Minimalism: Where to Start (ARCHIVE)
Originally posted May 27, 2017
There are many benefits of minimalism, including having less stuff, becoming a mindful shopper, saving money, spending less time with material things and spending more time on important things.
There is not one prescribed way to be a minimalist. Minimalism looks different to different people. Those of us who are minimising are all at different points in their journey.
I often assume most of my readers are at some point in the process of minimalism, but what if you are just starting out and don’t know where to begin? Here are five ways you can get started on your own minimalist journey.
Stop buying stuff. It is really valuable to take a break from shopping for a while. I completed a seven month shopping fast when I first started minimising my life and it really taught me a lot about my relationship with material things. Try not buying anything other than the essentials for a period of time and see how you feel. Spoiler alert: we often use shopping to distract ourselves and we really don’t need as much as we think we do. It’s of enormous benefit to curb any kind of compulsive behaviour like shopping.
Inspect your belongings. If you want some clarity about whether you even need to start minimising your things, start by objectively looking at what you own. It might be a good idea to count the contents of a single drawer, shelf or your wardrobe. When you examine how many things you own, does it feel like a lot?
Get rid of duplicates. This is the simplest way to ease into decluttering your life. I once owned three pairs of kitchen tongs and ten baking trays. I barely used any of these things. Pick out the best quality items that serve you the most. Sell or give the rest to people who need it more.
Judge the value of your belongings. When I say value, I don’t mean monetary value. Many of us have expensive fancy things that have become junk because they do not get used. Judge the value of your belongings on how useful to you they are to you, not how much they cost. This process might take a little while. Often we are used to owning a lot of stuff and not really considering if that stuff is useful. When you realise it is not, you can start letting go of it.
Remove things you do not use. The hardest stuff to get rid of is stuff that has some sort of use or nostalgic value. Start by removing things that you really have not attachment to and don’t use. Consider anything you haven’t used in a year or more.