The Basics of Minimalism

Minimalism is one of those recent pop words that seems to be coming up more and more. But what exactly is minimalism? Minimalism is intentionally living with only the things that you absolutely need. Think of the term “less is more”. This is one of the key teachings of minimalism. By living a minimalist life, you can have more money saved, more time, and overall better wellbeing. But how do you get started?

Your environment has a significant impact on your mental and emotional state. Having a cluttered or messy environment can make it exceedingly difficult to perform tasks or feel well. So, one of the first steps of minimalism and a true basic is cleaning your environment out so it only contains the absolute necessities. An effective way to start is by going from room to room, or even smaller spaces than that. Start with your closet, or your junk drawer. Getting into the habit of letting unneeded items go will make it easier and easier the more you declutter. A good way of assessing if you should keep something is by asking yourself, “When was the last time I used this?”. Whether that’s an old sweater or an electronic device. To quote Marie Kondo, “Discard everything that does not spark Joy”.

It can be so tempting to buy the latest products. When you are scrolling through Instagram and see an ad or perhaps notice a cute throw pillow when you are out shopping. However, with decluttering also comes the objective of keeping your space clean and organized always. An easy way to do that is by only buying what you need. Start making shopping lists, this will help you make more objective purchases.

Now that you have minimized your environment, it’s time to start cultivating a minimalist mindset for the rest of your life. This might seem like an overwhelming or abstract task, but it will help you maximize your time and money. Start by making a weekly schedule. After creating this, you can analyze what is on it and how that is adding to your life. This is to help set priorities and boundaries with your life. If you have drinks booked with your co-worker on Thursday night, ask yourself if that is the activity you most want to do or if you would prefer something else and suggest it to them? Ultimately the goal is to spend time during what aligns with your values. By creating a schedule, you will also be able to see what time you have free and how you can best use that time. Perhaps you can take up yoga or now you can book in a weekly decluttering session. Getting into the habit of asking yourself key questions will create an overall better relationship with yourself and ultimately those around you as well.

Want to Learn More?

If you still have questions about minimalism or want to gain a deeper understanding of this fascinating and life-changing topic, register for Ashton College’s Minimalism course.

Written by Maria Veras



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