Minimalism: 3 tips to start your desirable new living style right now
Although I’ve known about minimalism for quite a long time, I didn’t start apply the minimal theory into my life until last year. At first, it seems so hard to achieve because I can’t see myself throwing away 90% of what I have, which what I need to do if I want to start a stress-free new way of living, according to what is written in those famous books about minimalism that I read implied. But then, after a deep research, not only about what is widely-known about minimalism, but also putting great efforts into how to make minimalism “fit” my life, not trying to squeeze my life into minimalism, I have discovered 3 ways to start living minimally that you can start right away. These 3 methods might take you time to complete but remember that you can start instantly, which is so important to keep the momentum going, especially in this digital era where our attention has shrunk to few seconds before we forget all about minimalism and move on to scrolling media for hours.
1. Put budget or limit on how many new things you can buy in a month
A lot of people mistake the very first step of minimalism is throwing things away since books about minimalism are always introducing a new spark of calmness and inspiration after getting rid of most of the things you own, how light would you feel, how clean your space can be, how awesome your life can become. But the attachment to things and deciding what to throw away, what to keep can be a huge roadblock to start this minimal lifestyle. The core of minimalism is “owning less”, we can do it the traditional way which is reduce the amount of things we own, or we can “buying less” that will eventually lead to owning less. Buying less is the routine we can start implementing in our life right away, though the affect can’t become obvious after only one or two days like the “throwing” method, it requires consistence and discipline from you. And since you can make your own rules, for example “From now on, I will spend money on only two clothing items per month”, start from your level, choosing the rule you can comply, and once you clear one level, you can move on to the harder and stricter. What you need is a small win to keep yourself motivated and pursuing this lifestyle for longer time. I restrict the number of new clothes I can buy in a period of time, and now after one year, all the things I carefully considered and decided to buy are super useful, I use them all the time, and they do bring great value to my life.
2. Arrange your stuff
One of the reason (that happens a lot) when we decide to buy something new is because we forget we’re owning something similar or the exactly same. We put it somewhere in our house and fail to recall its existence. Back to the clothing example, whenever I feel the urge to purchase more dresses because I just love patterned dresses, I prove to myself that I already own enough by folding all the clothes in my closet. I pull them all out, and slowly arrange them in neat place, during that process I remind myself of all the patterned dress I have bought in the past, most of them are not worn much, still close to brand-new condition, so I probably need to utilize what I have instead of throwing money away on new stuff, which probably just going to take a space in my wardrobe for six months to a year, before the moment I actually put it on. You should save your money for more important aims, rather than repeatedly buying the same things. And during this arranging phase, I get a lot of coming ideas about how I can utilize existing stuffs in my daily living. And that’s how you discover a new way to add meaning into your life, not by owning more, but optimizing what you have. Why use money to buy happiness when you can create it yourself.
3. Simplify your thoughts
A lot of people say minimalism is for poor people who can’t afford in purchasing new things. But the minimalism I know are the one who only wear one style of clothes so they can save their mental stamina for more important decision during the day. They don’t purchase often but when they do they buy the most modern car, the most luxurious seat on the airplane, the fastest wifi. They actively choose minimalism because they want to invest their energy on more meaningful things in life. Minimalism is not only about physical “owning less”, it’s also about minimalizing your mind mentally and spiritually. The logic that we often see is, getting rid of stuff and calmness will come to you. But what I come up with is the other way around, calming your mind and you will eventually want to own less. Our mind is powerful, there is a saying that “Your life is as good as your mindset”, I believe we have enough intellectual strength to change the reality surrounding us. And since it’s our own mind we’re talking about, our own thought, we can use it to serve us. Plan the minimalism seed in your thought and it will thrive. Minimalism is an art, a mindset, a tool for us to optimize our time and effort.
Now, you may have realized that the methods to start living minimally right now is not some fancy hack, they come from the idea to make the most out of what we have, rather than focusing on what we don’t have. Minimalism can be difficult or simple as we think it would be. I believe if you’re the only one that understand which situation you’re in, what you are trying to achieve and what do you really want, so you too can be creative and come up with how you can maintain this amazing lifestyle for as long as you want.