Instead of looking at it as giving up possessions, consider it a reprioritization. You’re actively choosing to live with stuff that’s most important to you. We know it’s easier said than done (you did howl in protest when your mum suggested offloading your childhood toys. At the ripe old age of 35. Completely understandable). But you don’t have to go on a large-scale purge all of a sudden. You can start slow and give yourself the mental space and time to let go of stuff that you’ve been hoarding for sentimental and/or other reasons.
Before we get to the how, let’s tackle the why’s of minimal living.
More space at home…and in your mind!
A decluttered room means more breathing space. You have less things to worry about and occupy your thoughts.
It’s easier cleaning
You don’t have to chase the house help for missing the dusting of that one out of the five lamps you have at home. Or skipping one of the five vases.
You’d be surprised at how all the little purchases you make add up to a big hole in your wallet. This should be a huge motivation. And before you ask what the point of hoarding money is….
Spend more on experiences rather than stuff
Let’s admit some types of good experiences do cost money. So, resist the next temptation to buy your 7th winter coat (alpaca wool this time) and instead, spend it on that fancy tree house you saw in Meghalaya that was out of budget.
You’re happier and less stressed
As said earlier, the lesser you own, the less you worry. Of things breaking, cleaning, misplacing and (shudder) while moving houses.
If you’ve been wondering of ways in which to live more eco-consciously, minimalism is a good way to go!
Now minimal living makes sense (we hope), here are some simple ways in which you can do this without moving into a log cabin or going all Into the Wild.
Evaluate your space
How much clutter should you clear? What are the nooks and crannies you’d like to free up? In this process, pay careful attention to each and every piece you own. This is essential for the next step.
Figure out your priorities
It’s difficult to disassociate feelings and attachments with our possessions. After all, we did get them for specific reasons and plans. But there’s a definite good chance that despite our feelings, not all of them still hold the same value or make sense.
Declutter every part
Wardrobes, bookshelves, kitchen cabinets. Pick out excess cutlery and storage vessels, clothes you no longer wear and are unlikely to in the future, books you finished reading and didn’t like or are unlikely to read again – give them away to those who might use and appreciate them more!
Buy need based instead of indiscriminate
Take groceries for instance. How many times have we gone all out and ordered a gazillion varieties of dal at one shot only to realise that you end up using a few regularly? Or veggies bought in bulk that end up at the back of the fridge and rot away forgotten because you can cook them all in time? Minimalism is a zero-low wastage lifestyle. Buy what you need, when you need it. You’ll have heartburn when you have less to no stuff to throw out.
Choose quality over quantity
Pick a few good must-haves instead of a whole bunch of unnecessary collections of stuff that spoil or break easily forcing you into a spiral of never-ending mini buying sprees.
You don’t have to hold on and live with just the few items selected. But when you consider buying new stuff, instead of adding on to the space you already have, consider a process of replacement. Make space for the new item by removing something existing that you feel you’re done with. And by replacing we mean recycle, donate or sell!