Beginners Guide to Minimalism
Updated: Jan 16, 2019
I started looking into and implementing minimalist philosophy probably about a year or so ago. And since then, it has literally changed my life, particularly the way I perceive 'stuff'. I have more time for the things I enjoy and the things that surround me are only those that are purposeful, beautiful and bring joy.
For me, minimalism is not about having nothing.
It's not a matter of getting rid of things or about placing yourself in self-induced poverty and shutting yourself off from enjoying life's experiences.
I consider minimalism to be a way of thinking and living that focuses on the essentials rather than being overwhelmed by excess.
My first suggestion if you are interested in minimalist lifestyle is to do your research. For me, this started off with watching the Netflix Documentary 'The Minimalists' and reading their book "The Minimalists: Live a meaningful life". Go check out their website for more info.
Because I'm an avid YouTuber, I also started delving into minimalist YouTube videos to gain a broader perspective on what it looks like and gain inspiration on how it could be implemented into my life. Two great YouTubers who create videos on this topic are Rachel Aust and Pick up Limes.
Once you have done your research and determined if this is something that will enhance your life, my next suggestion is to start reassessing and rearranging your mindset around stuff.
We are told to buy stuff because we need it and it will enhance our lives.
We are told to keep stuff in case we need it at some point in the future.
We are told that having stuff will make us happy.
But having stuff, or wanting stuff can make us feel stressed, overwhelmed and chaotic. When I realised that holding on to stuff that I never use out of fear, obligation and misplaced ideas on what I 'want' my life to look like was not making me happy but making me feel out of control, that's when things really changed.
My dad watched me get rid of half my belongings, either giving them away, donating them or chucking them and he become worried. He didn't grow up in luxury and assumed that me not having stuff indicated that I was poor and depressed. But I had simply realised that these things were taking up space and not meaningfully contributing to my life. I no longer needed them.
I no longer associated emotions with objects.
One thing people wrongfully assume about minimalism is that you have to have a bare house to be doing it properly. While it's true that my house is clutter-free. One thing I don't part with is plants and beautiful coffee table books. As Marie Condo says, 'these things spark joy' and minimalism is all about removing things that do not spark joy.
The next step is to actually put it into action. Start with 'stuff' first because that's the easiest to see progress. I will endeavour to create a room by room minimalism checklist, but the easiest thing to do if your apprehensive is to start with multiples and things that are broken and weave your way up from there.
Only once you've tackled the objects can you start looking at more conceptual things e.g. social media, finances, stressors. I will write a future post on these also.
I hope this was helpful as a very brief overview. I also give minimalist ideas on my other social media platforms so make sure to check those out, Instagram @evolveliving_blog and YouTube Carly Morton.