Minimalism – An Introduction

minimalist living room

Minimalism – it’s a word that you may have heard here and there. But what does it actually mean? Getting rid of most of your possessions? Going off grid? Or simply tidying up your home?

Minimalism can actually mean all of those things – if you want it to. Simply, minimalism is about finding meaning in any of the items you do have, and getting rid of those items that do not. It may sound simple, and it can sound overwhelming. After all, doesn’t everything have a value of sorts?

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With minimalism, value isn’t just a matter of money. It is about finding what makes your life truly better, easier, and more pleasurable. But to do that, you need to examine what you have around your home and evaluate what is meaningful to you. Here is a simple example to guide you along.

Go to your bedroom closet and take out every single T-shirt that you own and place them on your bed. Then count the number of T-shirts. If you are like many people, you may be surprised at the sheer number of T-shirts that you own. Next, ask yourself these questions:

•   How many of those T-shirts still fit you?

•   When was the last time you wore each and every one of those shirts?

•   How likely are you to wear each of those shirts again in the next year?

•   If you got rid of 3 of those shirts, would you care? Would you even notice?

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It doesn’t matter if the subject is a T-shirt, shoes, plates, books, or knick-knacks – the principle remains the same. You don’t need as many items to enjoy life as you think you do. And, in fact, having too much stuff can detract from enjoying life.

Minimalism does have aspects of decluttering. You need to get rid of the duplicates, the excess, the forgotten, and the never-used so that you can remember what you do have and enjoy using it. But minimalism is more than that. It asks you to question the things that you already own or are thinking of buying to see if you truly need it. It is about taking time to evaluate a purchase. It is about making mindful decisions to minimize mental and financial stress. It is about understanding that life’s joys are not tied up in random purchases.

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However, minimalism is not about denial. Through a series of continual questions about what you need and want, it is a perspective that assists in making your life the most fruitful and enjoyable one possible.

So take a look around your home. What do you see? Piles of stuff and clutter that are forgotten among the other piles of stuff or clutter? Or do you see an opportunity to become reacquainted with that T-shirt you once loved? With some effort and a gradual change of mindset, the good life is right there, waiting.

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