In a world of materialism, differentiating between wants and needs is essential to living a meaningful life. It is imperative to promote the most valuable things and reject unwanted things which cause distraction. This is what essentially defines a minimalistic lifestyle.
Unlike popular beliefs, minimalism is not living with limited items; instead, it is a learning process that helps people to understand the necessity of things a person can’t live without and removal of unnecessary materialistic goods that clutter our lives.
Minimalism helps focus on what’s essential and simplifies our life. Although it might seem impossible in today’s day and age of consumerism, in this article, we will attempt to understand how minimalism can help us live better and how you can start living a minimalist lifestyle.
What is a Minimalist Lifestyle?
Minimalist living is defined as living in an all-inclusive lifestyle which has a clutter-free and minimal environment with more space for achieving something meaningful. Today’s society is full of worldly pleasure and offers a long list of material goods that claim to provide satisfaction. But with a minimalist lifestyle, one put an end to the cacophony of the materialistic world around us. By having a minimalist life, a person can focus on their needs rather than unnecessary wants. Living a minimalist life incorporates fruitful utilization of money, time, energy and thoughts.
In today’s over-stimulating world, living a minimalist lifestyle can reduce the influence that advertisements and corporations have over our lives. This means that people will stop purchasing more of similar goods in order to satisfy their desire. Thus, minimalist living is a counterculture which is contrary to the society that boasts of having worldly possessions.
Minimalist living emphasizes on finding more joy in pursuing rather than owning. Therefore, with an aim to remove unneeded clutter from the life, several people are now opting to live a minimalist life rather than accumulating material possessions.
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Benefits of a Minimalist Lifestyle
- Removal of clutter
While concentrating on accumulating worldly possession, people often forget about more worthy things. However, a minimalist lifestyle helps people remove the clutter, make better use of their space and live a harmonious life. To reiterate, this doesn’t mean getting rid of all your possessions; instead, it means the removal of things which have no real utility. It is a way which teaches to say no to the things which are no longer required.
- Improves Clarity
A minimalist lifestyle helps to improve clarity in one’s life. Once you start viewing everything from a lens of minimalism, you start identifying the things that really matter to you and make you happy. Minimalist living teaches the way to stay away from materialistic items and in the long run, will help a person to have more definite goals in life.
- Renders freedom
With the removal of materialistic goods, freedom of mind lurks in the life of minimalist people. Being free is the most important benefit which a minimalist lifestyle renders. It gives freedom from undue stress, negative energy, worries, etc. Naturally, this impacts one’s life as well and helps cement strong relationships with family and friends.
- Ease in Living Life
A person living a minimalist lifestyle will only purchase things that they actually need. Once they have them in possession, they can relax their mind and live a comfortable lifestyle. Minimalist living stops a person from clinging onto worldly possessions, which causes stress, tension, a fear of losing it, etc. Thus to simplify living, one needs to have inner contentment and look beyond the materialistic lifestyle, which is what a minimalist lifestyle helps in achieving.
- Helps in financial savings
Needless to say, with a minimalist lifestyle, a person can free himself from the clutches of consumerism and materialism. As such, they start having a lesser obsession with possessing worldly pleasure and remain content with the things they require. This invariably reduces the money spent on purchasing materialistic things and helps them save more. Furthermore, minimalist living reduces pressure and financial stress, thereby leading to a happier and peaceful life.
- Lower maintenance cost
With minimal possession of items, people have to clean and maintain fewer goods. This means that there fewer electronics, accessories, clothes, shoes, and décor items to be maintained. This further ensures more savings and provides enough free time, which can be utilized fruitfully to achieve other important goals in life.
- A boost in self-confidence
Minimalist living also instills self-confidence in the mind as minimalist people no longer run behind monetary pleasure, expensive jewelry or clothes to validate their choices. They start believing in the beauty of simplicity. It not only reduces unnecessary expenses but also makes a person feel good about themselves, not because of their materialistic possession, but about who they really are.
How to Start Living a Minimalist Lifestyle?
- The de-cluttering process
The first step to living a minimalist lifestyle is to de-clutter all the things that you no longer use and will not use in the future. This is a long process as it takes some amount of time in understanding which things to discard and which ones keep. De-cluttering can be done in a few steps, with the first step being the removal of all un-useful items. After living without those items for a few months, a person can realize how little things they require for their day-to-day activities.
- Stay mindful
For living a minimalist life, a person needs to have inner satisfaction and live in the present. So anything which makes a person stressed, a person must change it. In other words, it means being aware of your situation, weaknesses, strengths, and identity to ensure that you are able to deal with your challenges in the best possible manner.
- Assess your relationships
Another imperative aspect of living a minimalist is to spend time with people who genuinely are important in life. A person can have a big group of friends, but all of them might disappear in the time of need. One of the ways to live more fruitfully is to interact with such people lesser and focus on the ones that actually matter. Spending time in the company of warm and caring people can help develop a positive outlook towards life and also give the confidence to work towards one’s goals.
- Leverage time wisely
Time is money, therefore, wasting it on attending forced parties or gatherings, being distracted, or with unimportant people in your life, is not advisable. Thus, in a minimalist lifestyle, it is important to utilize time wisely and leverage it in doing things that contribute to an individual’s well-being. In a minimalist lifestyle, a person must focus on learning new things or prepare oneself to achieve their target and use their time prudently for the same.
- Create a savings account
A significant benefit of living a minimalist lifestyle is financial freedom. As this kind of lifestyle encourages people in discarding unnecessary materialistic items and having things which are genuinely needed, people often live a debt-free life, with reduced expenditure. So in the process of living as a minimalist, it can be useful to open a savings account and deposit every month’s saving, which can serve as a safety net in the long run. Furthermore, the lack of readily available cash lying in the house will further discourage unnecessary spending.
Things to Remember while Starting a Minimalist Lifestyle
- Keep a checklist
Living a minimalist life includes focusing on things which are of utmost priority. These can be anything from the clearing of credit card debts, to spending time with family, changing a job, or getting rid of unwanted items. Thus, prepare a ‘to-do list’ and follow it to de-clutter your life from materialism.
- Have a clutter-free zone
Take a hard look at your house and identify an area that you can start at. The first thing is to clear off the duplicate items and discard them. Next create a clutter-free zone in any corner of the house be it the kitchen, bedroom, or balcony, and use it as an inspiration to live life with minimal possessed items. Next, replicate this across your entire house.
- Travel lightly
Whenever you are traveling, alone or with family, go for a place that’s nearby to ensure that you spend the minimum amount of time traveling. This will also help you prioritize what you should take with you and avoid an overloaded luggage bag. The idea is to ensure that you are able to live a minimal life even outside your house.
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Minimalism denotes a simple lifestyle with possession of essential things. And for the last time, it doesn’t mean you should discard all worldly possession; instead, it helps you focus on keeping materialistic belongings to a minimum and prioritizing other aspects of life as well. It isn’t about living an aesthetic life but embracing a philosophy which helps a person learn to remain content with limited needs. It provides freedom of the mind and helps a person get freed from the baggage of consumerism and materialism. Minimalism, therefore, indicates having a debt-free life with lesser possessions, curbing off unnecessary expenses and focusing on the things that truly matter.
Shivam is a passionate content writer with Masters in journalism. A mutiple-award-winning writer, he brings over a decade of experience as a BFSI writer. In fact, he himself is known in his circle for sound financial advice. A writer by day and a reader by night, Shivam enjoys researching and writing on various financial topics, including credit, stock market, crypto, taxes etc. When he is not spending his time penning down an informative article or opinion, he can be found playing with his kids or collecting stamps.
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