What if I told you there was a way to save money, reduce stress, increase productivity and freedom all while helping the environment…attractive deal, right? All these factors and more can be attained by practicing minimalism.
Minimalism: possibly the largest example of “easier said than done” in my book. For years I have been trying to reduce my carbon footprint and be a better tenant to our Earth and I adamantly believe that practicing minimalism is the key to opening this journey.
In the age of fast fashion, ever-evolving trends and the glamorization of “material girls,” there is a constant demand for products that (sorry) are just entirely unnecessary. To this point, I recommend that we all work to unshackle ourselves from the grips of material goods and navigate towards a minimalist lifestyle. Free yourself from the product market and work to keep things simple, you may surprise yourself at how much good it can do.
The idea of minimalism is all about removing unnecessary things from your life so you can live simply. It emerged in the 1950’s with artists creating more uncomplicated, lucid paintings that evoked relaxation and contemplation. This gained popularity and from there minimalism spread into other art mediums, eventually becoming a lifestyle that people replicated. People that followed this way of life were rendered “minimalists” and have been found to experience less stress and distraction and have more freedom and time.
I’m not asking you to up and sell all of your belongings, although that is an option, but I think that just being conscious about your buying habits and your essentials in life is a great way to give back and take control. I know that giving some stuff away doesn’t have to be a huge deal, but I do believe that living a minimalist lifestyle can be a really beautiful reminder to slow down, have gratitude and keep things simple because we already have so much of what we need.
By only holding on to things that serve a purpose in your life, you are bound to enter into a new era of self-discovery and find more purpose within yourself as well. I’m hoping that by this point you’re at least a little intrigued by the practice, so I’m going to help you get started with a few tips, ideas and key points.
Ideas for getting started…
- Set goals and what you hope to accomplish so you have something tangible to hold you accountable
- Create a capsule wardrobe (a closet with a few simple, quality pieces that can be paired with many items)
- Sell your clothes on Poshmark or drop them off to a local thrift store or Women’s Shelter
- Remind yourself of quality over quantity
- Create a list of what you value and give meaning to and get rid of anything that doesn’t contribute to that
- Invest in reusable items
- Invest in experiences over goods
- Start slow if you’re tentative- get rid of one thing every day
- Focus on one area at a time
- Give away anything you haven’t worn in a year
- Get rid of duplicates
- (I understand minimalism as a parent may be tricky) Get rid of anything your kids don’t play with weekly
- Stop buying books and utilize your public library
- Make a list and plan your meals before going to the grocery store
- Don’t listen to a thing that I suggested if that’s best for you! Valuable goods look different to all of us, so don’t get rid of things that bring you joy on my account!
Reasons to get started…
- Less shopping = less carbon emissions, landfill growth, factory production, etc.
- With less clutter your space will be easier to clean and more open
- Financial freedom
- Lower stress
- Increased gratitude
- Increased awareness and clarity
- Better understanding of priorities
- Gain perspective
- The list goes on !!
By decluttering your life you can subsequently declutter your mind- worth a shot, right?