My How To Guide To Becoming A Minimalist

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My How To Guide To Becoming A Minimalist

Does becoming a minimalist appeal to you?   Maybe you just can’t get yourself to commit fully to it?  Your not the only one, I assure you!    Minimalism comes in many forms and is really not one steadfast set of rules you must follow to become a minimalist, so it’s really about what makes you happy.

I used to accumulate things years ago.   I mean I worked hard for these items and I wanted to make sure I was getting every last dollar of value out of each item that we purchased, so I held on to things that I perceived to still have value.

As the years went on and I realized the amount of stuff we had accumulated, the items turned from items that we enjoyed owning to items that just took up space and ultimately became a job and cost just to manage it all.   So the purge began and still continues to this day.

Check out these stats to help inspire you to really support the “Less is More” movement.

  • The average U.S. household has 300,000 itemsLos Angeles Times
  • U.S. children make up 3.7 % of all the children on the planet, yet these same children own 47% of all the world’s toys and children’s books. – Regina Lark (Professional Organizer)
  • 1 out of every 10 households rent a storage unit to store stuff that no longer fits in their house – Self Storage Association / New York Times
  • 1 in 4 households who have 2 car garages have so much stuff they can’t fit either car in their garages – U.S. Department of Energy
  • 47% of America households save nothing because they are busy buying things – Business Insider
  • Americans spend $1.2 TRILLION a year buying non essential goods, AKA stuff they don’t need – Wall Street Journal
  • On average, we spend 153 days in our lifetime looking for things we misplaced – Daily Mail

Why do I tell you all this?   Because we Americans are broke, have no savings, have cluttered homes where we can’t find the items that have meaning to us leading us to be burdened by the things that we thought would bring us so much joy.   We strive for bigger is better, we buy that bigger house to then fill it up with more stuff to feel more burdened to clean and organize all these things.   Stop the madness now!

Purge the Home

What you need to convince yourself is that by keeping these 300,000 items clean, organized and housed properly keeps you from living life, it’s a burden on your time, financial future and psychological peace.   You spend money on these things.   You have to take time to organize these things.   You have to take time to clean and dust these things.

You must develop a rule in your household to purge items that have been dormant for a specified period of time.   For example, in our household if we don’t use something for one calendar year, it’s gone.  You could make a rule that says if you don’t use it in 6 months it’s gone, up to you.  Donate it, Sell it, get rid of it.   You haven’t used it in the past year, chances are it will not be used over the next year.   It’s taking up space in your life both physically and mentally.

Once you begin to purge, your will feel a streak of relief come over you.   You no longer need to organize this stuff and clean this stuff because it’s no longer here to get in your way.

Stop Buying Stuff You Don’t Need

If you purge your home over time, don’t turn back around and start buying non essential goods again.   Instead of filling your life with things, try filling it with people and experiences.    It’s people and experiences that truly bring happiness, not Keeping up with the Joneses.     Go take that trip that you have been wanting to take.   Go visit a friend and spend quality time with them.

It’s people and experiences that really matter in life, not that you were able to acquire that new outfit or that new set of high end glassware for the kitchen.

Benefits of being a minimalist

  • More Time – You won’t need to spend time searching for things you lost
  • More Money – You won’t need to spend money of things you don’t need and save more
  • More Time – You will reduce the time spent cleaning your stuff
  • Less Stress – You will reduce the overwhelming feeling of the stuff around you and reduce the stress it brings
  • More Fulfilling Life – You can focus in on people and experiences, rather than things
  • More Organized – You can rest easy knowing that everything has a place in your home (organized and clean)
  • More Appreciative – If you have children, you can teach them a valuable lesson of appreciate the things that you do have

Did you know that the average 10 year old owns 238 toys but they only really play with and care about 12 toys? — The Telegraph   That’s 226 toys that just sit dormant that you have to keep track of.   In the same survey of over 3000 parents, the parents admit to wasting hundreds of dollars of their money on toys that their children never play with, yet are taking up space in their homes.

Start Small and Grow

It’s never a great idea to cut off cold turkey and just start emptying rooms of stuff out into a dumpster.    You can start small and grow from there.   I challenge you to get rid of one item per day to get started.    Even if you just do that small step, you will get rid of 365 things cluttering your home today that will not be there next year to get in your way.   Think about it.   365 items!

Then move on to 2 items a day, then 3 items, then 6 items and the next thing you know you are living a minimalist lifestyle where you focus in on people and experiences and you keep the items that you own in your home to only things that are essential for life.

Now, go get started!

What are some tactics, tips and tricks that you use to become a minimalist?   Leave some comments for our readers!

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