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The term “minimalism” has been interpreted differently in many aspects (in art, music, architecture, life, and more) and in general, people think a minimalist lifestyle is about cutting back. However, it is more about focusing on what’s important and removing the unnecessary.
The fact about living a minimalist lifestyle is that apart from de-cluttering and minimizing things, it’s about addition and subtraction: add something important, subtract something less important. Simple math. (I am such a math nerd it hurts!)
Incorporating the minimalist lifestyle into your everyday life can be truly beneficial in so many ways. It doesn’t have to be scary or intimidating.
Starting the journey to become a minimalist is not about getting rid of everything you own at the moment and living with nothing. It depends on what you term as essential and less essential to your life.
In fact, some people believe minimalism means having less than a hundred owned items. I can’t (and don’t live like that) but I do strive to live simpler. Living a simple life by desiring and consuming less is a great- entry way of incorporating the minimalist lifestyle into your day-to-day.
This way, you can save money, live a stress-free life, and enjoy more freedom. You only need be concerned about what makes you happy while ignoring what makes you unhappy. Sounds great right?
So, lets get to the nitty gritty about what this all entails and how you can incorporate the minimalist lifestyle into your everyday life.
What Is Minimalism?
Minimalism is the act of living intentionally, in that you identify what is important in your life and leave the rest. It’s about de-cluttering things so that you can make the most out of your time and live with more purpose.
Focusing on the most important tasks and eliminating the less important ones can make you become more productive in your everyday activities.
In other words, minimalism is a weapon that can help to free you from, worry, fear, devastation, depression, even guilt. It’s really a tool that gives you the real freedom you want in life.
Unfortunately, our modern lifestyles make living minimally very difficult, at least so we think. Everyone gets so distracted by shiny new objects, material goods, technology 24/7, unrealistic reality and competition to the extent that we cannot get enough time to enjoy life to the fullest.
We have no time to spend with family, exercise, create hobbies and passions or other exciting things we haven’t even discovered yet. These things cause us to become overwhelmed and can lead to depression, waste, and pain.
Minimalism is a solution to the state of excess.
What are the Benefits of Incorporating a Minimalist Lifestyle into Your Everyday Life?
Before we start exploring ways on how to incorporate a minimalist lifestyle into your everyday life, let’s look at the benefits you can get by doing so.
For instance, by incorporating a minimalist lifestyle into your day to day life, you give permission to yourself to cut out the things you don’t need and focus on the things you absolutely need.
Have you ever moved into a new home with boxes surrounding you and you’ve thought to yourself- what is all this stuff??
So, I recently moved and put stars on the boxes I knew I would need right away. Those were the only boxes I’ve opened so far. The rest I put out of sight until I would need something. But funny enough, I feel as though I have everything I need. I can’t even remember what is in those boxes!
When you realize that you have excess stuff or items you no longer value, its time to get rid of them. Shed the weight, the clutter, and make piece with what you have and use.
I can tell you for certain, that less is more. When you have fewer things in your house, you spend less time cleaning, obsessing, and you will also be able to organize your house better.
Minimalism is not just about reducing material objects, its also about letting go mentally of everything tying you down. Its time to make peace and let it go whether its that set of blue goblets you bought from that fancy store or your mindset of holding on to stress, anger, and even grudges.
Give yourself permission to free your life of all things holding you back or cluttering your soul. Allowing yourself to do this is so empowering and life changing that you will truly begin to feel like a new person.
The Mental Benefits of A Minimalist Lifestyle
When we are surrounded by too much stuff, we tend to get worried about losing all that we own. Once you start to focus on what’s essential, you free yourself from that worry and anxiety.
When you eliminate the less important things in your life, happiness is born naturally since you will only be concerned about what’s valuable to your life. You will become more efficient, gain more focus and productive in what you do. All that breeds happiness.
Nothing to Fear
After all, you have nothing to lose, so why fear. If you incorporate a minimalist lifestyle into your everyday life, you will fear less and concentrate more.
More Free Time
You spend too much time thinking of how you can get money, a huge house, a new car. Living a minimalist lifestyle helps you to get more free time so you can do more productive things giving you a more satisfying outcome.
You can use the free time to focus on your hobbies, meet friends, spend time with your loved ones, travel… really the list is endless.
You will get clear about what matters to you and cut back on what adds no value to you. Your mind will become clear about everything and everyone who matters to you.
Other benefits include:
- Spending money only on important stuff rather than material items
- Saving more time and money
- Becoming more creative and productive
- Having better health, sleep, and less stress
That said, how can you incorporate a minimalist lifestyle into your everyday life?
You don’t have to start big when beginning to lead a minimalist lifestyle. You can easily start small and build from there.
Also, you do not need to discard everything you possess at once so that you can start to enjoy the benefits.
Tips on Starting a Minimalist Lifestyle
1. Avoid Impulse Buying
Once you have gotten rid of the things you don’t need, make a point not to purchase any new items that are unnecessary.
You need to become money-conscious when buying items.
To ensure you buy things you need, you must always be sure what you are buying is what you can’t live without and whether you would still actually buy that item no matter how hefty the price tag is.
2. Revamp Your Workspace
Try to look at your workspace from the standpoint of a neutral third party. Imagine if you were trying to help that person get rid of the things they don’t need. Would you find it necessary for someone to have multiple sticky pads, colored pencils all over, clips and tons of paper, yet he spends most of the time working on a computer?
Would she need that second laptop yet can accomplish her work on one machine?
Now assume you are recreating your own workspace, what things matter to you the most and what things can you do without? Get rid of them so that you can remain with things you can’t do without.
3. Simplify Your Finances
Living and owning less stuff means more money is saved. It also helps to simplify your finances so you can easily budget the money you have.
Sometimes we complicate things when it comes to money. Try these tips to add minimalism to your finances.
- Merge Multiple Accounts – Do you have separate banks for savings and checking? Do you have your insurance under multiple carriers? What about investment accounts that are dormant or not taken advantage of. Try to merge a few accounts and consolidate your savings account. Having all of your money and accounts organized makes things simpler and financially more beneficial.
- Buy all your stuff using one credit card (if necessary) – Just imagine how bulky it can to carry ten credit cards in your wallet. If you have different credit cards you use while buying stuff, try to use only one credit card for shopping. This way, it becomes easier to monitor how you spend your money so you can get rid of needless spending.
- Pay off all your debts – Well, this is sometimes not easy to do but paying off your monthly amounts can help to simplify your finances. You may not be able to pay all the debt at once, for instance, if you have several loans to pay, but having a debt reduction plan can help you big time.
- Eliminate recurrent expenditure – Why should you continue losing money through a monthly subscription you no longer need? This is a recurrent expenditure you should cut down. While it could be costing you just $15 per subscription, you will be surprised by how much it costs you yearly.
4. Change Your Online Usage Habits
A study has shown that the lowest amount of time people spend on social media every day is 2 hours. Teens spend up to 9 hours a day. This is not inclusive of other online platforms and the internet as a whole. Whaaa??? This is crazy right?
You can imagine how much time is wasted every day. Changing your online usage will help you have enough time to do other productive things in your life.
Undeniably, it can be difficult to stay away from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, etc. etc…. but the things that we do online could affect our mood.
Just imagine you sign into your Facebook account and the first photo you see is your friend having his best time abroad. You start to admire your friend’s life. Or what about checking out ex’s online? That’s a rabbit hole you just want to avoid altogether.
Give social media a break for about one month or more. Just try it. Incorporating a minimalist lifestyle into your life means cleaning up time wasting activities and using the time to do constructive things.
5. Buy One, Eliminate Two
There is no better way to eliminate clutter and live a minimalist lifestyle than getting rid of the stuff you have. Make it a rule that when you bring a new item into your house, give away two. For instance, you could sell or donate two shirts and buy one. This will eventually lead to a de-cluttered house.
6. Think Quality Not Quantity
What things do you need the most or can’t you live without? It’s better to have one quality item than to have multiple inferior ones. Although buying quality items will cost you more money, the long-term benefits are worth it as almost always it retains its staying power 4 times more than a cheap item or impulse buy.
As you can see, there are many benefits to living a minimalist lifestyle. Incorporating this into your everyday life doesn’t have to be scary at all. The changes we have outlined above are super simple ways you can try to live your way life in a clearer space both mentally and physically and eliminate the necessary.
What have you found helpful on your journey to living a more minimalist life?