he concept of minimalism may be scary for most people the first time they come across it. We see minimalism as selling all our properties, letting go of any indulgences, and moving to a small cabin in an isolated area. This is extreme minimalism. They are several easy, practical and realistic ways to go about it. Minimalism is about you downsizing, economizing and decluttering your life in order to reduce or eliminate the problems you are facing.
Minimalism have several benefits such as changing your lifestyle, increasing productivity, more travel time, mindfulness, better relationships, saving habits, and so on. If you want to understand more about this concept, continue reading.
For beginners or people new to the concept of minimalism, being a minimalist is not about making huge sacrifices, but its amount making simple decisions – like what to eat for lunch – that will benefit you. Simple decisions like this is what you need to enjoy the benefits of embracing minimalism. You can become a minimalism with these simple, realistic and practical ways to embrace minimalism.
Develop the habit of saying ‘No’ to irrelevant social engagements
Can you recall all the social engagements you agreed to because you did not know how to say ‘No?” Well, it’s time to let them go. It is important you learn how to say ‘NO’ to all irrelevant things so you will have more time for important things in your life.
Downsizing your planner is the first step to downsizing your life.
Cut off the financial resources you have access to
A research carried out by Francisco State University showed that greater happiness arises from buying experiences, not possessions. If you have the habit of spending money on irrelevant items because you have access to money, then look for how you will make it not available to you.
For instance, you should invest in things that are relevant, like obtaining a house for yourself, and a large portion of your income will be directed to paying the house loan; you will learn to manage the money left naturally.
By doing this, you are making plans for your future as well as cutting back on irrelevant spending at the same time. I see this as a win-win situation.
Do a little digital decluttering
Going digital has made life easy and smooth. But sometimes, we have lots of software, apps and other items on our computers and phones that we rarely make use of. You need to organize and decongest your device. Follow these tips:
- Declutter your device once every week – doing this won’t last more than 30 minutes.
- Transfer all old documents and files to Dropbox and free your computer space.
- Make your inbox more productive by using email management tools and plugins.
- After using a new tool and it does not work for you, delete it.
- Delete duplicated files or media on your device.
Have or create a system for everything
Make sure your life is streamlines. Especially for activities you do all the time such as medical checkups, paying bills, and so on. Make sure you have a plan or routine you can follow at ease.
Design a system for your emails, bill payment, laundry, and so on that you can stick to every day. Doing this will make your life simple and more efficient. I will also recommend you create a regular meal system you can follow; this will save you the stress on deciding what to eat every day.
Re-do your closets and drawers
If you don’t have space because your closets and drawers are choked up with stuff, create one. Creating space by taking out items you don’t wear anymore. See this as an opportunity to help people who have little or no clothes to wear. Bring out the clothes you don’t use and give to charity as a way of reaching out to people in need, you will be thankful and feel better when you do so.
Stay closer to work
Do you really want to spend your whole day in traffic because you are always driving or travelling? I don’t think so. Not only is this time consuming, but it also drains your energy and increases stress. Just think of number of things you can do with your time if you live closer to your place of work instead of spending quality time on the road trying to get there.
Personalize your minimalism
Even though most advanced minimalist recommends giving out our properties when they serve little or no purpose, doing so is difficult because we are too attached to some of our properties; thus, letting them go will be challenging. Just so you know, giving out your possessions that are not useful to you is not a bad idea. Well, it’s better for me to consider switching my car with a bike than the idea of giving my books out.
My advice is to take your time in listing things you consider non-negotiable and items you could give out. Being a minimalist has no standards or procedures to follow, you are absolutely free to do it how you please.
Use the ‘One in One out’ rule
Once you are done with downsizing and decluttering, I am pretty sure going back to the habits you left behind is not on your mind. Thus, the ‘one in one out rule’ us a nice approach to maintain a minimalist lifestyle. So, anytime you bring a new item to your hours, you have to let go of an old item. You can also use this in managing your device (phone or computer). Anytime you install a new application on your device, you need to get rid of something on your device.
Automate your life with technology
Technology has numerous benefits. You can totally automate some of your tasks and save yourself time. Some tips to go about this includes:
- Use apps like Mint to automate your bill payment.
- Install office and home automation. Smart LED lights, remote-controlled front doors, and so on.
- Monitor your health with tech gadgets like Fitbit.
- Put your computer maintenance in auto mode.
Reduce the time you spend on media.
We are faced with different varieties of distractions, from news to TV shows, as well as notifications and updates on social platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and so on. Shutting ourselves out from all this might be an impossible task, but a better way to go about it is by setting time limits. There are various tools available, like Rescuetime, which denies you access to these websites for some period every day.
Being a minimalist does not mean you should sacrifice everything or become a monk. The essence of practicing minimalism is to make you more efficient, increase productivity and live a simple and happy life.