Minimalism is intentionally living with only the things that you absolutely need. It’s having and being surrounded by fewer material items, so you can do more with your time and life.
Think about it: When you have fewer dishes, you spend less time washing and drying them. You don’t have to fight for room for that final stack of Tupperware (none of which matches, by the way).
Minimalist living allows you the freedom to spend less time and money on stuff, and spend more energy on actually living.
How to become a minimalist
Now that we have a basic idea of minimalism, let’s dive into some easy steps to living a minimalist lifestyle!
Set your rules for minimalism
Minimalism is different for everyone. Some people define their minimalist lifestyle by only owning a certain number of items (like a capsule wardrobe).
Other people achieve a minimalist lifestyle by minimizing the actual space that they take up in the world, and may seek out smaller living arrangements like a studio apartment or a tiny house.
And that’s the beauty of minimalist living: you get to look at your life — your job, the number of people in your family, your lifestyle, your needs and desires — and determine what minimalism looks like for you.
Maybe it’s simply decluttering your home. Maybe it’s moving to an apartment that’s 200 square feet smaller than your current living situation. Or maybe it’s completely downsizing your life.
Whatever your definition of minimalism, make sure that it’s something sustainable and achievable for your life.
“No need to cannonball into the minimalism pool. It’s ok to dip a toe in first.”
Start with a clean slate
As much as we all hate to admit it, there are some items in our homes that are just junk. The box that your Amazon order came in. Your favourite sweater that shrunk in the wash. The broken items that we say we will get around to fixing but obviously never do.
In reality, these items are wasted space, and minimalism is all about maximizing space. So the first step is to start with a literal clean slate and throw out all of the trash.
Use it or lose it
Remember how we learned that minimalism is all about adopting a less is more mentality and only living with the things that you need?
Put that to the test by implementing the Use It or Lose It Rule.
In the midst of your initial cleaning, you may come across some items that you have used before, but haven’t used recently. I call these “once upon a time items.”
When you find these items, use the Six Month Use It or Lose It Rule. If you haven’t used it at least twice in the last six months, then it’s time to toss it.
If it’s a seasonal item, like your winter coat or a swimsuit, then ask yourself if you used it regularly last season. Eventually, try to work up to tossing things that you haven’t used in the last three months, and then items from the last month.
And remember, keep only what you need now, not what you think you’ll need in the future.
Tomorrow in sha Allah we will continue with more tips on how to live a minimalist lifestyle.