We all have this natural tendency to add more to our life— to upgrade our lifestyle better from the present we’re continuously running towards accumulation. If you’re the same person, have you ever thought of living the opposite life? You know, a life where you have a simple formula for living that ensures a peaceful life in this chaotic world.
The approach of living I’m talking about is the Minimalist lifestyle. The popular thoughts on minimalist lifestyle made us assume that it might be something with room decoration or purchasing monochromatic sleek furniture.
Surely, this is not just about how your interior should look. This is something way more bigger than your room or I can say, it’s just a simple formula for living where you can live soberly with serenity.
In this article, I will try to discuss everything that came to my mind instantly, I was researching the minimalist lifestyle. If you are really enthusiastic to learn a new living manner, let’s begin.
What is This Minimalist Lifestyle Anyway?
Before learning more about this lifestyle, you must know the root of it. The word minimalist comes from the concept of minimalism. Minimalism is basically an art movement that began in New York after World War-II. Emphasizing on straightforward expressions or meanings, artists started preferring minimal and clean canvas while reducing unnecessary abstract details in their work.
Architects started adapting this new form to practice it in their designs and that’s how minimal interior designs took place everywhere. These days, minimalism expands into every sphere of life— even in our lifestyle.
When people started following minimalism as a lifestyle, they focused on reducing stuff from life. They started assuming a minimalist lifestyle is something where there will be no luxury of life. A life, where there you have to live with only a few clothes, furniture, people. This generalized thought can lead us to think being a minimalist is to refuse every sort of convenience that modern life offers us.
The philosophy behind the minimalist movement was to focus on important things of life, not just reducing things randomly. That’s where the misconception starts filling out our minds. To clear out the confusion I would like to use a quotation here. Joshua Becker the author of “The more of less” said,
‘Minimalism the intentional promotion of the things we most value and the removal of anything that distracts from it’Joshua Becker
This one line explains everything nicely. So, this minimalist lifestyle is basically a state of mind where a person focuses on those things that are most valuable to him and worthy enough to invest in it. Being a minimalist means having a crystal clear idea about the intention of your life.
In short, a basic formula that fits in every life in a different way but indicates only one thing—
“Making a room for necessity”.
Why Should You Start a Minimalist Lifestyle?
- Saves Your Money so that you can use it later when you need to spend it on necessary things.
- Eliminates bad habits that you wanted to leave.
- Helps you to focus more on life and make your thoughts independent.
- Minimalist lifestyles lead to less stress and bring calmness.
- Careful use of resources helps the environment.
Misconceptions about Minimalist lifestyle
There are plenty of misconceptions or in other words, I can say, myths about the minimalist lifestyle. If you really like this idea of living and want to practice it in your life, you need to know what is not a minimalist lifestyle. That way, you will be able to know the depth of this conception, and also refine your thoughts on living. The following points about the common misconceptions of the minimalist lifestyle—
Only Decluttering Materialistic Possessions
Reducing unnecessary things from life is the main mantra here. It can be your screen time where you are stuck with the internet, it can be your eating habit, or maybe your backyard overflowing with abandoned stuff. It’s upon you which things you want to exclude from your lifestyle. Not necessarily, you have to start bedding on the floor if other minimalists do it.
Minimalists Can’t Buy New Things
Surely, you need to be careful about your spendings. But what you have now will fade away after a certain time. So, it’s not possible to live a life without buying new things.
The minimalist lifestyle is for single people
This one of the most common misconceptions about a minimalist lifestyle. You might think from the blog you read, of the videos you watched on minimalism that it’s the lifestyle of single people.
Actually, the concept of minimalism makes people care about themselves and it’s about to keep looking at your entity through actions. You can start practicing this lifestyle with your partner and family members if they really want. In fact, many couples and families are practicing this lifestyle for years.
No Hobby, No Passion!
Again there are no specific rules for this lifestyle. You may have a hobby to collect currencies from different countries. Don’t leave these hobbies or passions behind because minimalism doesn’t mean cutting back on everything in life.
Always Sticking to Monochromatic Products
As I explained earlier about minimal art and interior designs — there are minimalist-themed products in every category. Because of the demand rate of consumers, companies are producing products that they label as minimalist products. White on White or black on black is the most common minimalist themed products in the market.
Minimalism is not limited to these consumer products. Anyone who loves minimalist lifestyle can decorate their house with their own idea of minimalistic pieces, Even you can buy colored things with junky designs while practicing this lifestyle — it’s totally up to you.
6 Initial Steps to Start Minimalism
After choosing a way of life, often you may feel a little clueless about where to start. I believe in little steps through goals, so that you get a clear vision of your goals and achieve it effortlessly. That’s why I’m describing only 6 steps below to start a minimalist lifestyle.
1. Figure out What You Need in Your Life
The first step to a minimalist life should be a purpose. This purpose can be different from others or maybe the same. First, you should figure out what you need from life. Let’s assume, you need a peace of mind. But how can you achieve that? What will make your life peaceful? How will you measure your tranquility in life? When you answer these questions yourself, you’ll get your goals.
Goals help to set priorities and show the path you should follow. To make a clear vision and possession about yourself, you need to select the things that add value to your life. When you’re able to filter that from the rest, you are ready for the next step to a minimalist lifestyle.
2. Replace or Donate Unnecessary Things
When you’re done with setting priorities, now it’s time to leave those extra baggages from your life. As of now, you know what are the most valuable things then you can easily separate those things that are meaningless to you. Imagine, you have about 10 t-shirts but you wear only one t-shirt among them. So, you can just give away those you never wear. This donation will also help people in need.
Also, there are other ways you can follow. You may have 10 t-shirts that you never wear but have zero trousers that actually you need. In that case, you can replace your t-shirts into trousers. How? Well, there are thousands of platforms where you can sell or exchange unnecessary products of yours.
But if you have tons of things you want to give away or replace, you might feel lost about where to start! To give you more ideas, you can follow these basic steps —
- First, pick a room to declutter.
- Now mark unnecessary or less important things in your bedroom.
- Make a checklist to make sure everything is sorted.
- Separate which ones you’re gonna give away and which are for selling or replacing.
- Pick another room and repeat this process.
This is definitely gonna be a lengthy process and I’m not telling you to be a minimalist in one day. In fact, this process will help you to understand your possessions more clearly.
3. Embrace Zero-Waste Life
Minimalists follow another simple formula for living which is zero-waste life. It’s another movement to control our consuming behavior. Being a consumer, we buy new things every single day because everything is available out there to make our life easier. It’s also a common consumer behavior to buy things compulsively nowadays. Consequently, we produce piles of old things we never use.
Americans make up roughly 5% of the world’s population but generate nearly 40% of the world’s total waste. Most of them are solid trash which will remain in the environment for years. Scientists believe about 8 million metric tons of plastic enter the oceans every year. As a result of this, it’s affecting the entire ecosystem and resulting in horrible changes in the global climate like polar bears gradually going extinct.
For the greater good and living a minimal life, you can practice zero-waste life. Zero-waste means you’ll emphasize more on using biodegradable products, recycling things, or buying used products so that a reduced demand influences less production and thus, less waste in the earth.
4. Declutter Your Mental Clutter
Mental clutter fuels up our stress, agony, anxiety, or self-doubt and holds back our confidence to grow. There might be too many thoughts, action plans, regrets, and criticism in your mind that are affecting your well-being and taking control of your mental peace. In this situation, it’s essential for you to declutter things that are dominating your mind and hampering productivity.
We keep so much information, past-life baggage, expectations, and work-loads in our mind that there is zero space for love, trust, and peace. The minimalist lifestyle is not just about decluttering things that are visible to us, you also need to clear your mind. Mental clutter can make you believe that the circumstances you’re going through are never gonna change. The moment you start believing in yourself and try changing yourself, trust me, the circumstances will change. It only requires your will-power — nothing else.
Also, you can invest time in things you really love to do. Practice doing them more so that there is no room for negative thoughts in your mind. Also, you can —
- Travel more to energize your soul.
- Spend time with people you love.
- Nurture yourself with profound relationships.
- Make time for your hobbies, exercise so that you can keep discovering new potentials of yours.
5. Turn Your Bad Habits into The Desired One
To deal with stress or boredom, sometimes we do things that initially tame down our situation. Then, we repeat the same thing to ease the restive mind. Eventually, we make these actions according to our habits that were never important for us.
Bad habits can be anything like affecting your time management, physical health, financial management, or mental health. If you tried and failed to leave behind these habits, try replacing them with good ones!. Replacing a habit is easier than removing it. In this step, you can try turning one of your bad habits into a good one. To do so,
- Firstly, choose one bad habit that you want to replace. Suppose, you eat junk food a lot and now you want to quit.
- Identify the reason behind why and when you started eating them. Maybe you eat packets of chips when you’re stressed out.
- Find out healthy approaches to deal with stress.
- Consciously start practicing another good habit— discussing the issue that stresses you out.
- Slowly let your new habit take the entire space of the previous bad one.
You might like these articles if you’re struggling with any bad habits
6. Keep Asking Yourself
Last step but the most important one — If you want to keep practicing this lifestyle, you need to think twice before making any decision. Suppose, you are traveling to a country and visiting the local shops. Now, a piece of art dazzles your eyes and you want to buy it. Ask yourself — Do you really want it? Also, is it essential, cost-effective, satisfies your budget and environment friendly? By asking yourself these questions you’ll figure out the ultimate necessity of that product.
This will control your spendings and impulsive decisions so that you don’t regret it later. As you continue following this simple formula for living, having doubts and questions about your action plans will lead you to achieve a stress-free life.
The simple formula for living with peace
Though the minimalist lifestyle is a simple formula for living with peace, the ways are customizable. Now, it’s your turn to use this formula on your own and observe how they work in your life so that you can achieve whatever you want. Let me know your thoughts about minimalism and the minimalist lifestyle in the comment section. Check out these articles below for more lifestyle ideas:
- Healthy Living at Home: 8 Easy Rules You Should Follow
- Lifestyle Of The Rich And Famous People
- Fascinating Food and Nutrition Tips During Lockdown
- Organic Lifestyle: What, Why, How! You Should Admire it