You might have heard the term ‘minimalism’ being bandied around a little of late. Like the words ‘hygge’ and ‘lagom’, they are buzzwords relating to how we live and how we run our homes. But what really is minimalism? For starters, don’t be put off by the term thinking it's all about living in a futuristic home with soul-less decor and empty rooms - it can be so much more than that!
What minimalism is about is living with the things that give you joy, and eliminating the rest. The idea is that if there is no need for certain things in your life or in your home, the ridding of them can be quite freeing. It helps you to live a life of reduced waste, in several ways, as well as a life that has just what you need - intentionally freeing up both physical and mental space.
But on a practical level, how can you go about living your life in this way? Here are some of the things that you can do to live life and have a home that is more minimal, as well as being more intentional.
Start Small By Saying No to the Good to Say Yes to the Great
The thought of clearing things out from your home, as well as your life, can feel pretty overwhelming. There can be lots to arrange and decide, so it helps if you take it one step at a time and not try to do everything all at once. The process that you will go through can also feel quite empowering, as you see that you can easily manage without certain things in your life. Start by learning to say no to things - no to plastic bags not just at the supermarket but also the department store; and while you're at the store, only saying yes to the coat you need but not the extra scarf when you already have three! It can be a bit of a skill to acquire, but can stand you in good stead for all aspects of your life.
Taking it room by room when organising at home is a good idea too, as sorting through the things that you do or don’t need in your life can be a cathartic experience. You might discover you're more minimal than you thought and only fill a box, or you might be in the spare-room-from-hell stage and need a cheap skip hire and a few big trips to Vinny's to sort your situation. Some good rules to go by when clearing the crap are asking if you have used or needed it in the past year. If the answer is no, and it isn’t an item that holds any sentimental value, then it's got to go. Sell what still has life left in it for someone else, or look for a way to recycle it. But when you have a de-cluttered home, you'll start to enjoy a de-cluttered mind.
“Clearing clutter—be it physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual—brings about ease and inspires a sense of peace, calm, and tranquility.”
― Laurie Buchanan, PhD
Prioritize Joy in The Material & Emotional
The next practical steps to take to simplify your life to max enjoyment is assessing your current commitments. They are called commitments because they are often the things that you have to do, but ranking them the most important to the least important is a good start to questioning where your joy actually lies. When you're thinking on and prioritizing all aspects of your to do list you might soon find there are some items you wish were not even on the list and some least essential commitments you might be able to eliminate altogether - because do they even matter if you're completely honest with yourself? Eliminate them one at a time or whenever the time is right.
As well as looking at the things that you ‘have’ to do, intentional living is also about bringing into your life more of what lights you up. Is there room for more of what you love now you've made the space, or do you simply want to exist in the open for awhile? Minimalism is clearing, clarifying and streamlining for the better, it doesn't have to minimize your social life, comfort, or career aspirations. This is why being intentional in your thoughts, decisions and actions goes hand in hand with the concept of minimal living. You can add more joy to your life quite easily when you make it a priority - whether through better quality possessions, friends who bring out the best in you, or work that is more aligned with your goals and purpose in life. And there is lightness of being on every level in that!
A Work in Progress & in Happiness
From your home, your clothing, belongings, and simply how you live your life, minimising and living intentionally can apply to and benefit all aspects of your life. It can even carry over into your work life and how you do (or don't do) things in your career. Of course, there are some things that are essential commitments in your work life and they need to be done, but there may be meetings and other parts of your life that aren’t necessary for you to be at, or even need to bed done it all. I hope you find joy in discovering what could work in your life and what can be cut out to free up your space, creativity and calm.
How are you using miminalism in your life to live more intentionally?
Let us know in the comments below.
“Edit your life frequently and ruthlessly. It's your masterpiece after all.”
― Nathan W. Morris