Learn all about minimalism – what it is, how to practice it and what are its benefits. Find out more about how to adopt a minimalist lifestyle.
“I’ve found that the less stuff I own, the less my stuff owns me.”
What is real freedom? The ability to do or buy anything or not to be a slave to your own wants? Don’t you want freedom from your fears and worries? Doesn’t the consumer culture that constantly makes us fall prey to its latest gadgets feel like choking you? If you want to break this cycle, if you want to enjoy real freedom from the traps of the consumer world, try minimalism.
Minimalism – contents:
Minimalism is not a fashion statement. It is not a fad. It is a movement. A movement towards regaining our freedom, to taste independence from material belongings and to assign right meanings to the things we own.
Minimalism can be defined as living intentionally with only the things that you really need. Yes, it’s as simple as that. Minimalism is living consciously with only the things you need rather than the world telling you what you must have to be happy.
If this interests you, let us delve deeper and learn about the philosophy behind minimalism.
Minimalism is intentional. It is embracing a life based on intentionality. The minimalistic living is upholding the things we value and removing everything that distracts us from them.
The modern life has taught us to associate happiness with our material possessions. It associates a good life with expensive mobiles, big houses, and luxurious cars. The tagline more is better makes us want to possess more things. Consumerism teaches us that happiness can be bought in a departmental store. Standing in stark contrast to this theory, minimalism encourages us to find freedom from the passion to possess. It makes us take up the bold decision to take a break from consumerism and find happiness in the things that matter most. It teaches us to value things that cannot be bought from a shopping mall, things like relationships, memories, experiences, and love.
Another name of minimalism is freedom. It brings freedom from fake and duplicate things. Whether intentionally or unintentionally, we are forced to lead duplicate lives. We wear masks and have separate ones for the family, office, friends, and associates. The modern life demands us to maintain an external image that is quite different from our true selves.
Minimalism promotes a simple life that is integrated, consistent, and united. It encompasses a lifestyle that is universal. If you follow a minimalistic lifestyle, your life would be same across all the days of the week. You don’t have to fake your living, you don’t have to live in duplicity.
Modern life is fast-paced. Everybody is rushing to go ahead in the race. We are stressed out in this rat race but still cannot get out of it. We are running after money to buy expensive mobiles, to pay our electric bills and go for exotic vacations. In order to accomplish more, we multitask and get into a mania. This mad rush makes us run after money and other material possessions. We have got cellphones through which we connect to others, but true relationships elude us. We acquire the latest gadgets but cannot find true happiness.
Minimalism provides us relief from this mania. It shows the true value of things. Leaving aside the frivolous, it teaches to hold on to the essentials.
The popular culture worships celebrities. We closely follow the lives of the celebrities and copy them. Their outfits, behavior, and lifestyle are considered the ultimate and we follow them blindly. The media feeds us on the garish lifestyle of the rich and powerful but the minimalistic culture doesn’t get attention as it doesn’t conform to the consumerist culture.
Most people run after fame, money, glamor, and success. However, the minimalism calls to travel inward. It nudges us to lead a simpler and calmer life. Slowing down, enjoying more and consuming less are the basic tenets of the minimalistic lifestyle.
Minimalism is about decluttering the internal. Yes, on the outset, minimalism talks about decluttering our lives and keeping things simple. However, once we have achieved that, it is time to look inward. At the core, minimalism means to declutter the mind also. It addresses our heart issues and helps us to build long-lasting relationships.
Minimalism is easy to achieve. To practice minimalism, one has to understand its core principles and then implement it in life. Giving up is not that difficult once you commit to leading a minimalistic life.
Are you interested to take up minimalism but can’t find enough motivation? Here are the reasons to adopt minimalism. The benefits would surely make you want to try minimalism.
The physical possessions affect our mental and emotional wellbeing. Clearing out closets, getting rid of unnecessary things and removing clutter brings a lot of mental peace. A decluttered space has a huge impact on the way we think. It brings about mental clarity. Clearing our space calms our mind, it helps us to de-stress and is a good exercise for leading a peaceful life.
You are no longer bound by your material possessions. The objects you own don’t define your identity. With minimalism comes great freedom as you don’t have to buy things you don’t want just to impress people.
Minimalism means leading a simple life. You don’t overload your schedule and you don’t stress over unnecessary goals. This makes you lead a calm life that benefits your health. You get more time to spend with your family, you rest more, feel more and are more contented with yourself.
This is perhaps the most alluring benefit of minimalism. As you cut back on activities and meaningless possessions, as you give up on running after targets and goals that don’t align with your real wants and needs, you feel less stress.
Minimalism helps us to cut back on our wants. We don’t need to buy the latest clothes or shoes to look good. We don’t need to put make-up always before going out. All this means that as you live with less you live with greater confidence. You feel good about yourself just because you can be yourself.
What’s the most precious thing in this world? Time. We don’t find time for things like talking to friends or reading books as we are busy over the phone or social media. The fear of missing out or FOMO keeps us glued to FB or Twitter when we have better things to do. As you adopt a minimalistic lifestyle and eliminate the unnecessary things from life, you find more time. You find time to talk to friends, to go for long walks, and do things that bring peace.
Of course, with the clarity of mind and more time in hand, you do things that appeal to you. You invest in your relationships as you know they are more valuable to you.
The hullabaloo of modern life often doesn’t allow us to think about the purpose of our lives. We live our life based on ideals that the media feeds us on. As you take up minimalism, you learn to think, ask and do only what your heart tells you. You find the purpose of your life and move ahead in the right direction to realize the vision of your life.
People who follow minimalism enjoy more financial independence. They know what they want from life and earn not to buy things to conform to the ideas of the popular culture. They spend on things that they really need, and this helps them to save more. With clear financial goals and budget, they enjoy more financial freedom.
A minimalistic lifestyle is characterized by simple and clutter-free living. It is embracing the things you really need and discarding everything else. However, in an age when we have been taught to want more and possess more, it is difficult to adopt a minimal outlook. If you decide to go for a minimalistic lifestyle, you need to start in tiny steps.
Firstly, be clear about why you want to go for this lifestyle. Write down your goals, why you want to go minimal and the benefits you are going to reap from it. This will give you the vision to follow when things get out of hand.
The first step towards minimalism is getting rid of clutter. Now, it is not easy to declutter everything in one go. So, start with one small space and see how it feels. It can be your study or a drawer in your bedroom. Even the kitchen table would be the ideal place to serve this purpose. Get rid of all the things you don’t need, keep the space clutter-free and see how organized and stress-free you feel. Once you like the feeling, expand the zone. Slowly, you can make all the rooms clutter-free and achieve a minimalistic home that you have been dreaming about.
If you check your home thoroughly you would be astonished at the number of duplicate things taking up space. Take a box and start collecting these items. Begin with one room and by the time you finish the home, you would find it looking clean and organized. Set the things aside for one month and if you don’t require any of the stuff, just donate them.
Fashion is a big industry and it feeds on our whims and fancies. By creating the latest trends and making us long to possess the fresh collections, it makes our life complicated. So, try to dress in less clothing. In fact, this would give you a creative vent to reuse and mix and match the clothes to look great. The same scarf can be worn in a different style. The trousers and skirts can be paired with different tops. Learn to live with less and you would find life getting easier and simpler.
We freak about not getting the right things at the right time and pack for a week when we are traveling for a couple of days only. So, travel light, travel for fun. Pack half the things you need and wash the clothes and re-wear them.
Food takes up a lot of our time and attention. From deciding what to cook to getting items and preparing different dishes, we spend so much time and energy on food. Simplify it. Create a meal plan and fix the menus. Keep a few items for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and rotate them. You would find more time to spend on productive things and enjoy the time with your family too.
A great way to practice minimalism is to reuse and recycle. Old bottles can be painted to be used as vases. Packaging can be reused. Similarly, plastic bags, old clothes, and even glasses can be used in a variety of ways instead of buying new always. Repair electronic items, don’t replace them. Minimalism is a great way to help our environment too as you can reduce your carbon footprint.
It is better to invest in quality goods that last longer than buying sub-standard items and replace them frequently. As you start practicing minimalism, you would find getting more conscious about the things you need. Buy only what you need and invest judiciously in products that can be used in multiple ways.
Minimalism is an ongoing process. You embark on this path and keep on learning and experimenting. There is no end to de-cluttering and simplifying your life. As the proponents of the movement have shown us, minimalism can be a soul-searching experience that requires you to take the journey inward and discover yourself in a new light. Keep walking on this path, as the rewards are plenty and you can rejoice that you choose to stand apart and take this path in your life.