Have you ever felt overwhelmed by the amount of stuff in your home? Then the Minimalism lifestyle movement may be for you. Guest blogger Nicole Lutze explains.
Have you ever felt overwhelmed by the amount of stuff in your home? Then the Minimalism lifestyle movement may be for you. Guest blogget Nicole Lutz explains.
What is Minimalism?
Minimalism is based upon the idea of freeing yourself from the heavy burden that can come with the ownership of excess stuff. Minimalists believe by getting rid of material possessions that don’t serve them, they can focus on what’s most important to them in life – things like health, happiness, family, relationships, friends and community.
How to start
According to the Minimalism advocates it’s about choosing items which make you happy and ridding your life of the rest. Best-selling author Marie Kondo, believes you should choose to keep items that “spark joy” rather than abide by strict number limiting rules (for example, a rule that you should only own ten books).
To begin her process of cleaning up, Kondo says you should work by category not location.
That is, take all of your stuff in a category and put it in a central location. Clothes, shoes, sneakers, books, magazines, gadgets and e-devices, comics, old DVDs, jewellery, whatever creates clutter. Then go through and hold each item and see if it “sparks joy” or not. If it doesn’t, then let it go. Also remember that your trash is treasure for someone else. So drop your stuff at an op shop, charity bin, a Brisbane Council Resource Recovery Centre or sell it on Gumtree.
Minimalists.com encourages a 30 day game that sees you purging your home of the same number of items for the day of the month. For example, on day one you get rid of one item, day 27 you get rid of 27 items. Eventually you will whittle your belongings down to a level you feel comfortable with or you are left with only the items you can’t bear to part with.
What you’ll gain
One of the big benefits of having less stuff is the acquisition of time. Some minimalists claim, for example, that they have much more free time because they aren’t constantly tidying up and shopping. Some also say that getting dressed every day becomes a quick process because they are no longer faced with the daily dilemma of drawers and wardrobes full of clothes but nothing to wear.
By going through every item you own and considering whether or not you will remove it from your home, you are forced to answer some personal questions about your beliefs, values and passions.
Quality over quantity
Having less stuff means you can afford to buy better quality items when you do make purchases. You’ll usually end up saving money in the long run despite the more expensive purchases, as you won’t need to replace the items so frequently.
By choosing to make less purchases you can save money and free yourself of debt, as well as the associated stress.
Minimalism is about purchasing items thoughtfully instead of impulsively. By removing yourself from the consumer rat-race you regain power over your life and beliefs. You will no longer be a slave to passing fashions and fleeting trends.
With all of the time and money you’ll save by being a minimalist, you can focus on experiences such as travel. The memories will outlast any new purchase you could possibly make. Bonus: packing as a minimalist is a breeze!
A final word
Having a household purge will feel fantastic, but it’s wasteful if you then go out and replace everything because you haven’t kicked your habits to the curb. Remember that minimalists actively choose to own less. So always question each new purchase before you make it: is it necessary; is there an alternative; what does it cost. If in doubt, wait a month and then see if you still need the item.