’t just about decluttering the physical stuff. It’s also about getting rid of activities that waste your time.
Take time to think about all the things you do with your time and figure out what you truly enjoy doing. Identify whether your commitments are in sync with your priorities. And once you do this, see how you can reduce the purposeless activities. Tackle one thing at a time. It’s better to completely rid your life of one negative activity than trying to deal with many all at once. Keep in mind that you won’t remember your life by; all those nights you spent working hard for that paycheck, but by the memories and experiences that you had with the people you love.
6. Look at the people around you
The people you hang around have a great influence on your life. It’s therefore logical to want to form relationships with people who are positive and encouraging. At the same time, you also need to identify the toxic people who spread negative energy and waste your time. People can bring us down to their level or lift us to theirs. If you hang out with a group of successful, positive individuals who believe in taking responsibility for their lives, you’ll also be the kind of person who shapes his or her future.
If you spend time with pessimistic people who believe that the world is out to get them and there’s nothing worthwhile, at some point, you begin to fall into the pit of negativity. Therefore, we need to understand that the people we surround ourselves with will ultimately impact the kind of people we become and that we need to distance ourselves from people who don’t elevate us.
7. Stop multitasking
Many people strongly believe and take pride in multitasking, but in actuality, that’s not true. There are countless scientific studies out there that prove that the human brain is incapable of multitasking. The only thing we can do is switch from one activity to the next, which only serves to decrease our productivity immensely. Don’t complicate your life by trying to accomplish so many activities at the same time but instead, focus on doing one thing at a time. Eliminate distractions and direct your attention to the task at hand. Doing this will increase your concentration and have a positive impact on your work. Minimalism is about focusing on what’s truly important with greater attention.
8. Figure out what your goals and ambitions are
The goals we have inspire us and give us the drive to get up every morning to continue pursuing our dreams. Our goals and ambitions greatly influence the lives we live. But not all ambitions are compatible with a minimalistic lifestyle. That’s why it’s important to evaluate whether your goals are still in line with the priorities you set initially. Take time to reflect on the outcomes of your goals. Is the result worth all your time and energy? Also, you don’t need to have so many goals in place that will fill your life with endeavors that you’ll only pursue halfway. Just set a few of them and focus your attention on them.
9. Set limits
There will always be certain things that we find hard to part with as we try to become minimalists. There is always something that we can’t live without. Yes, you’ll need your phone to make phone calls and your laptop to do research or answer emails. But these activities shouldn’t interfere with your life. They shouldn’t interrupt your workflow. Only focus on them at certain times and set clear limits to how often you partake in them. This will help you focus more and be productive.
10. Start Small
As you begin your journey towards minimalism, you shouldn’t be weighed down by all the work that lies ahead of you. The changes may indeed be significantly major, but you don’t have to make them overnight. When you’re trying to make your life simpler, it’s vital to maintain a gradual level of change. If you become a little too ambitious and decide to be clutter-free in a matter of days, you might be putting too much pressure on yourself. Start small and work slowly towards a more simplistic and realistic existence.
Start with one area of a room when decluttering instead of taking on the entire room at once. Select a few items of clothing that you’ll give away or make the decision not to add an item you don’t need in the house. These changes may be small, but with time you’ll be able to adjust to the idea of becoming a minimalist.
11. Replace instead of Add
Another important element when finding the right balance in a minimalist lifestyle is to have a one-in, one-out philosophy. This simply means, instead of buying more stuff, only replace them. If something breaks, replace it. Otherwise, refrain from adding more items to your existing collection. If you avoid the urge to buy a few times, you’ll soon realize that you can do without some of these things, which at one point you would have snatched in seconds.
When you get something new, it should replace something you already own instead of adding on to the pile. By focusing more on replacing things rather than adding more stuff, you keep the clutter in your home at a minimum, which is a level that’s easy to manage and doesn’t get out of control.
12. Live deliberately
One important aspect of becoming a minimalist is living in the moment and living more deliberately. And to do this, it’s important to turn your attention from the past, or the future, but instead, focus on the present. When you choose to live in the past or the future, you’re depriving yourself of the joy and power that the present brings. Keep in mind that you can neither change what happened in the past nor influence what will happen in the future, but you can… use the present to build the foundation of your future. In the same way, use your experiences as important life lessons. Living more deliberately will help you spend your time in a more meaningful way. Simplify your life and explore the happiness living in the moment has to offer.