5 Small Ways to Practice Minimalism in a Material World

5 Small Ways to Practice Minimalism in a Material World

Minimalism involves streamlining your life, living intentionally and mindfully without the noise and weight of so many belongings.

However, this can be a huge leap for a lot of people. In addition to our consumer-driven culture, we’re battling with sorting out what we’ve already acquired. If you’ve been steeped in materialism for ages, how in the world do you suddenly begin sustaining a lifestyle that focuses on having the least?

The truth is, there is no real yardstick for practicing minimalism. You can enact these few small steps this month, and be well on your way to healthier, calmer, more conscious living.

1. Leave an empty box or basket by your front door.

Whose is this? How did it get here? What is it for? Whether we live alone or with others, we all have things that serve little purpose, or just don’t excite us as much as they used to. Instead of overthinking, try this.

Keep an empty box or basket near the entrance of your home. When you come across a clothing item you no longer want, a knickknack that doesn’t fit in, or anything else, drop it in there.

Each week, get rid of what’s inside the box. This way, you don’t have to find the time or stress out over having a full-on, house-wide purge.

2. Plan spending diets. 

One way to keep more stuff from working its way into your life is to implement spending diets. Start with one week. One week where you do no online shopping, one week where you only spend on absolute essentials. If it isn’t housing, food, utilities, or work expenses, you don’t buy it.

Eventually, see if you can do this for a whole month. “No Spend November”, for instance, is a good way to save up the money you need for an emergency fund.

3. Nurture your charitable spirit. 

Maybe you don’t need two hand blenders and four of the same blue t-shirt. When you donate these items to a charity organization, the proceeds can contribute to someone in need.

Next time you’re on the fence about keeping something, consider this. Would you feel better about keeping this item than you would be letting it go and having it potentially help someone else?

4. Make your stickiest area the neatest.

If you’re busy or overwhelmed by the thought of cleaning out your entire house, begin with just one area. Maybe it’s the overstuffed junk drawer or the cluttered nightstand. Completely clear this one area, and make it your mission to keep it that way.

Over time, you’ll start to notice other spots that become overburdened with “stuff”. Because you succeeded with your worst little spot, clearing away this additional space won’t seem as challenging.

5. Create a capsule wardrobe. 

A closet full of clothes, but nothing to wear? Sounds like a job for minimalism. A lot of minimalists begin with their clothes, and you can, too - even if you go no further.

There are plenty of ideas that can serve as a guideline for doing this. Ultimately, it comes down to your personal style, and what you most enjoy wearing. But most of all, it can help you save time and reduce worry. You’ll have little trouble deciding what to wear from now on.

Are you a minimalist? If not, what is the one thing you can’t seem to stop buying? Share in the comments below!


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