If you look up the definitions for minimalism or minimalist it can be a bit intimidating. From complex musical or artistic movements to strict guidelines on how many items you can have in you life.
I tend to be more forgiving with my personal definition. Minimalism, to me, means that you’re making a conscious effort to live with less clutter in your life. That means physical, emotional, and all other types of clutter. For me it’s about simplifying.
I’ve been toying with this practice for years now. My 2016 New Years Resolution was to simplify my life – Letting go of little things. And when it comes to material possessions I’ve worked hard to reduce shopping, donate unnecessary items, and focus on consignment and vintage when I acquire new pieces.
My desire to incorporate a minimalist attitude in my life is two-fold. First, the ecological and carbon impact of buying fewer things. While I can’t change the world, I can reduce the environmental impact that I personally leave on the planet. Second, I hate clutter. I hate having things thrown on counters. I hate not being able to navigate a cupboard or closet because there’s too much stuff crammed inside. I hate being unable to find things because there’s just too much stuff.
So I decided to give myself a challenge – Set a few goals and be mindful about my day-to-day life in an attempt to declutter. Here’s the challenge:
First – It’s time to purge:
Cleaning out what I have is step one. Going through the whole apartment and being brutally honest with myself about what I’m keeping and why. From the dress that I bought that too small and I held onto it in the hopes that I would one day fit into it to the blender that I haven’t taken out of the back of the cupboard since we moved last November.
- Purge wardrobe
- Purge jewelry, shoes & handbag collections – This is HARD FOR ME
- Purge skin care & beauty products
- Purge kitchen cupboards
- Purge closets
Second – Donate & Sell:
Since I do a decent job of purging on at least an annual basis, most of the items coming out of this very serious purge will be nicer, higher end things. That means they won’t be thrown down the garbage shoot, they’ll be sold or donated. So while I’m cleaning I’ll be making piles for each room and determine the best way to get rid of things. Clothes and accessories may be sold on Poshmark while appliances and furniture may be donated to Goodwill etc.
Third – Stay focused:
We have ALL been there. You get all excited about a project, you run around, laser focused getting things done, and then… You completely forget about it.
Since I want this to be an improved way of life and not a fad or short-lived experiment, I need to stay focused on why I’m making these choices and find ways to reinforce them every day.
For me that will mean spending time tidying up every day, even just a few minutes, de-cluttering regularly, and truly evaluating all purchases.
Speaking of which…
Fourth – Curtail shopping:
I have a nasty habit of not thinking before I buy things. ESPECIALLY online. If only my Amazon account could talk… My goal is to really change my perspective and be more present when I spend money.
Ask myself – Do I really need this? Why? What will I use it for? Does it serve a real purpose?
This, surprisingly, also needs to be applied to food purchases. I don’t want to over-buy and end up wasting food, so I need to be diligent when I’m deciding how much to buy during weekly grocery store visits or farmers markets trips.
Fifth – Reevaluate:
I want to set aside time for myself each month to really think about the changes that I’ve made and evaluate the impact on my life.
Do I feel like I’m missing out on something? Then maybe something needs to be tweaked. Do I feel like I’m calmer and more relaxed without the added pressures? Maybe I can simply even further!
Do you need some more inspiration? Check out these amazing, motivating minimalists who are inspiring thousands on YouTube!
Have YOU thought about minimalism Any tips, suggestions, or recommendations?