Most people think that Minimalism is ‘some kind of a thing that people do’ just like a job or some work. This is untrue. In fact, Minimalism is a way of living your life. Some good and simple habits that help you live a simple, less cluttered, and happy life can be called a minimalist lifestyle.
When you decide to lead a minimalist life then it actually feels very awkward. You feel everything is so strange because all of us have this habit of accumulating so many things all around us that it kind of feels ’empty’ in the starting. But everything starts to become normal within a few days.
It does take some time to get used to the new minimalist lifestyle that you have decided to gracefully embrace. You have to make yourself understand that this new habit will help me lead a simple and happy life.
There is no particular way of living a minimalist life. There are no set of rules too. You have to decide how you want to live and to what extent you can live such a life. Minimalism does not mean giving up all the things that you have and live a miserable life. No. It just means to let go of the things that serve no purpose in your life. Things that are just cluttering up the cupboards and shelves in your home.
You will come across many videos on YouTube where they will literally teach you how to live a life of minimalism. I don’t agree with most of them. It is my life and only I can decide to what extend I can become a minimalist. Make your own rules and then abide by these rules. It will help you a lot.
In the minimalism videos on YouTube, you will see that the rooms are white, curtains and beddings are white, and so on… why? Because when the word minimalism comes into mind we generally think white. But it all depends on you. If you like the colour green, then go green. If you like grey, then go grey. Make your own decisions.
If you have now decided to go minimalist then here are some of my tips for you. You may pick one or all, or none. I am just helping you to make a start. You can say that these points can be considered as the starting of a minimalist lifestyle. Some you might like, and some… not!
The most important thing to do is to declutter everything. For a life of minimalism, this is much required. Have you ever thought that there are so many unnecessary things in our house! Just a few days back I was talking to my mother about this. Our kitchen is literally flooded with so many utensils and boxes and whatnot. I have requested her to get rid of as many things as she can, the things without which we can have a fully functional kitchen.
All of us are well aware of the fact that all these things are just taking up space and nothing else. But still, we don’t want to get rid of them. If you go and open your cupboard then you will see many clothes and accessories that you don’t wear at all. In my case, I know that if I have 10 skirts then at least 3 of them I never wear. I’m sure that this is true for you too.
It has become our habit to store things. We have lived our whole lives like that. It is actually so hard to let go of things that we have bought or been dear to us at some point in life.
I don’t say that we must throw away the things that we don’t use. What I want to say is that you must donate them to charity houses or to someone you know will be glad to have them. If you don’t want to do that either then you can always sell them online or a thrift show, or something like that.
Decluttering is an ongoing process. It is not that you declutter today and your whole life you don’t have to do it again. We buy things, and then they clutter around. So this process will go on and on.
We all love to shop. Isn’t it? Shopping is fun, shopping is relaxing. But what after that? More clutter to adore? I am not saying that you should not do any shopping at all, but what I want to tell you is that purchases should be mindful. Buying stuff that is much needed is a better option. Don’t you think so?
Buying clothes, and accessories, etc is always a wow thing to do. 1 or 2 ‘mindless’ purchases in a year are still ok, but all the time is foolishness.
We all love to buy new things. Whenever you visit a shopping mall you are tempted to buy new and shiny things. That is the main objective of these places. When you buy, they make money. Understandable. But the mindless purchases are what they are looking for as that is how they make the most money.
For example, take a grocery shop. When you go there to buy vegetables, you end up buying much more than what you actually intended to. It always happens that way.
So, in order to live a simple life you have to have something called ‘self-control,’ When you know it very well that what you are going to buy, you won’t be using it for more than 1-2 times, then what is the use of purchasing it? You will only end up spending money and at the same time inviting more clutter to your house. Think about it.
The happiness that you get when you go out shopping is only temporary. It won’t last long enough. In fact, it will last only a day or two. Or maximum till the next time you go out shopping again. When you find something new that catches your attention, your last ‘shopping happiness’ will be over.
Keep yourself and your surroundings clean. Basic stuff. I don’t think there is much to talk about it. We all know how important it is to have a clean house. But some people forget that there is much more than the house itself. Your street, your neighborhood, your city, your country… every place is important. Sorry to say but people do not understand this at all. But you can try to keep things clean.
You should keep your room, your office, your kitchen, your balcony, outside the main door, etc clean at all times. To keep it clean doesn’t only mean to mop it or use a vacuum cleaner only. By cleaning I mean to say you should not clutter clothes on that chair in your room, or put all things on your office table.
The more clutter you see in your room, the more upset your mind becomes. You will never feel fresh and clean whenever you will see this chair full of clothes. Every human requires a clean breathing space and only you can build such a space for your own self.
Clean when you go
I am also a culprit in this crime. Yes, that is true. Whenever I have to go out I never clean my room. I think that what difference does it make? When I will come back I will clean it. Every single time I do it. Something I am getting late or sometimes I just want to do it.
What’s wrong with it? You may ask. I will tell you…
When you go out to your office or for a trip without cleaning your room/house thinking you will do it when you come back, you only make things worse for you. After coming back you will see heaps of clothes or dirty floors and utensils and so on. You will lose your peace of mind this way.
We forget that when we will come back, then also we have to do these things ourselves. So it’s better to clean everything before leaving the house. After coming back from your vacation it will be such a joy to see a clean house. You will be so glad to look at your clean house.
Create your own system
The month starts and it ends. The same story every month. Sometimes we tend to forget that we have to pay bills too. I’m sure this might have happened with you too at least once.
Sometimes we forget to carry our important papers like receipts or passports etc. We lose them too at times. So in order to save ourselves from such a thing we need to create our own system.
For example, I have kept a small table right next to the entrance of my apartment, where I keep all my keys, papers that I will be requiring the next day, my wallet, watch, etc. Don’t clutter it will all the things, just the things that you require on a daily basis. This way you won’t forget them again and save yourself from unwanted anxiety.
You can also put sticky paper posts on your refrigerator. This is also a very helpful way to remember the things which are important.
Be grateful for what you have
In order to live a happy minimalist life, you must feel happy from the inside. Be thankful for the things that God has given you. God sees you worthy of all these blessings and that is why he has given them to you.
Self-satisfaction is very important. If you keep on comparing your lives with others then you will never feel happy. Be grateful for each and everything that you already have.
Clear the digital clutter
One of the major issues with people these days is that we don’t keep our Gmail and other email boxes clean. Digital clutter must be wiped off often. Delete all the junk emails or the 100s of screenshots you have taken. Make digital life simpler too.
I recommend Google Drive or Dropbox etc. Store important things here and delete the things you don’t need. A clean digital space will calm down your mind too. Isn’t it great when you are able to quickly find that photo or text file that you want, instantly?
Do not fill empty spaces without any reason
I am sure just like me, you too do it. I tend to put many things at various places in my house. I find an empty space, I ‘decorate’ it with stuff that isn’t even needed there. Stop it!
You must understand that empty spaces have their own importance too. Not every wall or corner of your house needs to be loaded with decor pieces or furniture. Let the space breathe a little. Put only the things that are extremely required at any given place.
Learn to say NO
Once again, this is very important. Never do things that you don’t want to do. Our partner or a friend asks us to do something which we don’t want to, but out of love and respect, we say yes to it. This must stop.
A minimalist lifestyle is not for everyone. Not everyone will be able to live and enjoy it. It is hard in the starting but once you get the hang of it, everything becomes easy. I used to be a maximalist, but with time I’ve now become a minimalist. Ok ok, 50% minimalist. As time goes by I will become a 100% minimalist. I am sure about that.
Minimalism saves you money too. LOL.
What are your views about minimalist living? Let me know in the comments below. Take care.