Decluttering and adopting a minimalist lifestyle is a great way to bring calm into your life. However, deciding to become more minimalist is a lot easier than actually doing it!
It’s not as easy as simply decluttering - minimalism is a lifestyle change that can affect all aspects of your life.
Here’s our top tips to start on the minimalism trend. Have fun with exploring these. Remember, there is no correct way to be a minimalist. It will look different for everyone, so be open in finding the lifestyle adjustments that work best for you.
Get clear on why you want to be a minimalist
Make a list of all the reasons why you want to become minimalist. This can be anything - not just decluttering. Perhaps you want more free time to spend with your loved ones, or you want less stress as it’s starting to affect your health. Put it all down on a paper list, even the more outlandish and out there reasons. This will be your motivation when you’re finding things hard, or want to stop. This list will help you remember the things that are important to you.
First step to declutter: one of each thing only
The first step to declutter is to get rid of anything in your home that is duplicated. You don’t need two of the same things! This goes for books, kitchen equipment- literally anything in your house that there is more than one of. Put all the additional items in a box hidden away - if you haven’t had to go back and retrieve anything for over a month, you can get rid of it.
Introduce clutter free zones.
One area at a time, choose a zone that will be your clutter-free zone. This can be any area - your bedside table, a dresser drawer, or your kitchen table. Try to keep it clutter free at all times. It will become easier as time goes on, and you can introduce more and more zones, until an entire room is clutter free - next will be your entire home!
On your next vacation, try to adopt the minimalist lifestyle. Pack your bag usually, then try to take out half of the things. A good way to do this is to pack for half the time that you are going away for. Remember that you can wash your clothes if you need to when you run out of things to wear. It will feel great to carry a smaller bag.
Try a capsule wardrobe
Try to declutter your wardrobe by trialling a capsule wardrobe. A good way to adopt this is to try to dress with only 3 items for 3 months. This includes clothes, shoes and jewellery, so it can be hard if you’ve got an overflowing wardrobe full of different outfits. However, scaling down your outfit choices can actually make your life easier, and you’ll find you have more time in the morning with less options to choose from.
Setting a meal plan is a great way to take the stress out of deciding what to eat last minute, and walking around the supermarket feeling overwhelmed by options. Set a meal plan, and try to limit it to a few choices that you can alternate by day and meal. This makes planning your food much simpler, and you’ll find you have more time to focus on other aspects of your life.
Cut down on TV
As well as being a good distraction from other things in our life, watching too much TV can actually encourage you to buy more - through advertising between programs. Try to cut down on how much time you spend in front of the screen. The average person can spend up to 24 hours a week watching TV - that’s a whole day! Try to limit yourself to an hour or two a day in the evenings. Watch shows that you actually want to watch rather than just sitting and watching anything!
Replace instead of add
Try to only purchase new items if you’re replacing something that’s too old or broken to use anymore. This will help you in maintaining a minimalist lifestyle, and to keep your possessions down. Think about everything you own that you’ve only used or worn a couple of times, and other things you could have done with that money when you are tempted to splurge on new possessions. By only replacing broken things, you’ll get use out of the things you own, rather than them gathering dust.
Buy experiences instead of things
Try to spend your money on experiences that will enrich your life, rather than physical possessions. This could be holidays, nice dinners, anything that you can spend your money on that will make you feel good, without adding clutter to your home. This is also a good mindset to have when purchasing gifts for people - what experiences could you give them instead of things?
Yoga is also an excellent minimalist experience, as all it requires if your body and your breath. Taking some time to practice yoga is a great way to appreciate the things you have, and not think about what you want. If you're in the Northern Hemisphere and it's peak summertime, life might feel more energetic and social, and we hope you're enjoying it! Use this week's classes to find balance and ground, take time to reset, and restore yourself. If it's mid-winter for you in the Southern Hemisphere, embrace this more introverted and restful time of year. Treat yourself to less to accomplish, more rest, and lighter yoga practices.
By Amy Cavill
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