Updated: May 29, 2020
Want to see if minimalism is right for you? Get started with these four simple tasks that you can tick off in a single day.
Minimalism, with its varying definitions, is a unique and personal process. It's beauty lies in the journey and progression as you discover what it means to you and in turn, how minimalism presents itself in your life.
For those new to the term, minimalism does not mean throwing out everything you own or living out of a suitcase, so you can put the garbage bags down (for now) and begin small with these simple steps to get you on your way.
Rediscover Your Home
Your home should be a place of comfort and peace. Often, clutter and excess possessions in our environment create unnecessary stress and lengthen your already lengthy 'to do' list.
So, step one is to simply rediscover your home. Take some time to really see the space. Assess what aspects and belongings bring you joy (all hail our minimalism Queen Marie Kondo). For example, if you love your 26 indoor plants, great, however is that draw full of outdated electrical cords benefiting anyone?
How does each room make you feel?
What does your home need more, or less of?
What things could you change to bring your home back to its intended purpose?
Don't let this process overwhelm you, the point is to begin to see all that you have and think big picture. Perhaps make a list of goals to work towards, knowing it won't all happen overnight. You're trying to reduce stress, not add to it!
Declutter Your Phone
We already know excess screen time isn't healthy. Filling up our phones with one-time apps and a camera roll a mile is also not going to do your mental health any favours. So settle in and give your phone a much-needed spring clean.
Don't know where to start? Give these a try:
Delete unnecessary apps
Only use the home screen for apps you use daily
Create folders to sort the remaining apps, eg. Banking, Social Media, Travel, etc.
Clean out your camera roll. Save photos to your cloud storage, create folders for easy access and delete the 34 selfies that didn't make the cut
Adjust your notification settings to only alert you to what's important
Turn on the blue light filter and set your do not disturb times
Update your home and lock screens to simple images that make you smile
If you have any additional phone clean out tips, share them with everyone in the comments!
Turn Your Coat Hangers
If you struggle to let go of excess clothing, this method is so simple and removes any second guessing. In your wardrobe, turn your coat hangers to face the opposite direction to what you would usually have them. Then, as you use an item and rehang, place it back the way you would normally, indicating that it's a piece you actually wear.
Fast forward a few months and you will uncover the portion of your wardrobe used on a regular basis. More importantly, the decision has slowly been made for you in regards to which items you should consider donating or selling. Seasonal pieces aside, of course.
This is one of my favourite decluttering tricks that I still use on a regular basis.
Lastly, I find a minimalism lifestyle can improve your mental state as much as it does your physical environment. If we are beginning to spring clean your home, phone and wardrobe, I encourage you to add your mind to the list.
Using your recently decluttered phone, download a meditation app. I use Insight Timer myself, but know others who use Calm. Spend some time sitting or laying still, focusing on your breathing and clearing your mind, if only for a few minutes a day. If you are new to the process it may take a little getting used to, but meditating badly is still better than not meditating at all!
You will find music and nature options available for free listening, however if you prefer a guided session, I have to recommend Sarah Blondin. Her words and recordings have been a staple in my life for years.
Whatever your preference, if you put as much energy into your mental state as you do your physical, you'll be on your way to a clearer mind!
These four steps can easily be actioned in an afternoon and I'd love to hear how you went with them. Should you choose to expand on these, be sure to check back to the minimalism section of the website for more ways to continue your journey towards a life of less stuff and more joy!
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