When we hear the word “minimalism,” many of us instantly think of a very spacious and nearly bare home. Or maybe we think of the type of person who owns 100 things or less and spends their time traveling the world.
Despite what minimalism might look like to us on the outside, it has everything to do with what it can do for us on an inner level. It frees us from the anxiety, the overwhelm, the distraction and all sorts of other negative emotions we experience in today’s consumer-driven society.
Minimalism is really just another word for intentionality, and the good news is that you don’t have to go all the way by tossing out almost everything you own and drilling it all down to less than 100 essential items. You can use the following starter tips below for easy and painless ways to think and live more like a minimalist.
Get rid of duplicate items
This is an easy step anyone can take to instantly declutter and feel much better for doing it–without having to go through the emotional stress of deciding whether an item is really worth keeping. Just say no to duplicates. If you have more than one version of a specific item, keep the one that you love and use the most, and then toss or give away all the extras. Coffee mugs, linens, clothes and cosmetics are a few common items to get you started.
Buy something new, toss something old
Just because you’re deciding to take a more minimalist approach to your lifestyle doesn’t mean you can’t ever indulge in something new that simply makes you feel good. The real problem occurs when things to start to pile up so much that it starts to negatively impact your mental wellbeing, so make it a general rule to toss or give away an old item every time you bring a new item into your home.
Create at least one clutter-free space
We’d all really love to live in completely clutter-free homes, but who has the time to completely purge their whole house or apartment? Unless it’s to prepare for moving to a new place, not many of us can dedicate an entire week to decluttering every single room. So instead, keep one small space (or even an entire room) a clutter-free area. Good examples include your home office desk, the living room coffee table, the kitchen counter space, the entryway or your bedroom.
Streamline your meals
If you’re always stressing over what to eat, try picking just a few favorite meals and sticking to them to keep it simple. Streamlining your meals will help you waste less food as you become better at estimating how much of each ingredient you really need. In addition, you’ll likely become much more efficient at prepping your meals, saving you both time and energy, and your waistline may seriously benefit as a result of a better planning process.
Unplug for one day a week
Physical clutter is something we all have to deal with, but these days, digital clutter is also a pretty big problem. Many of us stay completely plugged in to email, social media, texting and general internet browsing all day, every day. It’s really worth going on a digital detox once a week on one of your days off. Using that day to spend more time with friends and family, get outdoors, have new adventures will leave you feeling refreshed for the upcoming week.
Remember, you don’t have to take minimalism to the extreme to benefit from it. Use it where you need it the most, start small, and take notice of how it positively impacts your wellbeing.