10 things to ditch. Minimalist living tips to get you started on your less is more journey.
Minimalist living is about finding the sweet spot between possessions and freedom. The more possessions you own, the more your possessions own you. This doesn’t mean you must live like a religious acolyte but it does mean looking around the space you live in with fresh eyes and a fresh perspective.
How much do you really need to be happy and content? How much does the clutter in your environment, physical and emotional, cause you stress and anxiety?
Kick-start the process by checking these 10 things off your list first.
Minimalist living doesn’t mean you need to live in some kind of clinical, cold and bleak looking environment. It does mean paring back the decorative items until you live in a space where everything serves a purpose is an object you love. In other words, everything in your living space should “spark joy“.
Grab anything that’s in your space that either doesn’t serve a practical purpose; I’m looking at you, decorative pillows that spend more time on the floor than on the bed. And anything that you display that doesn’t bring a smile to your lips every time you look at it.
Sell them. Donate them. Or, be cheeky and re-gift them. Just get them out of your home.
There’s a lot to be said about the benefits of having houseplants. For city dwellers, they might be the only living greenery they see all day. They can also clean the air you breathe.
Oftentimes though, they are merely dust collectors that can damage your furniture (water) or damage your calm (keeping them alive). Do yourself a favour; if you’re not a botanist, horticulturist or fervent gardener, leave the pot plants at the garden centre.
Serious about being minimalist? Ditch the idea of owning pets and volunteer at the local shelter instead.
This is a tough one for me, I never liked living without pets, but life was definitely minimalist at those times I lived without them. It was just too minimalist for me!
I have three cats and I adore them. However, I’m also aware that they and their assorted detritus mean my home and my life can never be truly minimalist. They mean extra work, extra responsibilities, extra expenses and extra stuff.
Pets can be complications. They can also be loving companions. If you’re not 100% committed and passionate about being a pet parent, don’t do it.
Freebies can come from a variety of sources, like calendars and fridge magnets in the mail box to pens, hats and T-shirts at conferences.
If you have kids, the sources of freebies seem to be never ending; birthday parties, happy meals, stuff from school.
Be discerning about what you allow into your home, whether you’ve paid for it or not.
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Complicated menus and meals
Before you buy that bottle of truffle oil, think about how often you’ll use it.
Too often we decide to cook something special, go out and buy the unusual ingredients, prepare the meal once and then have that extra special, and probably extra expensive ingredient stare at us every time we open the pantry or fridge. Or worse still, see it peaking from the dark recesses as it slowly but surely makes its way to the forgotten realm…
Cooking shows on TV have a lot to answer for!
And that brings us to your TV. Ditching the TV completely might be a bridge too far for most of us but we could all minimise the time we spend in front of it.
Pick your favourite shows and watch them but turn the TV off the rest of the time.
Late payment fees
Nobody needs late payment fees. The best way to avoid them is to automate your payments. If your service provider allows it, pay a set amount each month that will cover the total amount of your usual bill before it comes due. That way, your bill payment is always on time.
While you’re in the automating mood. Try automating your savings, too. It’ll simplify your life, minimise stress and help create a solid financial foundation.
Clothes you rarely wear
Too big? Too small? Too ‘last year’? Get it out of your closet and on its way to a new owner.
You can either sell your excess and unwanted clothes on a site like eBay or on a Buy, Swap, Sell group on Facebook or you can donate them.
Most of your cosmetics, skin care and hair care products
Let’s face it, girls are not the only culprits here. Guys now seem to accumulate heaps of, mostly, unnecessary products that add to bathroom clutter.
Think about it… How many different colour lipsticks do you have? What do you really need? What do you use on a daily basis that you can’t live without? Start using up everything and only replacing the products you love and will use all the time.
One time wonders
Magazines, books, CDs and DVDs you only read, listen to or watch, once. They’re expensive and if you’re not likely to get any ongoing benefit from them, don’t spend money on them and don’t let them clutter up your space.
That doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy them though. Join the library!
I love books and they are my primary source of clutter. Over the years, I’ve got a lot better at not buying them on a whim. Now, if a book comes into my home it’s because I’ve already read it and know I’m going to read it again or refer to it regularly.
How do I know this? I borrow it from the library first. Easy and free.
After you’ve ditched these 10 things, what’s next?
Once you’ve got your minimalist living journey started a simple rule to follow is this: one thing in, one thing out.
If you’re considering bringing another item into your space, what can you get rid of to balance it out? Even if you’re not interested in becoming an extreme minimalist, simply applying this thought process will stop you making unnecessary purchases. Saving your money and maybe even saving your serenity.
You might also enjoy:
- 4 Reasons to Own Less Stuff
- Kick-Ass Ways to Declutter Like a Ninja!
- 10 Wardrobe Items You Should Immediately Get Rid Of
- The Benefits of the 10 Item Wardrobe
- In Search of Simplicity: How to Start Living a Simple Lifestyle
Which of these 10 things would you tackle first? Why?
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