“Minimalism is not about having less, it’s about making room for what matters. – Unknown”
With the advance of internet, smartphones, social media and advertising, the world has become a very complicated place to live in. With so much chaos and stuff happening around, there is a steap rise in the level of dissatisfaction we face in our lives and finding happiness is difficult. We do a lot of thing in order to fill the void and one thing we do is we believe the popular advertisements and videos that say ‘if we use this smartphone we would be successful’, ‘if we use this fairness cream, we will get our dream job’, and the list goes on. They make us believe that everything that they are marketing is really important for us and we often fall into their trap.But let’s be honest, That does not happen.
Cellphones, social media and emails are supposed to help us stay connected with our loved ones but in reality, it distracts us and keep us away from the real relationships, the more meaningful work and brings in more unrest.
Same is the thing, with emotions, When someone does bad to us we forgive them but we don’t forget. This is only causing our emotions to take a toll on our lives by holding onto the burden.
Minimalism is a tool that can help you find freedom from all this. That does not mean you have to throw everything away and live in a barn with no facilities around. Minimalism is stepping away from the materialism, focusing on what is important and only having the necessary stuff around.
You may say Are you sure? It does not mean you have to throw away everything that you own? Yes Absolutely not. There is nothing wrong with owning things that provide some meaning to your life, but if that thing is making your life miserable, it needs to go.
Let’s take an example of shifting the house. Suppose you are shifting your house and you have packed everything in two boxes In Box one there is so much stuff that you haven’t used in a long time or didn’t have any idea you owned it. stuuff thst is not giving any benefits what so ever but adding up to the burden and cost of shifting. The Second box, on the other hand, is filled with stuff that you use regularly and stuff that provides meaning to your life. Which one would you be happy to shifting and spending on? I believe its the second one.
So how do we simplify our lives? How do we incorporate Minimalism into our lives?
- Declutter your House: There is so much stuff lying around our house, that is just taking up space and we don’t use it. There may be certain things we think we would use on special occasions but those special occasions just don’t come. It’s time to get rid of them.
- Declutter your closet: Having a lot of clothes can confuse us on what to wear and oftentimes a lot of clothes are just lying there and we don’t use them. Look for stuff that you have not used in the past one year except seasonal stuff. Get Rid of them
- Declutter your Time: Plan your day well and stick to it. Avoid taking in ad-hoc activities. Cut down your time watching TV and doing unnecessary stuff. Limit checking your phone and email frequently and stick to a specific time. Avoid going to events and gatherings that do not make you feel truly happy.
- Declutter your Finances: Identify the reason for your impulse buying and work on it. Avoid the temptation to buy things that aren’t truly necessary in your life. Get rid of your credit cards.
- Declutter your Phone and Laptop: Delete all unnecessary apps, videos, photos, and documents that are taking up space and battery. Organise everything in folders to make them easy to find. Turn off the notification bell and stick to specific time for checking your phone. The same steps can be applied for your laptop.
- Declutter your Emotions and Health: Understand your emotions and identify the root of your behavior and work on it. Forgive, forget and let go of the bad experiences from the past and focus on living in now and present. Make it a habit to workout regularly and give your body proper rest at the same time. Practice Gratitude.
- Apply the 80/20 Rule from the Pareto theory to help you make better decisions. Like in your closet there are 20 % clothes that you wear 80 % of the time. So the 20 % clothes are the ones you should keep
- There may be some stuff in your house and closet that may fall under the maybe or not sure category. Keep those items for some more time say 6 months to 1 more year. If you do not use them even in that period, they are better of out of your house.
- You need not throw away the stuff that you want to get rid of. You can either organize a yard sale or use online websites that sell second-hand goods and electronics and make some money. You can also donate it in charity to the needy people. The feel-good factor you will get from it itself will make your day.
- Avoid performing the declutter all at once and do it in small batches spanned across a few weeks or months to ensure you do not get overwhelmed and upset of losing all that stuff.
- Avoid falling into the trap of materialism and concentrate on Essentialism to prevent impulse buying in future
- Have a purpose in life.
What are the benefits of practicing Minimalism?
- You get rid of all the excess stuff
- You get rid of the discomfort and upset
- You save a lot of time, energy, resources and money
- You live in the present
- You are emotionally stable and peaceful
- You focus on your health and wellbeing
- You grow as an individual and find purpose in your life
- You have better relationships with your self and those around you
With all these benefits Minimalism creates a sense of abundance, prosperity, and positivity in your life truly serving to the saying “Minimalism is not about having less, it’s about making room for what matters. – Unknown”