How to have a minimalist lifestyle quickly? As an integral part of the personal development matter but also of ecology, this philosophy which advocates happy sobriety and the fact of living with little has more and more followers.
Indeed, it allows to change one’s way of life and sometimes radically by answering truly to a quest of sense but also to consume differently.
We see more and more blogs on the subject and it is common to come across a Youtube channel with videos on this movement that teach us how to live with few objects or even a fascinating report related to it, according to our research.
Here, we give you our best tips for an optimal experience. Let’s go!
Order the useful book Goodbye, Things: the New Japanese Minimalism on Amazon here.
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Minimalism, what is it?
There is still no consensus definition on this lifestyle, especially since there are different ways to be a minimalist. The main goal is to change one’s life by dropping clutter of any kind and the ambient materialism, in the popular sense of the term.
Some therefore distances themselves from our modern “maximalist” world, without rejecting all of its contributions, some of which are very useful. The philosophy is essentially drawn from Japanese minimalism or DanShaRi.
The idea has since gained in popularity. We think in particular of Matt D’Avella or Fumio Sasaki and his minimalist ideas. Great ideas to inspire someone to become a minimalist coach!
This way of life is in fact a real quest for happiness, focusing on simple but important things, including how to organize yourself well at work.
Why adopt minimalism?
People who have already moved from one place to another know how much unnecessary stuff can accumulate in the course of one’s life. The goal is to regain control and stop buying anything anyhow, to focus on what is really important and the indispensable things.
This art of living based on decluttering, which is not reserved only for a yoga addict or vegan, will make us refuse abundance, superfluous and adopt a Zen lifestyle with also a concern of ecology for a better environment.
Also, there is no need to be a victim of the consumer society to succeed in life.
How to start minimalism in everyday life?
On a daily basis in your home, whether it is a house or an apartment and while keeping it functional, minimalism has many benefits and in particular allows one to save on storage time. Especially if you have a large family and lack of space!
First of all, you have to ask yourself what you absolutely need. Say goodbye to never-used or “just-in-case” items and to overloaded decoration.
Here are some tips that can be applied today:
-Borrow an object from someone or rent it
-Scan your old pictures and throw away the originals (put the files on several supports)
-Donate, sell, recycle your superfluous objects
-Put a no ad sticker on your mailbox
-Throw away expired medication
-Books can be borrowed from the library
Allow yourself mistakes at the beginning, they are necessary for learning. Be careful not to do too much at once.
Minimalist living room
Can you have a minimalist living room without sacrificing aestheticism? Of course you can, as long as you avoid overloading your interior! Apply the principles of feng shui with little clutter.
It is quite possible to have a proper living room with a large table, 6-8 chairs and possibly a sofa, 2-3 armchairs and something to put glasses. Some people will even choose to go without a TV or tablet, keeping in mind the possible damage especially to younger people. And why not choose to place a depolluting plant instead?
A minimalist – especially a single person living alone – can choose to eat with his fingers by having only one plate, or even eat directly from his pan. To begin with, we do not recommend this option despite the saved time.
Just have a pile of nice plates for everyday use but also for special occasions. The cutlery should be made of stainless steel, which is very durable, and the glasses and bowls should be unbreakable.
Is a big bed necessary? If you think so, it is possible to make a compromise with the Japanese futon. In addition to the bedding, you can get by with a single piece of discreet storage furniture. Of course, we will avoid the television in this room: it is made to sleep first.
Saving money is one of the great advantages of minimalism. Smokers should consider quitting smoking. Some people spend several thousand dollars a year on cigarettes!
Compulsive buying is the worst enemy of the minimalist. Be very careful to avoid being the umpteenth victim of marketing and fashions that are constantly being renewed, as well as being subject to the siren song of novelty.
If you really want something, wait a few weeks – or even months – before asking yourself if you still want it.
Buy a laptop rather than a desktop with multiple components and choose a reliable model so that it will last.
The question of the car is essential since it is a substantial budget, even for a small city car. There are alternatives such as carpooling, public transportation, but also cycling and of course walking for short trips.
Do we need to accumulate all these products that are sold to us as miraculous? It seems not.
Baking soda is very versatile (it cleans, deodorizes and you can even brush your teeth with it). Think also of black soap and white vinegar.
For washing the body, hair and shaving, some minimalists choose to stick to simple soap. Just make sure it is as natural as possible (Aleppo soap, donkey milk soap…).
Rather than buying trendy toys for your children or other gadgets for your relatives and acquaintances, prefer to offer an experience rather than a material gift. There are many activities that will be memorable and much more satisfying in the long run than some good.
Who says you can’t look good while being a convinced minimalist? The only condition is to watch the total volume of our wardrobe.
For underwear, 3 t-shirts and the same number of shorts and socks are enough.
For seasonal clothes, it is useless to have more than 2-3 outfits for cold periods and the same for hot periods. We will also take care to avoid the accumulation of shoes.
This question divides people, especially those who advocate the local at all costs and an old-fashioned life before car gasoline and kerosene.
Yet, for example, flying twice a year even to the end of the world has less carbon impact than driving for an hour every day.
You can travel cheaply and with very little if you are resourceful. Of course, you need your identity document, a good waterproof bag, prepper gear, water, a change of clothes (especially underwear) etc…
On the spot, instead of rushing into the tourist traps, you can look for more authenticity. And it is better to come back home with plenty of memories in your head than in your arms.
Bicycles, which you should preferably know how to repair yourself, are also a means of transportation of choice depending on the distances to be covered.
Some will choose vegetarianism or even veganism. Whatever the case, it is advisable to become more frugal in your eating habits.
You can start by bulk purchase and having your own containers, reusable when you want.
Favour the short circuit by buying from small local producers and if you can, cook as much as possible and grow your own food, at least partially.
You can even limit packaging without getting broke.
To go further, order the book Zero Waste Home by Bea Johnson which has become a great reference on Amazon here.
As the name suggests, clutter can also be virtual and mental. Start by sorting your emails, unsubscribing to newsletters, deleting unnecessary applications etc.
Living as a minimalist
Like any new marginal trend, this one is no exception to the rule: it can sometimes arouse simple curiosity, admiration or on the contrary jealousy or mockery.
It’s up to you to stand straight in your boots and show your strength of conviction without wavering. Be an example and perhaps you will even make followers and this, without proselytizing.
The relational sphere has a certain impact on our existence and the people we meet impregnate us.
Consequently, it is in our interest to surround ourselves with good people by dropping toxic people. It is therefore advisable to focus more on the qualitative aspect than the quantitative aspect of relationships.
In this respect, minimalists simply drop social medias, which are rightly accused of causing dissatisfaction. Moreover, it is better to have a few reliable and faithful friends than several dozen mediocre and superficial relationships.
Minimize your outings if you want to tell or hear the same things over and over again while going to the same places. Watch the budget allocated to your consumption. It can be a sobering experience when you look at it over the course of a year.
Approaching minimalism with your entourage
Naturally, those around you will be inclined to ask a multitude of questions. You will also be the potential victim of mockery and misunderstanding. You may be reproached for depriving yourself, for missing out on good things, etc.
Always answer calmly but with certainty and pedagogy, sometimes with self-mockery. After all, you are not doing anything wrong. On the contrary, concrete and beneficial actions will speak for you. You are the one who saves a lot of time and money.
If some people are too much of a pain in the ass anyway, remember relationship minimalism.
Minimalism and prepping
Some preppers are tempted to buy a lot of stuff related to prepping and their sustainable self-sufficient base. But this is just another logic of consumption and accumulation.
So if wanting to survive just with a knife and his will like John Rambo doesn’t seem viable, the survivalist can simply focus on the essentials by defining his needs well.
He must remember that in case of an emergency evacuation of his home and in the impossibility of returning, he should leave a lot of material behind, if he has had the buying fever.
Here, it is a question of living with nothing or almost nothing, following the example of the Greek ascetic and cynic Diogenes of Sinope.
If you are tempted by the idea, we warn you against the risks of strong marginalization induced by this logic. Indeed, a too marginal way of life would risk to keep away the common people, except the rare people seduced by this kind of extremity and often preferring to live as hermits.
Watch the lessons and benefits of minimalism thanks to this useful Youtube video: