There are basically two reasons why minimalism has become so popular these days.
The first reason is that a lot of people feel ‘trapped’ in the daily routine and society. Everyone works more and more to be able to buy more and more stuff that they can’t use because they don’t have the time. This means that a lot of people are overworked, underpaid and dissatisfied with their lives. To escape all this, people seek an alternative way of life: minimalism.
The second reason why minimalism is so popular is that we are now more aware than ever what we’re doing to this earth. With the melting of the ice caps and the pollution that’s going on, we see what we’re doing to this world we were gifted to live on. Everyone is questioning our future on this planet if we keep going like this. If you practice minimalism, there will be less trash thus less pollution.
Minimalism can be described in one sentence:
What Minimalism is really all about is reassessment of your priorities so that you can strip away the excess stuff — the possessions and ideas and relationships and activities — that don’t bring value to your life. – Colin Wright
In this article, I will talk about 7 little ways you can declutter your life with a minimalistic approach.
Get Rid Of Your Clothes
Not all of them of course, I don’t want you to be running around naked.
Get rid of all the variations of clothes you have, only keep 3 (or 4) sets which should cover all categories of your life.
Examples of categories may be:
- Casual outfit
- Classy outfit (for business)
- The ‘chill’ outfit, sloppy clothes that you like to wear when you’re home.
- (Gym clothes if needed)
Donate the rest of your clothes so someone else can be happy with them.
When you have these sets of clothes, you may want to buy 3 pairs of each outfit depending on how much you wear them, so you’re not smelling like a dumpster if you’re going to wear 1 outfit throughout the week.
Eat The Same Meals
A lot of people think that eating the same meals over and over is terrible and annoying. But it’s actually just simple. By having specific meals, filled with enough nutritious value and fantastic taste, you make it easier for yourself to stick to them.
A lot of people who are successful in the health area of their life apply this principle to their life. Bodybuilders also use this principle as it makes it easier to know what is coming in on a daily basis.
You basically need 4-6 to go to meals that you can rotate through on a weekly basis. Make sure that all these meals contain the nutrition you need. Think of enough proteins, legumes, and vegetables. Carbs can either be slow carbs (non-white carbs such as carbs from nuts and legumes like lentils) or fast carbs (white carbs such as pasta and rice). Also, make sure you consume healthy fats like avocado or fish.
Do your research and shuffle a bit until you find the right fit for you, everyone is different so that will differ from person to person.
An example of a meal (breakfast) could be:
- 2 organic whole eggs
- 20g of black beans
- Salsa and guacamole for the taste
As for drinks, water should be your go to, always.
Get Rid Of Debt And Start Saving
I’ve never been in debt my whole life until I decided to go to college. The way college debt works here in The Netherlands is a bit complicated than the American debt.
I don’t have to pay the debt until I earn the minimum income of a 40 hour work week (which I can determine myself because I have my own business). If I don’t make that income within a certain amount of years (not sure how many) I won’t have to pay anything, ever.
Being in debt can be a pain in the ass, as I’ve heard from others.
The goal should be to either eliminate debt out of your life or never get in debt at all.
If you’re in debt, focus on paying that off as fast as you can. Hire a financial planner or another expert to help you.
If you’re not in debt, keep it that way. Start putting aside a certain amount of money every month and put it in your emergency fund. This is your backup if everything falls down, make sure you can live at least 3 months of that (preferably 6 months).
Once you have that in place, you can start investing in your own business, stocks, real estate or whatever you want to make money with. It’s crucial to have multiple sources of income instead of just your job. This way you’ll be more financially stable.
The next steps:
- Get out of debt and stay out of debt.
- Save for an emergency fund.
- Put money aside to invest.
The Walk Of Trash
I’ll explain what I mean with ‘the walk of trash’ right now.
It basically means walking through your house and throwing everything unnecessary away. All the small stuff you never use but think you’ll use ‘somewhere in the future’. Do you even believe yourself? If you’re not using it now, you’re never going to. And if you want to use it later, you could just buy it when the time’s right (unless it’s one of a kind).
Step 1. Put all the (really) important stuff at the same place or in the same drawer or even room.
Step 2. Pick up a trash bin or a trash bag.
Step 3. Walk around the house and throw everything away you don’t use on a daily basis.
Step 4. Look into your trash bin and trash bags to see if you can sell or donate some of the stuff, so it doesn’t get wasted.
Step 5. Feel free
The most important thing here is that you only keep the bare minimum, everything that you’re definitely using, like a knife to cut your food with or glasses to drink out of. Something like old shoes is not worth keeping.
Throw Your TV Out The Window
I’m serious, you know how much time a person spends watching TV on a weekly basis? According to statista, the average time spent watching TV per week by people living in the US was 24 hours and 24 minutes in 2017. The number for 2018 is currently forecasted to be 22 hours and 30 minutes per week. This still means that you’re having a second part-time job, watching TV.
Now, don’t think you’re an exception, you’re probably watching way more television than you think.
It’s a waste of:
- Money, the upfront costs plus the costs of the cable and Netflix.
- Time, imagine what you could do with 20 extra hours per week.
- Attention, watching TV at a young age is proven to lead to attention deficiency when children grow older. Trying to multitask while watching TV also makes you less productive.
- Awareness, if you’re watching TV, you can’t be aware of your surroundings and experience freedom in a way that you would experience in nature.
- Relationships, if you’re watching TV on your own while you could also spend time nurturing positive relationships. Your relationships will suffer because you watch TV.
- Creativity, if you’re watching TV, you cannot create thus your creativity will not get nurtured.
If throwing your TV straight out the window is too much for you. Try scheduling one day a week where you can watch as much TV as you want or try a whole week without TV.
“So, I can never watch TV again?” If you have a friend with a TV – which you most likely do – you can suggest watching a particular movie or programme at his place and talk about it afterward. Deepening your relationship while also watching what you wanted to watch.
So no, you CAN watch TV, just not at your place.
If you’re really serious about becoming a minimalist, check out this 21-day journey to minimalism post. It shows you the steps Joshua Fields Millburn took to become a minimalist.
Focus On Your True Needs
What are your life goals and priorities at the moment? Do you even have them?
If not, I recommend you read my post ‘Life Vision : HOW TO Create A Vision For Your Life’ on my blog and start setting goals for your life right now!
When you’ve set your goals and priorities, you know what to focus on. Focusing only on the most critical parts of your life will help you free your mind of all the clutter.
Prioritize what’s most important in your life RIGHT NOW. For every goal you have, determine the main things you need and get rid of all the things you don’t need.
If your goal is to add 5 lbs of muscle in 6 months, you won’t have any lab material lying around your house because that wouldn’t make any sense. Minimize everything to the stuff you need to achieve or work on your goals, everything else can go.
This focus leads to less stuff lying around the house you don’t need. Believe me, this feels amazing.
Minimizing time is also a way to become more of a minimalist. Time is one of the most valuable assets you have. You can get more money, but you can’t get more time. This is why you have to be very careful with what you spend your time on.
What do you spend your time on these days?
I hope you work towards a goal, nurture relationships or your peace of mind. Spending your time on low-value activities like watching TV is a waste, you could be doing much more fun stuff than that.
It’s important to know where you’re spending your time on, try to focus on the highest value activities (everything that moves you forward) in your life and minimize the time you spend on low-value activities (everything that keeps your attention from doing high-value activities).
Besides knowing what you spend your time on, it’s also important to know with whom you spend your time. Nurture the positive relationships (relationships that make you feel good) and get rid (or severely minimize) of negative relationships (relationships that are holding you back in some sort of way).
Time is of the essence here, be careful with it, before you know it it’s gone.
Try applying at least 1 of these tips to your life right now and see how you feel.
If you’re feeling anxious, don’t be afraid, over the course of 7 days you’ll feel better and better. Believe me, you’ll feel freer than you feel right now.
This post is written by Marnix Buijs who is a blogger, freelance content writer/marketer and online entrepreneur who helps people find their true selves on his blog. He also helps companies spread their message through their content as a freelancer.
How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.
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