Have you ever wondered how many of your belongings bring fulfillment or joy in your life?
It is a fallacy that consumerism brings happiness. It has become a norm buy heaps of stuff, most of which we don’t even use. We spend our savings on trivial things without worrying about our future.
According to The Bussiness Insider, ‘almost half of the American families don’t save any money.’
Often, we have enough accessories to fulfill all our needs, yet we buy more and more. We become hoarders!
Still, many people lack fulfillment and joy? They think they are buying the stuff for pleasure, yet, many find themselves unhappy even after the splurges. So, probably, the problem is with the approach.
There is an antithesis to this approach. It is called minimalism. Minimalism often sparks an image in people’s minds where they have to sit on the floor and sleep on the rugs. No! Minimalism isn’t only about giving up on all your worldly possessions.
This article is specifically a guiding light for those who want to get into the minimalist lifestyle but are clueless about how to begin.
WHY SHOULD ONE BECOME A MINIMALIST?
- It gives you freedom from stress and clutter.
- Your mind will focus more on valuable things.
- Letting go will give you the opportunity of self-realization.
- Fewer things to look after, and freedom from the constant fear of losing them
- Minimalism paces our lives and adds calmness.
- It brings contentment as we learn to be satisfied with our possessions.
- It helps us achieve an honest and transparent lifestyle.
Proven ways to switch to a minimalist lifestyle
- Letting go is easier than you think
Giving up on you stuff us hard! However, the result is worth it. It allows us to appreciate the precious things that bring us joy in its most real sense.
If something has a sentimental value to it and you find it hard to give away, consider keeping it away for a while. Over time, if you stop getting happiness from it, convince yourself to let go of it.
2. Start small
Starting small is the key to achieve a minimalist lifestyle. Start by sorting your wardrobe. Take out all the stuff and sort them. The clothes which look good on you and are comfortable as well are the most valuable.
Get rid of uncomfortable garments which you bought just because they were a trend. Also, give away clothing that you did not even look at in the past three months.
Once you are done with the wardrobe, start sorting the toys. You kids don’t need a room full of toys to play. According to research, ‘an average kid owns 238 toys but plays with only 12 daily.’
Give away the toys that your kids don’t even look at. There’s even a chance that they won’t even notice that those toys are gone.
Next are your kitchen cabinets – filled to the brim with crockery and Tupperware. Most of which isn’t even the need of your family. Why not toss all the pizza and salad scissors, vegetable slicers, and herb cutters when your knife can do these tasks efficiently.
The less you keep, the easier it is to maintain and deep clean your kitchen and pantry.
There are many things in our home which can easily be replaced with a single useful thing. For example, one smart device for cleaning is a replacement for all the various mops, vacuums, and brooms that take up space.
3. A self-storage is a great option
There are instances when you wish you had some extra space. You may have furniture that you need to keep as you temporarily shift in a smaller rental home. Or, you may have some valuables that you cannot throw away.
Self-storage units are an excellent option for this purpose, and they are found all over the US. Whether you need storage units in Central Michigan or East Dallas, you will find plenty of options, and that too at affordable rents.
The New York Times reported that ‘1 out of every 10 Americans rent offsite storage.’ You can rent a self-storage space and keep your things there instead of hoarding them at your home.
4. Live to bless the less privileged
Generosity brings a lot of joy. When you hand out the things that you do not need, need, not only it brings peace and calm, it will increase your self-respect as well. You will realize that you are capable of bringing joy to someone’s life.
Local churches, orphanages, and charities are always looking for donated items, and they are an excellent place to start when you are thinking to give up things to switch to a minimalist lifestyle.
5. Be mindful of what you buy
We give in to our temptations! We are impulsive buyers! To become minimalist, it has to go first. Instead of just filling your cart with stuff that appeals to you, give it a long hard thought.
Think about the purpose of the item, and think about the space that thing will be taking.
This advice also goes for food. Instead of bulk buying processed food, buy fresh produce and cook delicious meals yourself.
If you begin to look at everything with this perspective, you will be amazed at how many lesser things you buy. At the end of your shopping, you will be satisfied to pay for the things that hold the actual value.
6. Get inspiration for owning less
Taking the first step towards minimalism is hard. Very hard! You need a lot of motivation and inspiration for that first step.
Thankfully, the internet is filled with the stories of people whose life has been changed for good after they switched to minimalism.
Some of them are Marie Kondo, Rachel Aust, and Alanna Davison. Their YouTube channels have a lot of stuff to inspire you.
Then there is Joshua Becker, author of Simplify and the more of less, who writes about minimalism. SmallishBlog by Evelyn R is also very inspirational, and you can follow her for useful tips regarding minimalism.
In your struggle between needs and wants, minimalism teaches you to strike a balance. Just by cutting back to a few essentials, you can reclaim your valuable space and use it for a better purpose. Once you become a minimalist, you will be astonished to find that your passions have finally found a breeding ground.