Minimalism is an idea that has recently been gaining prominence, and for a worthwhile purpose. The advantages of living on less are numerous, which includes more amount of money, more time to give to yourself, improved wellbeing and allowing yourself to find gratitude. Yet there are many misinterpretations and misapprehensions about just what a minimalist approach to life is and what it is not.
Minimalism is one of those philosophies, much like basic living where it can imply different meanings to different people, and that is perfectly acceptable. It should indeed be intimate to the individual living it. Being a minimalist has no set of guidelines or criteria that one must obey and fulfil. However, there are a few do’s and don’ts to begin your minimalism journey with:
✓ Create a plan
Before you start decluttering, plan a strategy. If you’ve ever seen a Marie Kondo video, she teaches us to commit to tidying up. Hold an item and think about whether you’ve used it in the past two years. If you haven’t, 90% probability says, you never will. We have heard countless stories from people that have done the hard work of tidying and then left their garages or cars with cartons of superfluous things for months. By developing a plan before you get going, this would certainly not happen to you.
X Don’t let perfectionism get you
It is said, that perfectionism is a threat to progress, and it is rightly said so, even in the case of minimalism. Because perfection is a myth; you can never be or attain “perfect,” which means that if you spend your whole life pursuing it, you will never be content. Instead, you are always going to be looking for something more; you are never going to feel like you are getting adequate, or worse, never feel like you are getting enough. So, when choosing minimalism as a lifestyle choice, you should not worry about perfection. Instead, learn to enjoy whatever little and simple things you are going to have in your possession.
✓ Do know that decluttering and self-kindness goes hand-in-hand
We believe that far too many people keep clutter where they know it does not add benefit to their daily life. Sometimes, doubts, feelings of inadequacy or hard realities get reflected in the things we own. Letting go involves looking within, and that can be difficult to do. We believe it is necessary, for this purpose, to engage in self-kindness while cleaning up. You, therefore, need to excuse yourself for your past mistakes so that you can always gain from the past and go on (maybe a dress you purchased to make yourself feel good after a relationship ended or a pricey handbag you purchased to please others).
X Don’t concentrate on what you are giving up
When you think of it as choosing what to hold, instead of what to leave out, decluttering is far simpler. Moreover, it is about cleaning the clutter out of your existence, so you can get more out of the things that you choose to keep.
✓ Do Be Rational
Whenever it comes to decluttering, one barrier we hear a lot of people discuss is that they would like to keep things as they might come in handy in future-just in case!
How many times do you keep these items and not even end up finding them when you need them, and buy a new one instead? A rationalist should have no issue with people who want to save stuff for the future. Having said that, the aim is to be practical about what you will require or use in the long run. If possible, evaluate how quickly you can substitute the item and compare this with the cost of holding it.
X Don’t steer away from starting just because you do not feel ready
A year from now, you might be hoping you had begun today. Your capacity to make informed choices will grow massively by taking small steps. So, starting from the inside is recommended to see the advantages of minimalism. There are little things you can do straight away to get going, even if you are busy.
✓ Do evaluate and adjust
There is no one minimalist style that works for everybody. It comes down to one thing, whether all your belongings fit into a suitcase or you have three warehouses full of bikes and camping equipment. Keep more of what gives you real happiness and fuel your joy. This journey is yours to enjoy, so review and keep only what feels right. The search is a worthwhile and satisfying one, but it’s a changing objective. Utilize tools at your disposal and do the maximum you can at the time.
X Don’t expect a minimalist lifestyle will solve all your problems
One of the harsh truths about living simply is that possessing less would not fix all your issues automatically. No matter how much you reorganise, there will always be bills that need to be paid, souls to heal, and plates to clean. And besides, minimalism clears the clutter of your life, which in turn provides you more time, money, and resources to improve your situation. It is never going to make your problems and challenges completely disappear in thin air.
✓ Do practice gratitude
Gratitude unleashes life’s fullness. It transforms what we have into enough and much more. It turns disapproval into acceptance, unrest into order, confusion into clearness. Gratitude makes perfect sense of our history, provides comfort to today, and sets the direction for tomorrow. To be grateful is to embrace what you already have. People can be grateful and can still entertain the idea of having more. Minimalism is, therefore, all about embracing what you have, and it does not come at the price of your deepest wishes and ambitions.