The Minimalist Lifestyle: How to Have More with Less
Do you feel like you have a lot of STUFF to keep up with in your daily life?
Many of us do. We have to keep up with the bills, upkeep of our cars and homes, while making it all happen around our work schedule. There’s so many things we have to remember to do.
Do you believe life doesn’t have to be that way? Of course not!
Let me introduce you to the minimalist lifestyle.
Being a minimalist can mean several things. Overall it represents living a more simplified life. For some it may mean letting go of many material possessions. For others it may mean living in a more organized space. At the extreme end, it may even mean living off the grid.
When I was younger, I imagined living in a big house (I watched too much HGTV). Now, here I am living in a 1 bedroom apartment and I think it’s the perfect amount of space for me. I’ve never liked having to pack up and move. It was enough dealing with it in college during the beginning and end of the school year, then I moved into my first apartment and moved out within 6 months to begin life as a travel nurse. It was then I realized I didn’t want to have a lot of ‘stuff’. Since then I keep my number of personal belongings very limited. Aside from my bed, couch and washer and dryer and a few more things, I could fit my things into my car be on my merry way.
It’s a good feeling. It’s even greater to know that you can let go of things if you need to. The memories and experiences in life have become more important to me as I’ve gotten older. Inside my home I like space and like to keep my things organized. I don’t have a lot of things on my walls or out and about. I like to keep it simple. Some take the feng shui of their home environments seriously. Feng shui is a complex philosophical system of harmonizing everyone with the surrounding environment. For most of us today it’s all about having our physical environment laid out in a way that promotes the flow of positive energy.
BENEFITS OF MINIMALISM-
1. More freedom to pursue things that are important to you and spend time with the ones you love.
2. Less mental, emotional and physical attachments to material things that keep us stuck in the past.
3. Less upkeep. You don’t have to put extra time into taking care of your things.
4. Desire to enjoy experiences and make memories.
5. Easy to move and travel. Wouldn’t it be nice to know at any time you can just pack up your few possessions and hit the road? There are people who live a nomadic lifestyle. I follow Rosetta Thurman of Happy Black Woman. She fits all of her things into one suitcase and travels the world. #minimalistgoals
6. Clearer mind. Have you ever looked around at your disorganized home and felt overwhelmed, anxious or depressed? Clearing your space of unwanted possessions and getting organized helps you feel so much better!
HOW TO MAKE THE SHIFT?
First it is important to understand what being a minimalist means to you. Write down how you envision your minimalist lifestyle. Do you want to have less clutter, travel more frugally, eat simply or dress simply? Are there financial reasons, such as reducing debt, for your desire to live a simpler life or are the reasons more personal, health related reasons, such as decreasing stress?
If you would like to give your home space more of a minimalist vibe, start with one room at a time and go through your possessions and get rid of things that you barely use or look at. You can sell them or give them away. It helps to know that it will benefit someone else. Organize your possessions and put away infrequently used items. Keep the colors in your home light and airy. This helps you feel better mentally and emotionally. You will notice your stress and anxiety levels will decrease.
Some people may have a car or two that they are making payments on. Some people completely get rid of their cars and eliminate the need to make payments or keep up the maintenance. Others may sell their car and opt for a cash car. Do we really need these expensive cars that depreciate in value as soon as we drive off the lot?
When we are constantly distracted with things beyond our control we begin to neglect ourselves. Being a minimalist has health benefits. You may choose to be more conscious of what you are eating, preferring simple unprocessed foods.
Adopting a minimalist lifestyle requires a mindset shift. You have to be serious about making the change and committed to your personal cause. The best way to create consistent change is to have a support system of people like yourself.
Feel free to share about your interest in living a more simplified life. #SoundOffInTheComments!