Although not scientifically proven, it seems that possessions can take on a life of their own, spontaneously reproducing to fill every nook and cranny of basements, attics, closets and garages. Literally and figuratively, your life and home can be filled to the brim and dangerously close to overflowing. At this point, even the thought of de-cluttering seems too daunting a task to tackle. But it is possible. Living with less can be a reality if you take steps to set a minimalist mindset.
What is a minimalist mindset?
Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus, a.k.a. The Minimalists, succinctly define minimalism as “a lifestyle that helps people question what things add value to their lives. By clearing the clutter from life’s path, we can make room for the most important aspects of life: health, relationships, passion, growth, and contribution.”
They consider minimalism to be a tool that you can use to help free yourself from fear, guilt, worry, depression and excess possessions. Minimalism does not declare that all material possessions are evil and to own things is wrong. It is a mindset, or a means, to help you formulate more conscious and deliberate decisions about the things you own or want to own. According to The Minimalists, minimalism is about practicing “purpose-driven lives.”
Living with less
Paring down possessions takes time and courage because many objects have been assigned a sentimental value, required a lot of investment or are considered to be indispensible to a future scenario. The thought of throwing or giving them away seems inconceivable. However, if you start small and go through things or rooms one by one, the process can be manageable and ultimately freeing.
Becoming Minimalist blogger Joshua Becker has, along with his family, adopted a minimalist mindset. He suggests tackling the following areas first as you try to live with less.
Take a good look at the clothes in your closet and in storage. What haven’t you worn? What doesn’t fit? What is out of style? What don’t you like? By removing those items, you will easily see the clothes you love to wear.
Do you really need all those knick-knacks? What about the catch-all on the counter or the chipped, empty cookie jar? Turn a sharp eye on your home. Does the décor make you happy and reflect your current style?
How many designated drawers for junk do you have in your kitchen? Or what about those drawers that are so jam-packed with utensils that getting them open is a challenge? Take some time to go through these drawers and place old, never-used tools into a clear box. Move the box out of the kitchen for a designated time to see if cooking without them is possible.
For seven days, keep anything and everything off your countertops. Utilize drawers, cabinets or temporary storage boxes to determine which things truly need to take residence on the counter.
If you have multiple televisions in your home, removing some can lead to less tube-watching and more mindful living.
If ignored, toys will take over. Discern which toys get the most play and the ones that are broken or have been forgotten. Enlist the help of your kids to weed through the lot, and chances are that letting go will be a good exercise for all of you. You might even uncover some new favorites while de-cluttering.
Taking steps to set a minimalist mindset can lead to a more purposeful way of living.
This article is presented by Colonial Honda of Dartmouth in N. Dartmouth, Massachusetts.