The minimalism movement is really quite trendy right now. I think a lot of people are leaning toward simplifying, but don't really know where to start, and feel like they can't give up shopping, or get rid of all but the essentials. And I totally get that. Big time.
After recent reflection, I have decided that I am not a true minimalist. I really do like shopping, getting new stuff, and sometimes I really struggle to get rid of old stuff, especially if I think I might want it in the future.
I do my best to be practical, but occasionally I give in to my emotional side and hang onto that dress that I picked up in London that shrunk in the wash or all 8 pairs of jammies that Fox wore as a newborn.
So I have decided to call myself a 'practical minimalist,' and live in a way that is true to my life, while still striving to simplify. It is a constant struggle, but one I am willing to take on.
I think everyone is capable of being a practical minimalist. And it can be easy! Here are a few things that can help you start on the path, whether you just want a taste of this lifestyle or you need a way to dive in. They are things you can do today, that will bring more meaning, purpose, and simplicity to your life.
(the ultimate minimalist: an all-in-one outfit and a stick.)
7 Ways to Implement Minimalism in Your Life Today:
1. Start with something easy. Pick out 7 of your favorite shirts. Wear only those tops for the next two weeks. Simplifying your wardrobe can both bring a lot of peace and simplify your morning routine.
2. Take 5-20 minutes to catch up with someone you haven't talked to in a while. That might be your mom or a friend from high school. Someone who has changed your life for the better that you want to keep a good relationship with.
Give them a call, and spend some time really listening to them. Developing deeper relationships brings a wonderful breadth to your life.
3. Say no to a life complication today. Maybe that is an unnecessary last minute errand or an invitation to something that you don't really have time for. Be willing to say no to it, and don't stress about having said no.
4. Choose to forgo one unnecessary purchase. If you stop by Target, leave behind that cute winter scarf, or the junk food you started craving in the checkout line. You probably don't need them anyway. Skip them, and save your money for something better.
5. Choose an enriching activity today over an entertaining activity. There is a place for entertainment, but maybe pick a non-fiction audio book, a relevant news article, a classic book, or a religious book to engage in, rather than scrolling through instagram one more time today. Choose something that will edify and challenge your mind.
6. Invest in the future. Bring your reusable bag to the store today. Turn off the light when you leave a room, turn off the water when you brush your teeth. Invest in the planet's future and maybe save yourself a few pennies. Also, I really dislike plastic bag clutter under my kitchen sink.
8. Get rid of one thing today. It doesn't have to be something big, but clear out one thing that is broken, cluttering your space, or just not your style anymore. If you don't have one thing you can throw out, pat yourself on the back, or re-evaluate what you want to keep, because most of us could get rid of at least one thing.
7. Focus on what you have, rather than what you don't (this always gets mentioned whenever I talk about minimalism, but it's just so crucial). Next time you find yourself wishing you had the latest and greatest electronic or trend, think about what you already have and try to be grateful for it.
It might not completely diminish your desire to get that trendy item, but let the gratitude fill your heart, and, generally, you can be satisfied with your life just the way it is. Somehow, gratitude turns what seemed like a little into a lot.