Simple Living Tips [February 2020]

A simple guide to minimal living…

What does it mean to be a minimalist?

Being a minimalist means getting rid of your excessive belongings and living only with the things you need. In other words, it means throwing away those fifteen pairs of shoes in your basement and keeping the three pairs that you actually wear. Minimalism is about coming to the realization that you don’t need fifteen pairs of shoes, especially if you don’t even wear them.

What are the benefits of a minimalist lifestyle?

I’d like to say it’s more cost-efficient, but I’m not sure if that’s true. The minimalists I know tend to invest in higher quality products than most people. Because they don’t buy a lot of stuff, they spend more on the items they do buy. But, they buy things that are meant to last, because they understand that buying poorly-made products only leads to broken or ripped things sitting in the closet for a month.

The biggest benefit is the peacefulness it introduces to your life. Living with less is calming. You know where things are going to be when you need them, and you don’t have to be distracted by so much clutter.

What things should you get rid of first i.e. how can you begin living a minimalist life?

Start with things you haven’t touched or looked at in months. Just open a random closet and pick something. Pull out a shirt or a pair of shoes and ask yourself and try to figure out when you last wore them. If it’s been months and you can’t see yourself wearing them in the near future, donate them! Then scrutinize all of your belongings in the same way.

What things should you keep i.e. are there specific items all
minimalists need?

You need willpower (so don’t throw that away!). Being a minimalist looks easy, but it’s actually quite hard. It might take you months to have those tough conversations about what gets to stay and what has to go. But if you’re committed to living a simpler lifestyle, you’ll have to push through those internal battles.

How can one practice minimalism on a daily
basis?

You have to get better at throwing things away. Junk mail, movie ticket stubs, all of that stuff should go in the trash as soon as you’re done with it. There’s no reason to keep it around, so throw it away now instead of putting it off until later. Those things build up over time, and they cause a lot of stress, even if you don’t realize it.

Personally, I think that the best way to ease into a minimalist lifestyle is by getting better at throwing things away as soon as they show up in your life. Then, you won’t have to worry about going back and pulling them out of your closet later on.

Are there any downsides?

I think some people overdo it. I know people who’ve gotten rid of all of their sentimental belongings, and that’s just sad. It seems fun living with less, but you need to keep some stuff around. Our belongings are the things that remind us who we are. Don’t make your apartment look abandoned. Get rid of the stuff you don’t need, but keep some personal items around.

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