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Are you wanting to venture into the life of minimalism but not sure where to start? Or perhaps it just all sounds too confusing and you don’t really know how living a minimalist life could help you or what you need to achieve it?
One of the best things about minimalism is that it’s not complicated – that’s the whole point! Getting rid of complexities in life and replacing them with simple processes, from your wardrobe to your work life, minimalism has so many benefits.
So if you’re wanting to start out, work through these 5 basic steps for living a minimalist life and you’ll be well on your way.
1 – Eliminate Clutter
You know that pile on your kitchen bench that consists of everything from the electric bill to a gum wrapper, and maybe Matchbox car and a few bobby pins… it has to go. And that drawer you have that contains all your random bits and pieces from the last 5 years. Yeah, that has to go too.
But these are the obvious clutter piles. Take a look around your home right now, what can you see on your benches, on the floor, on your desks, lounges… anything that is out that shouldn’t be. That’s step 1. If you can’t find somewhere to put it, then you need to decide if it is because the storage space you have is already taken up, or because you don’t know how/where to store it.
If you need inspiration on what clutter you can clear, read this: 25 Things You Can Throw Out When Decluttering.
You don’t have to make decluttering a stressful thing and decluttering doesn’t have to be a massive project, start with one room, clear as much clutter as you can from it, then move onto the next. When you feel like you’ve been through everything, start back at the first room and go again. Often the second and third pass at decluttering is far more ruthless and you’ll have gotten into the swing of things more.
2 – Eliminate Duplicates
When you’re trying to simplify your life and live a more minimalist life, one of the basic steps you can take is to eliminate duplicates. You’d be amazed at how many duplicates can be found in most homes.
Do you have 10 dinner plates when you really only need 4? 8 coffee mugs? 5 wooden spoons? More Tupperware containers than lids? Your kitchen and your wardrobe are the two most common places you’ll find duplicates and are the best place to start when you’re wanting to cut back on your double ups.
In your wardrobe, do you really need 24 pairs of underwear when you wash every single week? Or 12 pairs of jeans? Or 5 of the same basic white tee? Even if you bought them when they were on sale and you got them for a massive discount, right now they are taking up space in your world that you’re trying to make more minimalist.
Go through your home and find duplicates and choose the best of them and eliminate the rest. Donate them, sell them (not your underwear) or throw away anything that can’t/shouldn’t be used by someone else.
3 – Create Routines
When it comes to living a minimalist life, routines are your best friend. They will help you to make fewer decisions, keep your home in order and help you remove things from your life that don’t make you happy or serve a purpose.
Your morning routine is a great example. Do you fight off your alarm of a morning, hitting snooze 5 times before getting up. Making coffee, or having a shower… whichever you feel like it first. Then choosing what to have for breakfast, rushing through your morning and then getting out the door just in time?
Creating a routine for your mornings can help promote calm, help you be more productive and set you up for a great day.
Do things in the same order each morning, coffee, shower, get dressed, eat breakfast. Or whatever order suits you. You can also prep your breakfast in advance, or eat the same thing every morning so you don’t have to choose what to have. Organise your clothes the night before, or wear the same thing each day, again, fewer choices to be made.
When you repeat the same steps over and over you’ll have more mental space to be able to focus on what is important, and more space for you to add things to your routine like self-care.
4 – Simplify Your Wardrobe
We’ve already covered off eliminating duplicates from your wardrobe, and in doing so we’ve probably cut your wardrobe down considerably. But, you can take it even further by simplifying it.
The first thing you need to do is remove anything that doesn’t fit or that isn’t in good condition. Your clothes are meant to make you feel fantastic, remove anything that doesn’t do this. Then start going through what you don’t wear or haven’t worn in a long time and remove that too.
Simplifying your wardrobe means you don’t have to think so much about what you wear each day (you could even choose to wear the same thing each day, Zuckerberg style) and it also means you have more physical space and less clutter.
5 – Simplify Your Meals
Did you know that living a minimalist life can actually make you healthier? It’s true, and most of this is because when you simplify your meals, you are more likely to eat simple, healthy meals at home than head for a takeaway because you’re running late and haven’t organised dinner… again.
One of the best ways to simplify your meals is to meal plan in advance. This plays into making fewer decisions because everything is already decided for you at the start of the week. You can create simple meals that are easy to cook, require fewer ingredients and still taste amazing.
You can also take it up a level by meal prepping too, so you don’t have to work out what you’re going to be eating for lunch when you’re in your mid-week slump because it’s already made and prepared for you.
You don’t have to eat elaborate, gourmet meals to eat well and eat delicious food. Enjoy the simplicity and minimalism of your meals.
Living a minimalist life doesn’t have to be complicated or require a whole heap fo sacrifice. You can follow these basic steps and create a simple and minimalist life for yourself that you love and enjoy.