(ENG only) There can be many reasons why someone decides to turn themselves to minimalism. When I first heard of it for example, I was fascinated by the idea of learning to live with less to create and build a life that finally could be really aligned with my values, in which I could gain more mental clarity and realize what really matters to me the most. I was already living abroad and constantly looking for that “something” that could make me feel happy about my life and who I was. After throwing a few things in my suitcase and experiencing the refreshing benefit of living with minimized possessions, I “relapsed” when things got tough, started shopping mindlessly again. I was still convinced that shopping could make me feel better. And I was constantly on the hunt for something new that could fill a void. As if my well being was strictly depending on what and how much I owned.
Minimalism is a lifestyle as well as a mindset and can mean something different to each one of you. If you’re just getting started with it and want to learn more about it and need a little help, or if you’re already familiar with it but relapsed and need something that will help you get back to the right mindset, than this post comes at the right time for you.
8 simple steps to minimalism
- FIND YOUR WHY. Maybe your moving to a different house, city or country and you don’t want to bring along unnecessary stuff. Maybe you’re trying to create a life with more purpose and less distractions. Maybe you’re trying to save more money. Find the reason(s) that really spark joy for your and really speak to your heart, the real you that you want to become and the things that you want to achieve thanks to minimalism. If it helps, write everything down and make a little list that you can always refer to whenever you need a little reminder.
- GET INSPIRED. Luckily nowadays there’s plenty of content about minimalism, it’s impressive! You can find lots of good content anywhere: social media (Instagram or Pinterest for some visual inspo), blogs or Youtube channels, books (here you can find my favorite books about minimalism and simple intentional living), documentaries (here are 5 must-watch documentaries to inspire minimalism and simplicity on a wide spectrum). Finding inspiration during your journey is really important because it will give that boost of confidence and motivation to keep going. Create a vision board, write down your favorite book, do anything that will infuse you positivity and will keep you inspired and empowered.
- FORGET PERFECTIONISM AND COMPARISON TO OTHERS. One thing is looking for inspiration. One thing though, is to copy others or try to imitate them in the attempt of “doing things correctly”. Well, there is no right or wrong way of doing things and I wish I realized this right at the beginning of my journey. This is a lifestyle, a choice, therefore you don’t have to follow a strict set of rules and you can do things your way and at your own pace. And if you do “fail” and things don’t immediately go as hoped or planned, well… don’t worry. Always remind yourself why you’re going through this big lifestyle change in the first place and try to do better next time. And be patient, changes don’t happen overnight!
- DECLUTTER. A clear space equals a clear mind. Decluttering and minimizing your possessions to the ones that serve a purpose is not everything that minimalism is about but surely it’s an important part of it. By decluttering your possessions mindfully and tidying up your space you’ll slowly achieve that mental clarity that will help you stay focused on what really matters to you and set your priorities going forward. (click here for simple decluttering tips)
- THINK SIMPLE. Minimalism is not only a lifestyle but also a mindset. Travel light, eat simple and healthy, streamline your habits and your routine, try to borrow swap DIY and thrift as much as possible, prefer multipurpose items, ditch duplicates. These are just simple examples of how you can simplify the way you think and act.
- ELIMINATE DISTRACTIONS AND FIND ALTERNATIVES TO SHOPPING. If reading a lifestyle magazine or website (let’s say fashion or home decor) triggers you and makes you want to go out on a shopping spree, cancel your subscription or newsletter. Instead of taking a walk at the shopping mall, take a walk out in nature. Eliminate anything that entices you to buy more, spend more, crave more. Remember that the less stuff you own, the less your stuff owns you.
- CHOOSE AND PREFER EXPERIENCES OVER STUFF. Experiences and sharing moments with our loved ones make us way happier and richer than any material possession that we own or buy ever will. Go to concerts, travel, hang out with friends over a homemade dinner, you name it. Nothing will fill your heart more than spending quality time doing something you really love.
- PRACTICE MINDFULNESS AND GRATITUDE. The more you’ll be able to focus on what you own and really appreciate it, the more you’re going to feel like you don’t need much to be a happy, thriving person.
I hope this little beginner’s guide and my simple steps to minimalism will help you during your journey. Here you can find some video resources:
- 30 days of less: a simple guide to less stuff, less clutter, less stress (+ free PDF printable)
- things to do instead of going shopping
- how to live with less
- benefits of a no-spend challenge
Good luck and all best.