• Katlyn Selleck

Guide to Living Minimally



We live in a consumerist society where owning more is believed to cause happiness and promote popularity. It is a society induced competition, but many people are breaking away from the status quo to live simpler lives where the motto, less is more.


Living minimally has attracted a crowd that strives to live within their means without cluttering their lives with materialistic wants. The lifestyle encourages a calming environment where stress is not brought on by owned possessions and attention is redirected onto living a healthy, simpler life.


Where to Start


  • Setting goals is important in transitioning to a minimal lifestyle. Personal stepping stones need to be established to be able to track progress and keep yourself accountable.

  • Train yourself to restrain from purchasing. It is hard to not buy when advertisements are thrown left and right at us, however it is important to resist the temptations. A method that helps is the one in, one out rule. If you purchase an item, you must donate another.

  • Be ready for mess before success. It will get messy, there will be set backs, but keeping to your goals will help you through it.




How to Live Minimally


Declutter

We’ve all heard of the Marie Kondo method, but is it the best approach? It’s a hard line between keep and donate, and most times, there needs to be a third outlet. One alternative to this method is a stow away pile. While decluttering your closet, if you find yourself contemplating between the two piles, take the third pile and store it. Out of sight out of mind right? If you find yourself reaching for items in the pile, keep it. At the end of the month, the ones you never grab for you can donate.


Another method that is favorable to heavy spenders is one in, one out. To keep yourself accountable for your spending habits, whenever you buy a new possession, you must donate another. This method is great for after you’ve decluttered your home and want to keep the amount of your possession to a steady minimum.



Pick an Aesthetic

A simple color palette that resonates throughout the home promotes a calming and fluid environment. There will not be a space that feels out of place, everything will be in alignment with each other. Earthy colors are great to experiment with and integrating brighter colors and patterns into your home can make your space feel personable, though serene.


Even though this lifestyle promotes fewer possessions, that doesn’t mean your space has to be sterile. Decorations are important in bringing life and enjoyment to your home and shouldn’t be stored in the closet. Bring out your photos and decorative books, but keep in mind that more clutter usually means more cleaning (and who wants to do that all the time?). Pick pieces that are special to you and that you can see yourself keeping for a long period of time.



Reasons to Live Minimally


Less Mess, Less Stress

When everything you own has a place and a purpose, you will experience less stress. Let’s be honest, cleaning is not enjoyable. It’s stressful every week to set time aside on the weekend to clean when you would rather be doing anything else. When everything has a designated space, the ease of cleaning is simple and less time needs to be spent on cleaning dishes and tidying up the living room.


Improving Relationships and Free Time

With less mess, less stress and a calming environment, you can focus on what really matters: your relationships. All types of relationships are important and with less going on in your head, the more time you can spend with the ones you love. You can finally text that one person back you’ve put on hold or meet up with your friends.


We as individuals hold heavy weights upon our shoulders that need to be released once and awhile to allow us to take a step back and breathe. These days, hard work is favored and praised, while taking time off and enjoying life can be considered lazy. Having more time to yourself, to your peers, or family is what this lifestyle promotes. It brings awareness to simple pleasures and releases the pressure.



Grateful For What You Have

Though living this lifestyle comes with the cost of fewer possessions, that doesn’t mean you must live with items that you don’t like. You should appreciate each object you bring into your home because it brings joy into your life. Learn to be grateful for what you possess instead of clogging your mind with materialistic wants. We are too consumed in the notion that more is better, instead of the old saying, less is more.


Learning this element of the lifestyle is only beneficial. With true appreciation for the objects you’ve acquired, saving money is easier because the drive to want to replace it in the future will not step in the way. This perspective will bring you to lengths of fixing your possessions rather than buying new, and the need to want more fades away.


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