Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Minimalist Minefield

I have come to learn that there is joy and simplicity in fewer things. Lately I have been more and more drawn toward minimalism, but at some points I feel overwhelmed by all the things that I need and that I use daily. I finally realized that minimalism is not living with a set number of objects, but rather it is living with the bare minimum that keeps your life productive, functional, and satisfying. 

Photo courtesy of Experience Life

Today I will give you a few tips and tricks to break out of the clutter of your stuff and hopefully help you reach a new understanding of the things you own. 

1. Before you can begin you have to understand and accept the fact that objects do not and cannot make you happy. Buying things and having more things do not increase your happiness. 

2. To get started on reducing your clutter, consider all of the items in your home or room that you haven't used in a month, 6 months, a year, or you cannot even remember the last time. This is a pretty clear indication that if you sold it, donated it, gave it to a friend, ect., you would not miss it or need it.

3. If you are unsure of whether or not you still need an item, set it aside for 1-3 months. If you do not need it in that time, it can be let go.

4. If you feel uncomfortable with trying to massively purge the objects in your life, start with stopping the flow of new objects in. 

5. One major place that most people increase the items they own are clothing. Do not be afraid to dive into your closet and decide if you really need a different pair of shoes or pants for each day of the week. Spend some time matching your clothes and realize all of the options you have with a only a few items. Consider passing some of the items you may no longer need on to someone else. 

6. Play a little game. See how many objects you use in an hour or a whole day. If you are really ambitious, start trying to count all of the objects you own (this is much easier for the college students who live in a single room with one bowl and one fork, but it is not impossible for everyone else!)

7. For those of us who move out every year or who move frequently, it is much easier to get an understanding of all of the things you own when you have to carry it to someplace new. While preparing to move out (or hastily packing if you did not plan ahead) take note of the things you are putting into boxes that you did not even know you had. Also ask yourself if you really need all of those things (after you spent all day moving them its much easier to let them go : ) )

Along the way do not forget to enjoy the progress you have made and feel the satisfaction that comes with simplifying your life.

1 comment:

  1. Hey - great article, really good advice on how to get started on making your life more minimal!