Minimalism has gained popularity throughout the years. The movement has inspired documentaries, podcasts, and books advising people on how they can declutter and live simply. One popular media is Marie Kondo’s best-selling book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing. She has inspired countless people to look at their belongings and see if those items spark enough joy.
The growth of the minimalist lifestyle can be attributed to the current economic and environmental climate. Financial turmoil can be experienced worldwide with increased rates of unemployment, falling stock prices, and stagnant wages. Individuals need to differentiate between what is a necessity and a nonessential. Many people are also choosing minimalism as an effort to consume less of the earth’s resources, responding to evidence of rapid climate change.
Here are the different ways you can kickstart your journey to becoming a minimalist.
Know your why and stick to your guidelines
Like any changes in lifestyle, integrating the habit of living simply will take time to practice. Minimalism is more than creating the perfect capsule wardrobe and throwing away unused items. It is the intentional promotion of things one holds valuable and saying no to the distractions. Clutter can pile up again and haunt you if one treats minimalism as a one-time thing instead of a life-long effort.
Knowing your why or the reason you’re choosing the minimalist lifestyle can help motivate you to power through the challenges and temptations of capitalism. You are sacrificing short-term benefits to achieve your long-term goal. Determining what minimalism means and looks to you can provide the insight needed to create guidelines you can follow sustainably. This focus can be compared to light bars for trucks, illuminating the path for a better perspective and decision-making.
Discard the duplicates and never-been-used
Anyone is prone to impulse buying. That cute dress would look good on you for your mother’s birthday party. Yes, I need a portable Bluetooth speaker that I can bring on trips. You mindlessly shop for those measuring cups and cooking materials for your new hobby of baking cookies and cakes. The next thing you know, these items remain unworn and unused, gathering dust in the corner.
Implement the Use It or Lose It Rule. If you haven’t used the item within six months, chances are you won’t need it at all. Walk through your home and implement the rule for every space. Be brutal with your method, not leaving any nook and cranny untouched and questioned if it sparks joy.
Paper clutter can sneak up on you. Stacks of bill notices, contracts, and other miscellaneous documents can be overwhelming if left unattended. It is especially annoying when you have to sift through them to find the exact paperwork that you’re looking for. They are always there if you don’t need them and magically disappear when you do.
Digitizing important documents can save you from an unnecessary scavenger hunt, keeping you from wasting time and effort. You can use the find function on your computer to look for the document you need (granted that you’ve named the files properly instead of Doc 1). Mobile applications can turn your phone into a scanner, making it easier to digitize.
Adopting a minimalist lifestyle will save space, money, and effort—resources that are critical in today’s turbulent world. Knowing your why, discarding never-been-used items, and digitizing paperwork are some ways to start the minimalism journey.