The Zen of Minimalism: Less is More

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What minimalism really is? What this whole minimalism movement about? Why would someone want to minimize their life? If you find yourself asking these questions, then you have landed at the right spot. Generations after generations we have been taught, having more will bring more happiness. The concept of abundance seems to be directly related to having more. The more we have the happier we will be. 

Minimalism is a lifestyle of intentional living and mindfulness. Possessing less physical stuff to have freedom of living a quality life, to pay attention to what really matters. Minimalism is different and unique to each person. It is entirely up to an individual how they find meaning in this lifestyle and how they approach towards it.  It is very much possible for my minimalistic lifestyle to be different from yours. The end goal is usually the same! To find the Zen that the clutter around us takes away. To achieve the balance that is usually thrown off due to loads of stuff living with us. There are different levels of minimalism. The process of evolving as a minimalist is also going to be different for each person. 

Why I Became a Minimalist?

I give credit to Melissa from “Clean my Space” on You Tube for transforming me into a clean freak and then a minimalist. As I followed her You Tube videos, the homemaker inside me started evolving. I knew little about de-cluttering at the age of 24.  During my pregnancy, my nesting phase kicked in early. I was cleaning and organizing day and night. During this process, I realized the more stuff I had, the more I had to work hard cleaning and organizing it. Organization and minimizing went hand in hand for me. 

I sought a simpler lifestyle and searched for my perfect balance where I feel more in control. I didn’t want to spend hours cleaning and organizing what was around me. Beside taking a lot of energy my productivity was declining rapidly. I was not living a mindful life and it felt like quality of my life was being compromised. I wished to spend more time relaxing with my kids and family. Organization and maintaining it became tedious for me. I knew I needed a change. There was always lots of laundry, too many toys in and outside the bins. Too much clutter was laying around the house and was having hard time finding its way to where it belonged. 

Minimalism is Different for Everyone

People have different reasons to adapt this lifestyle. Stress, depression, anxiety and moving are few to mention. There are different levels of minimalism. People can evolve as minimalists and move around the levels they feel comfortable with. 

Why Minimalism? 

It is a lifestyle that frees you from the chains that ties you to your physical possessions. Less stuff will leave you with more. More time, more space, more money!!! The excitement that people get after buying something new wears off in a couple of days. The feeling of happiness that comes along with the ownership of something new wears off quickly. That possession doesn’t mean as much as it did before it was purchased. 

  • You can lead a mindful life with your loved ones instead of worrying about cleaning, organizing and maintaining. 
  • Cluttered space creates a cluttered mind. Free your space, free your mind. 
  • The more you have, the more it will suck time out of your meaningful moments.
  • Cleaning becomes so much easier. 
  • The less that you have, has more meaning in your life.
  • Everything has a place of its own in your expensive real estate.
  • Moving process is more of a breeze. 

8 Tips to Become a Minimalist:

For beginners, it is difficult but not impossible. It might be overwhelming and uncomfortable in the beginning because it takes time to change the mindset and then lifestyle. Here are few tips to help you through your minimalism journey. 

1. Out of Sight, Out of Mind

Let go of idea of ‘someday’. Don’t wait until you feel you are ready. You will never be if you keep waiting. Look around your living space. Do you find things that you haven’t used in more than a year? Have a look inside your closet! Are there clothes that you have kept in hopes of losing weight to be able to wear them. Open your kitchen cabinets, are there dishes, cups, glasses and small appliances that have been resting in the dark corners of your cabinets? It’s time to toss them all!

Get a large cardboard box and put such unused items in it. Place this box somewhere you can’t see frequently. May be in the garage? Wait for 6 months! Did you need anything out of the box? Did you even remember there was a box to begin with? If No, then it’s time to get rid of all those useless possessions. 

2. Take on a De-cluttering Challenge

There are so many decluttering challenges going on, out there. You can create your own 20 minutes, 1 week or a 30 days challenge. Challenging yourself makes it a priority. The easiest to start with are the things that are obviously junk. Unused toys, outgrown and torn clothing, expired food in the pantry, broken things and multiples of same item are all clearly junk. Just grab a trash bag and fill it up with the clutter that doesn’t belong in your house. 

3. The Next Level

If you have made it this far then you are due for a round of applause! You are ready to dive deep into becoming a minimalist. Narrow down possessions you haven’t used in more than a year or the things that no longer serves their purpose. You will many discover the items that you didn’t know you owned. They were long forgotten. Such items are obviously not needed then why are you providing them space in your expensive real estate.

4. It is Alright to Leave Spaces Empty

Let that air flow through that space that was hiding under piles of unused physical possessions. If you do have some extra space in your house, do not fill it up with the things that you do not value and appreciate having in your life. Let the stuck negative energy get out of the house. Let the good energy flow by having less stuff in the way. 

5. Do Not Stock up

Unless you are a super organized person and have a lot of time on your hands to maintain it, your extra stock has chances to hide behind the rest of the clutter and soon out of sight. You won’t find it when needed and you will be running to the store to buy more of extra stock.

6. Sell and Donate 

If you are holding on to something because you think that it hasn’t served its money’s worth then sell it. Don’t get hung up onto the price you paid for that item. Facebook marketplace is a great tool if you must sell. While you are helping yourself by minimizing what you have, help others too. You unused items can be treasure for someone in need. Good Will drop offs are the most convenient way that I know of. I’m sure you have tried it in your lifetime. Make a good use out of this option. 

7. Tame Your Shopping Habits

As I started mastering ‘letting go’ of stuff, I found myself stuck in the cycle that kept going on. The stuff kept coming in and after every couple of months I found myself my space in need of a massive declutter. It took me a while to realize that I will be stuck in this vicious cycle of buying more and then need to declutter, if I do not control my impulse buying habits. This cycle must end in order to stabilize the minimalist lifestyle. Don’t buy just because it’s on sale.

When you find yourself buying something out of impulse, ask yourself if its necessity or luxury. Asking myself this question helped me make my decision instantly. It made me mindful about my purchases and shopping habits. I did not wish to buy things that I didn’t really need and had no impact on my life, just to donate them later on.

8. Keep getting Inspired

Connect yourself with minimalist’s groups and keep finding your purpose in such lifestyle. Facebook groups are a great place to discuss and share your wins and fails and to get inspired by the like-minded people. You will get a lot of motivation by looking at what others are doing. 

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