Ever felt the urge of simplifying your life? Do you feel you’re craving for more time to create more experiences? Are you saying yes? Then becoming a minimalist might be your thing. A minimalist rather has his focus on gaining more contribution and contentment in life through having more time for your passion, experiences and growth rather than having the focus only on having less stuff. This lifestyle helps the minimalist to question what is valuable in it’s personal life. A minimalist tries to achieve freedom. This means freedom from guilt, possession, fear, consumerism, depression, anxiety or worry. How to make room for the most important aspects of life such as health, freedom and an ease of mind?
If you want to walk the minimalist path, this might be a way to get started:
- Get rid of unecesairy stuff
- Question if when you need something, it is a true need or rather a desire
- If you feel like buying something, ask yourself why. Is it really necessary?
- Make a list of the things you would want to safe if your house suddenly catches fire
- Reclaim free-time
- Try to focus on the now
- Create rather than consume
- Focus on your inner happiness and health
- Invest in people you love rather than material
- Allow yourself personal growth
Is this something I really use?
This could be a good question to ask yourself when becoming a minimalist. Is it something I use frequently or has it been lying in the dust for ages? Would I really miss it if it’s gone?
Does it add any value to my life?
Being a minimalist doesn’t mean living in a shoebox without any belongings. If you work as a graphic designer, you could probably use a laptop. If your a chef, you might want to have some decent kitchen supply. It’s not bad to have stuff, it’s about having just enough and not more. What is useful to you? What is valuable?
To buy or not to buy?
Aha. That’s the question. I usually ask myself these three questions:
1. Do I really need it?
2. In case of no, do I really want it?
3. In case of yes, will I use it a lot? Will it bring me joy?
This is what I hear the most when it comes to getting rid of stuff. You could find yourself in this situation, for example, with a partner you share a home with: ‘Yeah but what if we would need it later?’
As a minimalist you can reply to that comment that whenever it will come to that point, you will figure it out. It’s very probable that either of you know someone where you can borrow that particular object from.
Do I keep it because I think I have to?
Wonder if it is something you keep because you really want to or if it’s something you keep because you think you have to. For example: if your friend gives you a candleholder, you might feel guilty to get rid of it because it was a friend’s gift.
Although I find this a tricky on, since you don’t want to insult the person who has been so nice to give you a gift. In this case, sometimes, I try to find if someone else I love or like would be happy with it. I explain to my friends that I am the happiest with less stuff and let them know that they are already a gift to me. Obviously not every friend of mine is buying my cheesyness, so whenever it comes to a ‘gift-moment’ this is what you can do as a minimalist:
Birthday and holiday presents
Ask a contributing for charity
On my 28th birthday, I invited friends over for beers and placed a jar on the table which said: Your company is the most valuable to give. However, if you’re in an unstoppable need of giving, feel free to drop a coin for Sea Sheperd. Haven’t found an interesting organization yet to support? Click here.
Ask for an experience
This can be numerous of things: a ticket for a concert or festival, a weekend-out, a massage, a course that you wanted to do for so long. Whatever trades the gift in for an experience. When you’re old and grey, an experience will be much more remembered than, for example, a sweater you had for christmas. The fun thing is that an experience can also be shared with someone else – double the experience!
Ask for something tasty
And that you can enjoy eating or drinking. Think of: chocolates or a good Belgian 😉 beer.
Remember it is all about trying. When you try, you’re already on your way to success. Don’t see a setback as a failure, since you are already trying to make a change – and real change doesn’t come overnight. There are all sorts of minimalist lifestyles – you can create your own ‘lifestyle template’. Whatever makes you feel it’s worth doing it.
Would you be ready for the challenge?