Sunday, April 8, 2018

9 Tips Minimalist Living: Essential Rules on Living with Less

Minimalist living is more than just clean white counters and a lack of clutter; it’s more than being able to fit all your worldly possessions into a single backpack. Rather, minimalism is all about the mindset: it’s about clearing all the clutter from your life and adjusting your way of thinking so you can live with more purpose, and more peace. You may be renting room in Singapore or own your own condominium. Whatever your living situation, you’ll be sure to benefit from the less-is-more mentality.

So, here we’ve broken down the principles of minimalist living so that you can experience the freedom of living with less – on your own terms.

1. Evaluate your priorities

The first step to any new mindset is of course evaluation. Take a step back and observe yourself. Examine your home, your possessions, your lifestyle, your habits, and your attitude objectively. The you that doubts it might think that minimalism is a radical lifestyle. However, the truth is, it is merely a way to put a stop to the gluttony of the world around us. You can look forward to a world of new adventures in a life with less stuff, less drama, less debt and less obligation. Thus, take the first step by looking at the details of your life objectively, through an unfiltered lens, to be able to see what you want to change more clearly.

2. Evaluate your space

Have you ever sat down and thought about your space and what you fill it with? Perhaps you own multiple versions of the same item. Perhaps you have a closet overflowing with clothes that you never wear and that you can’t keep track of. Perhaps you tidy up your surfaces in your space, only to realize you have no place to store all those knick-knacks you’ve picked up from random stores, or your cupboards are filled to the brim with even more junk. Don’t despair, however, as knowing what you have and evaluating whether you need it in your space is the first step to decluttering.

3. Declutter your home

This goes without saying. Minimalism means living with less. Thus, to live with less, you have to get rid of a lot. The process of decluttering can sometimes seem impossible and make you feel overwhelmed to boot. Starting is usually the most difficult part. Once you have gotten a move on decluttering, the nitty-gritty of the process will start to feel more manageable. Commit yourself and your mindset to clearing out with these simple steps: get rid of duplicates first, and then get rid of everything you don’t use or see on a regular basis. As you go through and evaluate your belongings, getting rid of the duplicates and the rarely-used, start to focus on eliminating the items that don’t bring joy or meaning to your life.

4. Think before you buy

The main – maybe even the biggest – component of minimalist living is giving thought to what you buy. This means evaluating what you bring into your home and your space. Before you buy that beautiful cream sweater that you see on sale for 50% off, stop and ask yourself if you really need it, and where the impulse to buy it came from. Do you want to buy it because you need it? Or do you want to buy it because it’s on sale? If it is the latter, steel yourself and walk away from the purchase. We all need to ask ourselves the hard and decidedly un-fun questions lest we add more stuff – and more chaos – to our lives.

5. Seek high-quality stuff

Quality over quantity is probably one of the most heard of sayings on minimalist living. Don’t dismiss it as a snob’s answer to shopping. The gist of it all is, in fact, that by buying quality items, you are investing your money and time into things that are built to last. Things that are made well are usually made t last. This will ensure that you don’t have to shop as much and as often to replace your belongings that have been worn-out or that have broken down. This same mindset can be applied to your style. Go out of your way to invest in classic and timeless pieces – whether it’s for your wardrobe or your home – so that you know that you’ll love it and be able to enjoy it for years to come.

6. Be grateful

A minimalist lifestyle is brought on by the search for contentment. Of course, contentment is not found by having more stuff. Rather, contentment begins with gratitude for all that you do have. Learn to focus more on what you have, rather than what you don’t. Give meaning to what you own, whether it’s that photo of you and your friends that make you smile or that coffee machine that kickstarts your day. When you feel grateful for everything you have, the desire for more will gradually disappear.

7. Purge regularly

Don’t just declutter your life and your belongings and call it a day. Minimalism is a constant mindset. Re-evaluate what you own on a regular basis to see if anything you own that brought you joy has now become a burden. This purging process can take many different forms. For some, it might be tidying up their closet every season or every year to eliminate clothing that is no longer wanted or rarely worn. For others, it might be a firm “one in, one out” rule that constitutes getting rid of one item for every item you bring into your home. Whatever your methods, be sure to evaluate what you own often, and put what you don’t need a donation bag to be given to charity.

8. Let go of the guilt

It is an inevitable part of life that we own items we don’t use or don’t cherish. Yet, we keep them out of obligation and out of guilt – either because they were expensive, sentimental or just brand new. However, minimalism has no place and no room for unused and unappreciated items, let alone the massive guilt that comes with wanting to get rid of them. Instead, give your unwanted items to a new and better home. Donate them to charity, or to friends. You can assuage your guilt and help you another person.

9. Disassociate yourself from material belongings
The principle of minimalism means learning to detach yourself from material belongings. This doesn’t mean it’s wrong to treasure your favorite scarf or to feel appreciation for your espresso machine. Just learn to realize that these things that you own are temporary sources of joy. These things that you own is not what fuels your happiness. Rather, it is the experiences and relationships in your life that brings you joy. So learn to need less, declutter, and get out there and just live life!

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