Minimalism is about living with less – giving you the freedom to spend less time, money and energy on stuff, and more on actually living. And whilst minimalism often starts at home, it’s also a lifestyle choice. For me, living in a frugal way and being a minimalist go hand in hand. It’s part of who I am.
Lockdown took this idea to a whole new level; stripping us of our plans and obligations; forcing us into a simplistic lifestyle. I like to think it made us all reflect, and make permanent changes to the way we use our homes and live our lives.
If you want to embrace a more minimalistic way of life, here’s how to get started…
Set some goals
It’s important to figure out what it is you want to achieve through developing a more minimalistic lifestyle – what do you want your life to look like? Minimalism is personal, so it’s important to set targets that will suit you and your family.
For some it will mean downsizing their home, for others decluttering is enough. Other people may want to simply lead a less manic lifestyle and have more time for themselves. You may wish to streamline your finances and reduce your outgoings. Or, perhaps you want to overhaul all of these things?
We all have different desires and values, so take the time to work out what minimalism means to you and set some simple steps to make sure it’s sustainable and achievable.
Simplify your schedule
For me, taking a step back from real life definitely had its benefits. Our schedules can be so busy and at times it can be hard to unwind, as we rush about without taking time to just stop and enjoy the moment. So, take some time to reflect. Which things did you not miss? How can your busy week be streamlined?
It’s important to speak to your children too; I know my two found joy in having more free time to relax at home. Not only could a simplified week save you time, but it will most likely save you money as well. Finding joy in life’s little pleasures doesn’t need to cost a penny.
A busy social calendar can be costly, and trying to please everyone can cause us unnecessary stress. On top of this, many people will experience a great deal of social anxiety, having been shut off from the world for such a long period of time. I can say without a doubt that I got used to living in our little, isolated bubble.
So, when the world starts to get back on track, be ready to say no if you need to. If that function or night out will send your finances over the limit, increase your anxiety or stop you from having a rest and quality time with your family at home; politely decline invitations and put yourself first.
Declutter your home
Studies show that when we are not surrounded by clutter, we are able to think more clearly, and it’s so therapeutic; letting go of the stuff we don’t need makes us feel great. So, have a clear out – if you haven’t used something for a long time, chances are you don’t need it anyway. And, cleaning a clutter-free house saves so much time and energy so that you can focus on more important things.
Once you get into the ‘less is more’ mindset, you’ll be reluctant to re-introduce clutter into your life. This is great news for your bank balance, as you’re more likely to avoid impulse buying! When you become more mindful of what comes into your home, you’ll be wondering where you will put each purchase, how much use it will get and most likely decide not to purchase things you don’t need or love.
To help you to get started, have a look at my four-step decluttering guide.
Take a step back
Online sales, deals, social media ads and television adverts are everywhere; we are bombarded with them every second of every day. And, it can make changing our buying habits a real challenge. Always ask yourself, do you really need it? What value would that item bring to your life?
If you’re feeling the pressure to get dragged into spending money you don’t have, or complicating your ‘less is more’ lifestyle, just switch it all off. Choose to simplify, get some fresh air and give yourself some much needed space from it all.
When we stop buying unnecessary items, and make more of what we have, our planet benefits too. By bringing less into our homes, and living a more simplistic lifestyle, we can significantly reduce our waste and our carbon footprint.
Changing what we value, and stepping away from our materialistic, consumer-driven world, ensures a more eco-friendly lifestyle. And, this is surely another good reason to embrace a new way of life. We live on a beautiful planet and it is 100% our responsibility to look after it.
Be happier with less
Being a minimalist is about desiring less, and this means changing your mindset entirely. It’s not about missing what you don’t have, or feeling hard done by when you go without. You are choosing this, and for everything you let go from your life, you are gaining so much more. Time. Money. Energy. Happiness.
When we start to see the world in a different way, and our perception of value changes, we can finally appreciate what’s really important. When we stop feeling defined by our possessions, they stop holding us back.