Minimalism is a broad term. It can mean several different things to several different people. But one thing is for sure, minimalism is on the rise.
It’s the notion of placing less value on physical items and more value on people and experiences. There are many reasons why people get into minimalism and how they do it.
For the sake of being honest, I’ll admit that I am not a perfect minimalist. (Is anyone really?) Or at least, not a textbook definition of minimalist. But I have been dabbling in it and trying to cut back on physical items.
Read: 29 things I quit buying
But how do you know if minimalism is right for you? You hear about it all the time, read about it on the internet, your friends can’t stop talking about it! Everyone talks about how minimalism completely changes their lives for the better. But would it even work for you?
That’s what we’re going to try and figure out in this post. Because while minimalism can be amazing and freeing for some, it doesn’t fit with everyone’s lifestyle and that’s OK too.
How to know if minimalism is right for you:
1. You find the mess never goes away
If you find that you’re always cleaning and putting things away but the mess always seems to come back, it may be time to try this new way of life. Start by getting rid of useless clutter like old junk mail, used notebooks, etc. Then get rid of things you rarely use and go from there.
In time, start to buy less, mainly necessities and you’ll notice the mess gets smaller and smaller.
2. You feel frustrated/overwhelmed in your own space
I for one, am tired of feeling like there is no room in my house. There are clothes and knick-knacks everywhere and there’s hardly any room to live! If you’re in the same boat, it might be time to give this minimalism thing a try.
3. You’re environmentally conscious
A lot of people adopt a more minimalist approach to life for environmental reasons. I’d say this is why I’m beginning my journey to minimalism as well. If you’re worried about the footprint you’ll be leaving behind then becoming a minimalist may be the perfect way to reduce it.
Purchasing less = less waste.
4. You have lots of stuff but you still want more
Nothing is ever enough these days. We’re often trapped in a consumer-driven circle where we always need the next new thing and it never ends up being enough. We end up with stuff we never really needed.
Minimalism can be a mindset shift as well. Learning to be happy and make the most of what we already have instead of always wanting more.
5. You need a change of pace
Maybe you just want to shake things up a bit. Changing your habits up could be just what you need to feel refreshed and out of the same old same old.
6. You could use more money
If you find yourself a little tight on cash, minimalism could be the answer. Selling what you don’t need could earn you a little extra cash and cut down on your future purchases will save you money in the long run.
If you can relate to any of these points then minimalism just might be the change you need!
So if you’re now decided on minimalism, the question is, where do you start?
My first tip is to determine why you want to lead a more minimalist life. Go back to the questions above and see which ones match your current situation. This will help you keep the focus on why you’re doing what you’re doing.
For example: If you’re wanting a more minimal life because you’re environmentally conscious then going forward you’ll be able to match your purchases and possessions accordingly.
Time to start decluttering! Take it room by room and space this process out, you don’t want to get overwhelmed. How you decide what stays and what goes is really up to you. You can use the Marie Kondo method if you want or you can use your own!
Whatever you decide, just be sure to stick to your guns. The more you can get rid of, the better.
Start small. You don’t need to get rid of all your furniture and all your dishes except for one. Declutter as much as you can (or as much as you want) for now and the more you practice this lifestyle, the easier it will be to get rid of things in the future.
Consider trying out a capsule wardrobe. A capsule wardrobe is a collection of clothing pieces that can mix and match effortlessly and never go out of style.
I’ll be honest, they’re not for everyone. But it’s an excellent way to practice minimalism in another area of your life. Download my free capsule wardrobe workbook here.
Spend less on possessions and more on experiences. You’ll enrich your life with new adventures, skills, lessons, friends and so on! Having memories to look back on is usually better than having things collecting dust.
Replace things rather than adding new things. Not only is this frugal, but it’s also environmentally friendly.
Instead of having multiples of everything, replace an item when it’s used up or becomes too old to use. For example: instead of having 8 different mascaras, have one and simply replace it once it can no longer be used.
Read: 15 things I still buy
Change your mindset. A big part of minimalism is how you look at it. Like I mentioned earlier, we’re so used to this consumer-driven world with the need to have the newest thing. We treat objects as disposable things. It’s so easy to buy something, (or many somethings) use it up, throw it away and then buy it again instead of cherishing what we have.
Try to get out of this mindset and enter a new mindset to take in less, cherish it and make conscious purchases.
And there you have it. How to know if minimalism is right for you AND how to begin your journey into minimalism.
I’m not an expert, but I am on this journey as we speak. So if you’re wanting to dive into minimalism as well, you’re not alone! These are the questions and tips that I follow to keep refining my approach to minimalism.
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