Over the years, we’ve been sold on the lie that living the good life means accumulating things—that the more we possess, the better our life will be. We believe that our happiness is hinged on these possessions.
But often we find that the more we gain, the less we feel. So many of us buy the latest electronic device to feel a momentary sense of joy, only to feel the same way we felt before owning it. We have now started to depend on the nearest department store to make us feel better, and that’s not a healthy way to live.
Minimalism is more than just living with less. Minimalism is all about finding the things that bring the most value to our life and doing away with everything that distracts us from it. Minimalism is about intentionality; the idea of keeping only the things that really matter and allowing ourselves to truly be free to pursue passions that really matter to us.
Living a simplified, uncluttered life surrounded by only the things that matter is an idea that many people are drawn to. They see the beauty of owning less but are often daunted by the sheer challenge of knowing where to begin. The journey to minimalism does not need to be a daunting and painful journey. There are in fact, a few fun ways to get started with a minimalist life.
Consider these tips to achieving minimalism in your life:
1. Don’t just declutter. De-own.
In a culture drowning in possessions, many homes closely resemble an organized landfill. But simply organizing our stuff without removing it is only a band-aid solution to an even more pressing problem: we simply own too many things.
2. Reexamine your fantasy self.
We go about our lives with a number of dreams, desires, and goals. We have aspirations of who we want to be, and we often accumulate possessions to help us achieve our fantasy self. But oftentimes, our fantasy self can be so out of balance with our authentic self that it becomes too toxic. Janelle Kristina talks about the fantasy self and how it can hinder from minimalist living.
3. Deal with debt.
Modern culture has become extremely consumerist in nature. It’s led to people spending money that they don’t have on things that they don’t really need, drowning in debt. Joshua Becker of Becoming Minimalist lists 33 tips that can reduce personal debt.
4. Reconsider your connections.
Relationships are good, but if it leads to being constantly distracted, then it might not be that beneficial. By culling the number of friends and followers we have on social media, we can spend more time on ourselves and on the things that add greater value to our life.
5. One thing at a time.
Numerous studies have shown that multitasking actually increases stress and lowers productivity. Practice mindfulness and intention by handling one task at a time.
A minimalist life is achievable. And no two minimalists have the exact same approach. But what all minimalists do have in common is the principle of living a life of freedom. Freedom from modern mania, freedom from the passion to possess, freedom from duplicity.