Minimalism is all about simplifying our way of life. Many of us think of it as a radical change and never make an attempt. In this post, I will discuss 3 simple ways to get started with minimalism. And believe me, it is not that difficult.
#1 Declutter your World
One of the basic ideas of minimalism is to reduce the clutter around you.
Clutter is a major hindrance towards focus. Also clutter naturally result in too many things around you and dealing with them requires lot of time and energy.
Here are some simple ways to get started with decluttering:
- Start with your desk. Look at everything and decide if it belongs there
- Trash the stuff you don’t need, treasure the stuff that’s important but not useful
- Next do the same to your E-Mail Inbox
- Move on with your wardrobe, living room, kitchen and beyond
Thumb rule is to start with easy things and experience the joy of clutter-free world. It will give you the needed inspiration to go beyond!
Don’t forget to combine this strategy with: Every single item belongs to its place. Otherwise, the clutter will start growing again!!
#2 Practice Replacement Shopping
Let’s go another step beyond the clutter and see how the clutter was created in the first place.
We love shopping. With more and more disposable income, we buy a lot of stuff. After a point in time, there are too many stuff around us and practically no way to use all of them. But we refuse to accept this reality and keep on adding more stuff – ultimately cluttering everything around us.
A simple strategy to stop this mess:
Try Replacement Shopping. The idea is simple – when something comes in, a similar thing goes out.
Let’s take shoes for example. How many new shoes have you purchased? What did you do with your old shoes? It is quite possible that the old ones still occupy space in the shoe rack (assuming they are not torn and still usable), though you don’t use them anymore.
So the next time you buy shoes, dispose the old ones. Either trash them or give away to someone who need them.
Extend this strategy to everything that you buy and you will soon enjoy the benefits of replacement shopping.
#3 Recognize Need vs Want
Need is something that is essential for our living. Want is something that is good to have.
We cannot do away with the need. We can postpone or eliminate our wants.
Milk and vegetables are needs. A smartphone that is twice as costly as your existing phone with minimal upgrade is a want.
Whenever you wish to purchase something, ask yourself these questions:
- Is it a need or a want?
- Can I postpone this buying decision?
- If not, are there cheaper alternatives with negligible quality/grade difference?
- Is it a temporary need or want, which can be satisfied without owning? (e.g., renting, borrowing etc.)
It may not be prudent to do this for all your purchases. But as a thumb rule, you can do this introspection if the value of the item is say > $100.
The idea is to welcome an expensive item into your life only if it is really really required.
- Declutter your world starting with simple things around you. Try and continue to keep them the same way
- Practice replacement shopping, when something comes in – a similar thing goes out
- Recognize need vs want. Get an expensive item only if you really really require it