Applying the principles of minimalism to my life meant a lot to me. It improved my life, my work, and finances.
Sadly there are many misconceptions about minimalism and this has been convincing people it’s something they want nothing to do with.
” Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. ” ~ Leonardo da Vinci
So, no I am not going to ask you to drink eco-friendly produced tomato juice from a recycled glass jar with a bamboo straw.
Alright, you get it. Let’s look at what minimalism is really about and how it can improve your life as well.
When you remove the clutter from your house, it immediately looks cleaner and more peaceful. Decluttering your home doesn’t mean you have to throw everything away, but it makes you think about what you really use and enjoy.
Another major advantage of decluttering is a boost in productivity. If you don’t have many things laying around, you’re less likely to get distracted.
If you are interested in other ways to increase your productivity, here you can find 5 more ways to do so.
When my girlfriend and I started applying the principles of minimalism to our lives, we agreed that we would stop buying presents for each other. Every Christmas or birthday everyone rushes out to buy something for their loved ones because you can’t come empty-handed right? The problem with this “we-need-to-get-a-present” culture is that we buy things no one needs (or wants) just for the sake of not arriving with empty hands.
Did you know that a study in 2018 estimated that Americans on average spend $ 13 billion a year on unwanted gifts? And that 4 % of these gifts are simply thrown away? So every year $ 520 million is just thrown away because the receiver didn’t want the present to begin with.
My girlfriend and I decided to instead of buying presents for each other, we would use the money to enjoy things together. Like going out eating, or doing a city trip. Sometimes we just write a meaningful letter for each other.
Higher quality items
Having fewer items to buy comes with the upside of having more money to spend on the things that do make a difference for you. Instead of buying a lot of low-quality meaningless stuff, you could be buying high-quality items that you will use every day. I, for example, love to spend a lot of time at my desk writing and doing research so I really enjoy having a solid wooden desk and a high-quality laptop.
For you, it can be something else. Once you abandon the race of wanting the latest model of ‘whatever’ or buying clothes to impress people (who don’t care about you) there comes a moment of relief. It gives you the freedom to spend your time and money on the things that make you a happier person.
Suddenly there is a lot more money left over without having the feeling of missing out on something. The reason for this is that you will be more aware of what you buy which will decrease your impulse purchases. Also, your need to buy new things will reduce as you start paying more attention to what you love to do.
A good practice when you want to avoid impulse buying is to wait 30 days before you buy something that you think you need (or want). Whatever it is, write it down. You can think about it as much as you like, but you wait 30 days before you buy it.
I do this myself, and it is amazing. Usually, I have already forgotten about the thing I wanted to buy by the time the 30 days have passed.
So minimalism isn’t a culture of rules to follow. You can implement it the way you like. Minimalism can be a guide to a more fulfilling life. Whether you go ALL-IN or implement some of the principles is up to you.