Why You Should Consider Minimalism & How to Start
Minimalism — it's the new hot thing, but like some trends and fads I don't think it will be fading away anytime soon. The statistics are alarming...
The average household supposedly contains 300,000 items, so it's no wonder that over the course of one's life, he or she will spend a total of 3,680 hours or 153 days searching for misplaced items (Becoming Minimalist)!
There's no doubt that there's a movement toward a simpler, more minimalist lifestyle — one that focuses more on experiences than physical items — especially among millennials. According to Forbes, 78% of millennials (compared to 59% of baby boomers) would rather spend their money on an experience than on material possessions.
It appears that having a minimalist mindset is not only beneficial, but necessary, as new graduates have more student debt than ever, families have more credit card debt and the cost of living is constantly rising.
Here are some of the reasons why you should consider becoming a "minimalist" yourself, along with some helpful resources to get you started.
The Benefits of Owning Less
One of the top reasons people aim to own and purchase less is to save money! Times are tight for a lot of people, and not buying things in the first place is a great way to build financial security.
The less possessions you own, the less there is to keep clean, organized, maintained and to keep track of. It's as simple as that!
Reducing mental clutter
The state of your surroundings is a reflection of the state of your mind, so if your home and office are cluttered and you're always misplacing things, that's how it's going to feel in your brain as well. Less stuff = more peace of mind.
Having a safer and healthier environment
Having a home filled with clutter can lead to safety and health issues, such as fire hazards, poor ventilation, dust and debris, pests, and chemicals seeping from plastic and other harmful materials found in your products. Not to mention the obvious impact on the environment outside of your home when you eventually discard items... if you don't purchase them in the first place, it creates less waste in our landfills and oceans!
How Do I Start?
The S.A.N.I.T.Y. Method
Next time you're considering a purchase use the SANITY method:
A: ASK yourself if you need it.
N: NO? Put it back.
I: Unsure? think IF you'll actually use it and IF you buy it what the IMPACT will be (consider the environment, your wallet, if you have the space, etc.).
T: Give yourself TIME before you purchase (anywhere from one hour to two days).
Y: After time has passed, is the answer to purchasing YES? Then buy it. If no, then YAY you don't need to make the purchase.
Either way you're saving your sanity because you'll be 100% clear and confident about your purchase. And here's a fun infographic to keep on hand to help you remember the method:
Read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo
If your home is bumming you out and is so dysfunctional and disorganized that you can never find anything, or even if you'd just like to take your space to the next level of organization, this book is for you. Marie Kondo discusses her "Japanese art" of decluttering and organizing, famously known as the "KonMari Method," which she uses every day with her clients as she helps them declutter and organize their own homes.
Tune Into "The Minimalists Podcast"
Listening to what inspires others to become minimalists and being able to relate to the emotional (and otherwise) attachment to our "stuff" can be a huge motivator for getting started, as well as keeping with the habit longterm. "The Minimalists Podcast" is a light and easy listen with a bit of humour for your commute or time at the gym. Better yet, listen to it as you declutter!
Do you have a minimalist experience or success story you'd like to share, or are you feeling stuck in developing a more minimalist mindset? Share in the comments!