Minimalist Living

This Good House Keeping magazine article by Hannah Jeon explains how start living simple, purposeful lifestyle with “minimalist living”.

Minimalism is the intentional promotion of the things we most value in life by removing anything that distracts us from it.

– Joshua Becker, the writer of the Becoming Minimalist blog and author of The Minimalist Home: A Room-by-Room Guide to a Decluttered, Refocused Life (Good House Keeping)

“Minimalism” is nothing new — it actually has its roots in Buddhism, and was first coined in the mid ’60s by a British art theorist.

– Kyle Chayka, author of The Longing for Less: Living with Minimalism (source: Good House Keeping)

Hannah suggests the following tips to create a minimalist home and start living minimally:

  • Focus on one room at a time: “One thing that’s clear, though, is that it’s overwhelming to try to tackle an entire house at once — which is why you should focus on one room at a time. Direct your time and energy into the easiest room first — then use that as inspiration for the others as you go through the rest of your house.
  • Start with the visible areas first. “Start with the visible areas first — so things like shelves, furniture, and things on the floor — before moving onto the hidden areas in the room, like organizing your drawers, cabinets, and the closet.
  • Declutter by keeping only the essentials. “Start decluttering, a good rule of thumb is to keep only the items that are truly essential — and meaningful — to you. Advises Becker: ‘Is this something that is bringing value to my life? Is this something that is helping me create the home that I want? Or is it actually distracting from it?’
  • Limit your decorations to meaningful items. “It’s best to limit your decorations to ones that hold special value or meaning.
  • Tidy up regularly. It’s another to keep it that way for good. “It’s about tidying up the spaces that you have, and knowing that some spaces need daily attention, some spaces need weekly attention, and some spaces need seasonal attention.
  • Resist the temptation to buy more. “Think about what are the things that you really like, versus what are the things that like materialism or advertising has caused you to like. Figure out what your taste is and what makes you happy in your space.”
  • Find your purpose. “If you’re thinking of starting to live more minimally in your home, take some time to reflect on why you’re doing it whether that’s because you want to save more money, because you want to spend more time with family, or even because you want to retire early and enjoy your retirement years. This is especially important because ultimately, minimalist living is about leading a more intentional life of purpose. “The goal of minimalism isn’t just to own less stuff, but to live a more meaningful life than the one I’m living,” says Becker.

Following are benefits of minimalist living suggested by Backer and listed in the article.

Benefits of minimalist living

  • More money. Fewer items in your home means more money, says Becker, as you’ll be buying less and taking care of less. What’s more is that you’ll realize that your money can be used for better things than just buying possessions — including more experiences and quality time with family
  • More time. If you live with fewer items in your home, you’ll spend less time cleaning and organizing (and shopping), therefore allowing you to have more time available in your day to engage in what matters most to you.
  • Improved wellbeing. A minimalist home is significantly less stressful. “Owning less stuff means that we have less stress in life,” explains Becker. “Every increased possession adds increased anxiety onto our lives, since everything that we own has to be taken care of — has to be handled.”
  • Good for the environment. By buying less and using less, you’ll also be reducing your consumption of the planet’s natural resources — therefore doing your part to help out the environment!
  • More gratitude and mindfulness. Living with less will allow you to find more gratitude in the things you have.”In a physical space, minimalism allows you to appreciate a few things in a deeper way than having lots of cluttered stuff,” says Chayka. “It has a lot in common with mindfulness in that it encourages you to consider what you include or don’t include in your life.”

Source: What Is Minimalist Living? Here’s How to Start Living With Less, According to Experts | GH magazine