Less is more. The biggest draw of minimalism is probably getting rid of complexities over mundane things, like the question, “What should I wear today?” With only staples and fewer items in the closet, the decision is fairly easy to make.
That’s just one way to look at a minimalist lifestyle whose definition varies by person. There’s living with less, living simply, or living with only things that matter. Some people have taken the idea to the extreme by giving up all their material possessions or getting by with only the bare necessities.
If you are wondering how to begin a minimalist lifestyle, these steps can help you with the transition.
1. Make Up Your Mind
The first step is to identify your intent for embracing this change. Is it for any of these reasons?
- Reduce clutter
- Gain more space
- Make fewer decisions
- Conserve time and money
You can also be motivated by health, safety, and sustainability. Having goals clears the path for a fresh start. These motivations can also change along the way.
2. Declutter Well
It’s evident by now that not all the things you own are necessary. You will need to let go of belongings to suit your vision. For decluttering, you can stick to one way or combine numerous methods to avoid waste and regrets.
- The popular KonMari method is about discarding items that don’t spark joy (or in your case, value) in your life. Under this method, you declutter by category, not by area.
- The “keep, toss, donate” approach is about saving things that you will miss (photos), need (tax documents), and store (blankets). Other items will go to the donation and trash/recycling boxes.
- The “20-20 rule” is about deciding on things that you may need someday or just in case. If you have something that you can replace for $20 in 20 minutes, it’s safe to remove it.
3. Sell the Excess
Decluttering is a continuous process and hardly a one-time thing, given the effort, time, and magnitude of decisions. As you progress in downsizing your stuff, set aside some to sell. You can earn a decent resale value and cut back on waste.
Some things to sell:
- Exercise equipment
The list goes on for your next garage sale. If you want it to be a regular gig for additional income, open an online shop. This store can have the basics to operate with more options as the business picks up. Start with a plan for your online selling dreams.
4. Practice Your Cooking
Making your meals costs less and makes food choices healthier. You also spend less time wondering what’s for lunch.
Minimalist cooking can mean a lot of things, such as:
- Simple meals to reduce preparation time or involve fewer kitchen resources
- Food with fewer ingredients, which can also be used for other dishes
- A nutritious diet with little to no processed food products
Start with go-to meals and snacks. Try these budget-friendly recipes for your breakfast and lunch bowls. You can experiment, like rotating dishes and setting aside a day to try something else, to break the monotony.
5. Buy Mindfully
Parting with material possessions can be difficult, and piling up more at this point only complicates the situation. If you were to buy things, they should make your days more worthwhile.
- Invest in clothes that will still look good for years to come. Proper care and washing are vital.
- Pay for quality shoes, which can be resoled, repaired, etc. To reduce wear and tear, keep an extra pair as an alternate.
- Carry on with your hobbies with the essential tools and supplies needed for you to enjoy.
- Stick to your grocery list and bring a reusable bag.
- Learn to say no to sales. If you have to avoid the malls during known holidays and sale season deliberately, then do it.
Adopting a minimalist lifestyle is about curbing consumerism while still meeting your needs.
This is just the start; you have a long way to discover what rightfully belongs in your life. Be ready and stay true to what you believe in.