Latest From The Blog:MINIMALISM
What is minimalism or a minimalist life?
Minimalist living is an all-inclusive lifestyle – having a minimal, clutter-free environment is a large part of it, but it’s so much more than that. The minimalist lifestyle includes looking at the way you spend your time, your money, and even the way you think. Learn more about what minimalism is and how to start living a minimalist life.
How do I declutter my stuff and my home?
First off understand that possessions aren’t inherently bad, it’s our relationship and approach that is often all wrong. We want to make sure we only have things that we use often, are useful and don’t add any value to our lives. We want to understand the difference between organizing things and decluttering, because they aren’t the same and most people fall into this trap.
Start out with determining why you want to downsize or declutter. If you’re able to identify your why, it will carry you through the tough times.
Start with going through one room at a time, sorting things into three piles: discard, donate, and keep. Don’t start with things that will be difficult to downsize, like heirlooms or nostalgic items, start with the easy things and work up to those items. Go with your gut feeling, make snap judgements, all these things can be replaced if you make a mistake, so just keep moving.
What about clothes, how do I declutter or downsize my closet?
Clothes are a very personal thing, we each have our own style and approach. For me I have a very minimal wardrobe, but more people need a more practical minimalist wardrobe. Most people only actually wear 20% of their wardrobe regularly and we tend to convince ourselves we will wear things more often than we do. So consider building a capsule wardrobe so that you wear everything in you closet and you love everything you wear.
How do I make a minimalist home?
Start with determine what is important to you, what are your values and purpose. Being a minimalist is focusing on what is important to you in your life and reducing everything else down to the bare essentials. A minimalist home is one that is designed, organized, and contains objects which help you achieve your goals and remove distractions from what’s important.
For most it’s about removing clutter because it’s bringing stress, if we understand how clutter stands in our way, we suddenly have an internal drive to make the change. If our schedule is crazy and we are always busy, if we understand what’s important we quickly realize what to say yes to and what to say no to.
Do you have to have an empty house or no possessions to be a minimalist?
Nope, actually it’s more often the opposite. Minimalism is simply living with intention. We focus on goals and what’s important and remove whatever doesn’t help us achieve that. For some it means a super basic lifestyle, others may have less than the average person, but you’d be surprised how much they have. The point is the possessions they have only contribute to the life they want to lead, not distract from it.
Do you ever buy things?
Sure do! The difference is I tend to consider the item for a long time, do research to find the right item for me and question the purchase a lot. In many ways I’m in a better position to have things that some people who are saddled with debt, because I live a debt free life and when I buy, I often buy high quality that will last a long time.
How many possessions do you own?
There are some that do the 100-thing challenge or 300 item challenge, but I have never tried that. I found it pretty easy to downsize and simplify, others might need a rigid framework to make it happen. I done estimates and if I count every single thing (ex: each fork vs forks as one) I have roughly 1,068 items total. The break down – Bath: 35, Kitchen: 130, Bed: 15, Closet: 129, Book shelf: 45, Futon storage area: 77, Couch area: 15, Shoes: 5 pairs, Tools: 270, Camping gear: 76, Hobbies items: 244, Outdoor items: 27. The tools are so many people I built my own house, plus I like building things.
That changes over time, I am constantly decluttering, removing and upgrading items over time.
Why do you live a minimalist life?
For a long time I never really considered myself a minimalist, but over time I gravitated to the label, I do live in 150 square feet after all! For me it all started when I was laid off in the recession of 2009, I realized that there was more to life than work, money and material possessions. I got real clear on my goals and went after them, minimalism is just a result of me thinking about how I was going to achieve the life I wanted to lead.
From there I left my job to become a full time blogger, I traveled the world and live in other countries, I continue to spend more time focusing on friends and family and do projects that interest me. Being debt free was a major goal of mine and I wanted to have a lifestyle that was on my own terms, flexible and free to do with as I see fit.