minimalism isn’t an art movement anymore, it’s actually a style, the minimalism movement has become a controversial topic after various writers and film makers decided to document their journeys towards a more simple lifestyle, also a lot of millenniums have started to explore minimalism and like many things the milieus do, the movement have some critics and demerits. So in this article, I’m going to dispel the most common myths about minimalism and how you can start living a minimalist lifestyle without having to throw everything in the trash can, so let’s get started.
The number one thing you need to know about minimalism is it’s not about getting rid of everything.
One common misconception of minimalism is those minimalists have nothing they only have one pair of underwear, no utensils, they sleep on the floor, that doesn’t sound very fun does it? But in reality, minimalist have stuff, they have a decent amount of stuff, they don’t have a lot of stuff, see minimalist just get rid of stuffs that doesn’t have value in their lives, they don’t buy new possession unless those possessions will add value to their lives, and that doesn’t stop minimalist from buying stuff and it shouldn’t stop you either if you want to take the minimalist approach.
What separates minimalist from everyone else is the big V word “value” value varies among everyone, the video game that I might find valuable because It might be a part of my nightly routine of rewinding and relaxing, may not be valuable to you, well those designers shoes that you find valuable because you wear them frequently to networking events might not be valuable to me, and that’s ok, that’s what minimalism is all about, so before we go further let’s take this exercise that can help you de-cluttering and minimizing your possessions, go through a room in your house and in this scenario a closet counts an its own room, carefully examine all of your possessions one by one, ask yourself, is this actually valuable to me? The answer might be yes but if it is, you have to justify it by if the value comes from any emotional attachment, then if it means that you find value in twenty t-shirts, and you have twenty t-shirts. but if the twenty-first t-shirt doesn’t serve any purpose In your life or have any value, then it’s time to donate it or sell it. I very much think that the 80/20 principle plays true here, because 80% of clothes in my closet haven’t even been worn in a year.
Another approach is to keep items that “spark joy” in your life, if you’re curious about this strategy, you should consider watching Marie Kondo’s series on Netflix about de-cluttering.
Another thing you need to know about minimalism is that minimalism is not always extreme.
One of the biggest conceptions of minimalism is that it’s a strict extreme lifestyle, it’s really not, you don’t have to starve or freeze to death all in the name of minimalism, you don’t have to quit your job or rely on snail mail to communicate with your friends, if your phone or your favorite pair of shoes or a collection of souvenirs from your travels have any meaning to you in your life you can keep them, as you start to assess every single item that you own, you’ll start to find yourself leading the way towards minimalism. Sitting down and looking at every sweater in your closets and asking yourself is this really valuable to me? it will start to get exhausting quickly, so minimalism face many struggles in getting rid of their possessions, every minimalist have had a moment of pondering over an item and saying “ I might just keep this in case” well, nine times out of ten, that item does not serve a purpose in the present moment and it could be discarded, they might be valuable in the future but right now in the present space and clarity are also valuable, will you regret getting rid of these items, probably not, just ask anyone who is committed to a minimalist lifestyle, they will tell you they don’t really miss their possessions as much as they had anticipated.
The next thing you need to know about minimalism is that it’s more than just physical decluttering.
Sometimes it feels like we live two separate lives, one is the beautiful earth on which you are and the other is one our phones, if you want to scale down your possessions, take a look at the apps on your phone, do you really find true value scrolling through twitter for twenty minutes today? Does candy crush genuinely spark joy inside you or they just help you avoid communicating with others ?
The answers up to you, but after careful deliberation you might find that you don’t need these things after all, and that they are just mindless entertainment, if they help you rewind at night is perfectly ok but do you need five applications for the same purpose and are you just wasting time, another minimalist approach to adjusting your phone settings is to turn off your notifications, sounds from Facebook notifications, new stories, they don’t serve any purpose other than taking away your attention from the present moments, cost texts, calls, notifications from family members and work associates those serve a purpose so you can keep those on if you wish, but the notification that three friends are going to an event near you, does it really serve you? Does it really add value to your life?
I recently deleted my facebook application because I found myself scrolling through it for thirty minutes at a time, and in the end, I was not any smarter, I wasn’t inspired and I didn’t feel connected to anyone else anymore than I did before the thirty minutes.
If you’re trying to take the minimalist approach the one thing you need to know and bear in mind; is that it’s not an overnight process, the road from owning 20 mugs to just one or two is quite a long process, and it doesn’t have to be completed overnight, you can buy the ton of guides on minimalism and advice online on how to start your minimalist journey, but this lifestyle is entirely in your hands, and you shouldn’t live your life according to someone else’s minimalism guide.
Minimalism starts with looking at one possession and assessing it’s value and function, if you only have time for one possession today, then that is your own contribution to your own minimalism, tomorrow you can try to look at two possessions, maybe three, or even the entire room. I mentioned earlier that minimalist often face the “ just in case ” syndrome, one way to ease into minimalism is to separate your possessions into value sections and just in case sections, keep the just in case sections aside and visit them in a month, do you need them this month, did you need them last month. Then you probably don’t need them at all, then you can sell them, donate them or maybe even throw them away.
Another thing you should know about minimalism is that it has financial benefit.
Minimalism don’t just look at past purchases, take some time to look at the purchases that you anticipate to make this week, Are you going to buy those coffees on your way home this week? Do you plan on going shopping with a friend to buy clothes? When do you think you will go out next for a meal, like your current possessions this purchases can certainly have a function and add value to your life, but is your drive through coffee shop offer anything more than than the coffee you choose to buy than the one you make at home, do you have a specific need for the item that you’re shopping for? Or do you just want to spend some time with your friends, they are other ways of value of doing that, so while doing the process of assessing your possessions, you might find yourself backing out of a lot of purchases, and this is actually really good, selling possessions that you don’t need and cutting back on future purchases, can save you a lot of money, that saved money gives you freedom to travel, to invest, or put money towards big purchases that will bring you even more value.
This is basically what minimalism is all about, freedom. Freedom from the weight of stuffs that you don’t need, apps that don’t add value to your life, and financial burdens. When you start to take control of your relationship to different burdens, you’ll start to feel more in control of your life, and that is a valuable feeling. Minimalism helps many people become productive and financially stable in their lives,