So you want to be a minimalist?
It become a bit of a buzzword lately but what is it and how can you use it's principles to simplify your life in 2018.
The concept of living a minimalist life means something different to everyone and it's not just about emptying out your house. It's about living intentionally.
Paring back the excess so you can see what really matters in your life.
There are so many ways you can begin to simplify your life, it may be in the form of less commitments, less food, less spending, less stuff, less debt, less stress. It depends where you're at in your life journey and your mindset.
So I've put together a few ideas to get you started.
1. THINK.. Ask yourself how your life could be better? Whats already great and what isn't. Watch the documentary Minimalism or head to The Minimalist website to access some starter blog posts or podcasts.
I've also gathered some articles and inspired memes that might give you some ideas on simplifying life and living it with children on my Pinterest board Ideas for Simple Living. Check it our HERE.
2. DECLUTTER... Now don't confuse minimalism concepts with the interior movement era of Minimalism which basically features an nearly empty interiors..hehe unless thats your thing of course. No one says you can't own anything but it's all about being conscious about what you choose to own. I personally feel internally calmer when my space is more ordered because I'm very visual.
Because society is riddled with mindless consumerism, minimalism is encouraging you to consume in a way that you can make considered choices. Don't let things own you.. Get rid of things is different for everyone but a great read if you're serious is Marie Kondo , the life changing art of tidying. It helps to address the mindset of why we hoard things and how we can let things go. I've reread parts every new year and make new progress each time.
3. CREATE TIME.. Feel like you never have any time? I used to say it all the time but now I make a conscious effort not to as we all have some element of control over how we spend our time. Where are we wasting time? What can we cut from our schedule? Do we really have to schedule a million things for kids to do? How about scheduling time for nothing? Turning off the tv. Getting off social media.It's amazing how easy it is for this precious commodity to be sucked away from us. I haven't watched the news shows like I used to for a year now and its just freed me up from clutter in my brain. It also helps me to maintain a happier more positive approach to life.
4. DIGITAL CLUTTER... is your phone or computer overflowing with photos and files. Take some time to delete things or reorganise.. We often overlook this kind of clutter. It doesn't worry me as much as its not so visual to me as my living space but it's definitely annoying as it just grows and grows.
5. PAY OFF DEBT.. The money you spend = time spent away from your family or the things you want to do to earn it. Debt can trap us and keep us from the freedom we desire. This is a focus for me this year..get that credit card paid off!
We all spend for different reasons and it can be worth looking into articles about money mindsets to see where you're at.
6. BUY LESS... a lot of people who start the path to a more simple and minimal lifestyle have some debt standing between them and their desired state of freedom.
This is where the period of reducing debt and of course spending less comes in. However don't confuse frugalism with minimalism , although you may need to become quite frugal to get those cards paid off. Minimalism is not about buying the cheapest thing it's just about being conscious about what your needs are before buying something. In fact many minimalists are very conscious of the impact of unbridled throwaway consumerism and often are drawn to more ethical or responsibly produced goods which are often more expensive. You've heard the saying Buy Less Buy Better. I've found that avoiding the shops unless you actually need to get something works for me and a list for groceries that you stick to helps.
Actually I found this article about frugal vs minimal here but you can also find it on our Simple Living Pinterest board.
7. WEAR WHAT YOU HAVE.. don't buy any new clothes for a few months and you'll probably notice that you wear mostly the same things anyway. This can also help you to assess what you can purge from your wardrobe when you're ready to declutter.
I've found that I am mostly replacing the same items in my wardrobe which makes it easier when I go shopping..I know what will be a good buy if I see it and avoid sales as over the years I realised that I rarely wear the items I've been seduced by just because they were on sale.
If you're really keen look up the 333 project..they discuss it on the Minimalism doco. I haven't done it but I'd be interested to give it a try.
So thats it, my seven starter tips to begin looking at your life and how you can start to simplify it this year. And remember that anytime is a good time to start , not just a new year.
And don't forget to check out our pinterest board, Ideas for Simple Living.