How to become a minimalist

Minimalism is a way of thinking, a set of principles that works as a guideline to reach success and happiness. For everyone minimalism can be something else, however, the ideology behind it remains the same.

” Minimalism is not about having less. It’s about making room for more of what matters. “

What is minimalism?

Minimalism is an ideology of focussing on the things that matter in your life. It’s about decluttering your living space, simplifying life and getting rid of worthless things and distractions.

The easiest way to become a minimalist is to start applying some of its principles to your life. How far you want to go with minimalism is up to you. You can decide what principles you find to be useful and apply them to your life.

3 important principles of minimalism

So minimalism gives you the freedom of applying its principles to your life. There are no rules.

The principles you are about to learn are not only ways to change your life, but also your thinking process. It can help you determine whether or not something is worth it to dedicate your attention to. Minimalism will also improve your decision-making skills and reasoning abilities.

1. Decluttering (living spaces)

One key-principle of minimalism is decluttering. With decluttering we mean, getting rid of things that don’t bring you value. These are the things laying around not being used.

When I decided to declutter my house, I started asking myself questions like; do I still need a PS4 when I use it maybe once a month? Do I need a smartwatch when I always carry my smartphone with me? Do I need 5 pairs of sneakers when I always pick my favorite pair of Nikes?

Examples like this can easily be applied to your life as well. But again,  there are no rules. For example, a bookshelf for some people will be a form of clutter. For another person who is a bookworm, it can be something very valuable. For the latter person, I definitely wouldn’t recommend getting rid of the books.

Benefits of decluttering

More time & money for the good things in life

Owning less and wanting less means there is more time and money left. This is an opportunity to do the things that you really enjoy doing or that bring you closer to your goals in life. The result is that you are spending less time and money on cleaning, storage, maintenance, and the pursuit of new material things and instead on things that you enjoy or help you further in life.

Improved mental strength and well-being

It makes you feel better about yourself and your life because happiness won’t be correlated to your belongings anymore. You won’t be measuring success by the number of things you own, or by how much more expensive your car is compared to the neighbors’ car. Happiness will be more about your accomplishments, moments, thoughts and social life.

What does decluttering apply to?

Decluttering doesn’t only apply to your living space, it can be applied to your working space as well. Also digital decluttering can be done. You can declutter your desktop on your pc, remove apps, or even disable digital distractions such as push notifications.

” If you don’t love or use it, it’s clutter. “

2. Strong focus on what matters

Maintaining a strong focus on what matters is about simplifying thoughts and the way we work.

Just as we don’t want to waste money, energy and time on buying, maintaining and cleaning worthless things, we don’t want to waste energy and time on tasks and thoughts that don’t matter.

How to keep a strong focus

To keep a strong focus, you first have to determine what goal or purpose you want to strive for.

When you have determined your goal, it’s only a matter of going in the right direction. Following the steps that will bring you the result you strive for.

Another part of decluttering our thoughts and maintaining a strong focus is avoiding multitasking. It’s a good practice to maintain your focus only on one thing. After completion, you can move on to the next thing. This will increase your productivity and avoid getting distracted.

If you want to learn more about how to reach your goals, consider reading this: 8 tips to achieve your goals

3. Spend wisely

To avoid having to declutter, the best remedy is to not acquire things we don’t need. This, of course, doesn’t mean that you can only buy things you need to survive. It just means that we should not spend money on things that don’t bring value to our lives.

Often we buy something, only to regret it afterward.  The reason for this is that we aren’t conscious enough about our spending habits and are spending impulsively.

Commercials, for example, like to trick us into buying a lifestyle. Some people might buy an SUV because it makes them feel adventurous, even though they will use it to drive to their boring office every day. Of course, there are many other reasons to consider buying an SUV. Nevertheless, this is one of the many examples of sales tactics that will make people buy things to identify themselves with a certain feeling or lifestyle.

How to avoid impulse purchases

To avoid impulse purchases you can use the 30-day rule. When you think you need something, you can wait 30 days before you decide to buy it. Often, you will find that you’ve already forgotten what you wanted to buy before the 30 days have passed.

” Materialism is an identity crisis. ” ~ Bryant Mcgill

cosmin-serban-VmnOaiN2P90-unsplashPhoto by Cosmin Serban on Unsplash

Who is minimalism for?

Minimalism is for everyone who is trying to simplify their life. It’s for people who rather chase their goals than material objects. Therefore I strongly believe that minimalism can be helpful for anyone who is trying to get more out of life and for who is working hard towards some purpose or goal in their life.

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