Even though our modern lifestyles are far from simple, minimalism has recently become a popular trend all over the world. More and more people want to take control of their lives and experience more joy and passion from the little things in life. However, as it often happens with major lifestyle changes, people who are considering this new philosophy generally don’t know where to start. If you strive for a simpler way of living and want to eliminate anything that is unnecessary, take the following three steps into consideration in order to begin your journey towards minimalism, slowly, in a smooth and relaxed way:
1. Understand the Concept
Everyone must be familiar, in one way or another, with the term ‘minimalism.’ For some people, the first thought that comes to mind is an extreme way of living with as few material possessions as possible. For others, it describes an aesthetic trend in architecture and design, where everything is stripped down to its necessary elements. We’ve seen it used in many industries, including literature, beauty, fashion, interior design, food and even technology, but one feature that all these approaches have in common is the idea of simplicity. However, this absence of complication can be interpreted in various ways, depending on each individual’s personal values.
The main idea of minimalism revolves around reducing the excess by figuring out what is important in your life and gradually eliminating the rest. Modern society has led us to believe that living a good life means owning many things: more cars, more clothes, more accessories, more gadgets, and more money. While we’re too busy being overwhelmed by both physical and mental clutter, we find it difficult to create time and space to enjoy the simple things in life, and that is why minimalism comes as an antidote to that specific feeling of overload.
Once you fully understand the idea of minimalism and figure out how to apply it to your own habits, you can move on to the next step, which is more practical than theoretical.
2. Learn to Let Go
As previously mentioned, adopting a minimalist lifestyle means focusing on things that matter most and removing whatever distracts us from them.
First of all, you must embrace the idea of letting go of excessive material possessions. You can start small and work your way up to the bigger items. Pick a space in your home that doesn’t make you happy in its current state and begin the process of decluttering. Don’t start tidying up with the idea of simply organizing your belongings but with the thought of getting rid of as much stuff as possible – donate, sell or simply throw away.
One of the rooms that are most prone to accumulating unnecessary items is the kitchen. Do you really need those extra twenty plates just in case you have a bunch of unexpected guests and you have to feed them all at once? Will you actually use all those spatulas, or do you have one that’s your go-to? How many mugs do you need and how many do you have just because they look pretty inside your cupboard? Once you realize that having less clutter in the kitchen actually makes life much easier, you’ll gladly accept the idea that less is more.
3. Bring in Less
If you’ve reached the third step, it means you’re on the right path to living a clutter-free life! What comes next may be a bit tricky and it takes practice to fully commit to it, but it’s doable once you acknowledge the many benefits of minimalism.
After you remove all the clutter from your environment and you reduce your dependency on objects for happiness, you have to be careful not to fall back into the same old practice. You can create your own system that makes you feel comfortable and stick to it no matter what. For instance, for every new piece of clothing you buy, you must get rid of an old one. This way, you will keep the number of clothes you own to a minimum and you will never have to deal with a cluttered wardrobe ever again. If you do this long enough, it will slowly turn into a habit. You can apply the same system to any purchase and eventually you’ll realize how awesome it is to live more mindfully.
We all know how hectic life can be, and that is why minimalism comes to the rescue. Don’t try to do it all at once, because it will only add more stress to an already stressful routine. Take it easy, break the process down into small steps and let it be a calming, liberating process. If you’re not ready to get rid of your possessions completely but you still want a minimal home environment, store your less necessary items in a storage unit near you until you figure out what to do with them.