Developing a minimalist mindset has the potential to impact your whole life. Taking a minimalist approach is not a fad to try. It’s a way of life. Let’s be clear, the concept of minimalism is NOT about getting rid of all the material things in pursuit of frugal living.
It’s about changing old habits in your own life to remove life’s excess, leaving you with the important things that bring true happiness. Yes, it likely means less stuff, but it also means less clutter and less stress.
There are little things you can do that will make radical changes to your everyday life in the long run. This post will show you the first steps for how to develop a minimalist mindset.
Remember, the best way to create change in the long term is to do simple things at your own pace, so don’t feel you have to do everything right away. Let’s start small.
Change your life with a minimalist mindset. Use these simple steps to make some amazing changes for the better.
10 SIMPLE STEPS TO DEVELOP A MINIMALIST MINDSET:
1. Mentally prepare
Before you take any action, start settling the storm within. There can be a lot of resistance when it comes to removing things from your life. We are naturally averse to losing and pursuing gain. It comes second nature to us. This mindset tells us that more is better. This is not the minimalist mindset meaning. In fact, it’s the opposite.
Minimalist living does not mean removing everything. It’s more about removing the excess. So let go of that fear and resistance to get rid of stuff. You were okay before you had it, and you’ll be okay after it’s gone, perhaps even better. So let there be inner peace about it. The attachments we form with material possessions mean the things we own end up owning us. Take moment to sit with this feeling. Observe it. Think of it more as giving things away, rather than things being removed. After all, it’s just stuff at the end of the day.
2. Disconnect & Reflect
Following the theme of internal work, let’s take this even further. Schedule some free time to go off-grid. It can be a long weekend, a day, or a half day. It doesn’t have to be a long time but try to make it at least 3 hours. Take this time away from demands and distractions to reconnect with yourself and review life in the present moment. Having a pen and pad is a good idea.
Create some mental space to think about the things that are actually important in life. The things you really can’t do without. We’re not just talking about stuff you have. This also includes people, how you spend your time, and what you dedicate time and energy to.
The changes you make on this minimalism journey may mean having fewer things, but it can also mean a lifestyle change. Spending less time on certain things in your daily life, and a lot of time on the best things that bring joy. You know, the simple pleasures.
3. Question the old ways
We create habits and daily routines as to go through life. There are areas of your life that you operate on autopilot. For some of us, our shopping habits can be bad habits that leave us with a load of stuff we don’t need, and not much money leftover. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a little extra money next month? Sure it would!
Take a look at how you approach purchases. Review your grocery shopping. Refrain from needlessly browsing online shopping. Do you really need that new pair of shoes? Or the latest gadgets? Perhaps. But really think about it. This isn’t about being restrictive. It’s about living a more intentional life. With a minimalist focus, the purchases you make will mean more. Which in turn leads to a more meaningful life. You now have a new way of seeing things.
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4. Appreciation over comparison
In today’s day and age, it’s easy to get caught up trying to keep up with the Jones’. Looking at everyone’s social media accounts, they all seem to have more, do more, and be more. We feel like we don’t measure up, and so we try to fill our lives with more in hopes that we may catch up with the world. But we never do. Because filling up our lives with stuff does not lead to a more fulfilling life. Instead, look to appreciate what you have.
5. Practice gratitude
Following on from appreciation, use that feeling to cultivate gratitude. Again, we’re not just talking about material items. Appreciate your health, your relationships, and your autonomy. Hope about the fact that you woke up this morning! We take it all for granted. Gratitude is not a new thing for us. But we can use it more often because when we are grateful, we feel enough. Both with ourselves and with what we have. Rather than the feeling of lack that drives you to consume more and more.
6. Use experiences
In times when we feel low, we trick ourselves into thinking that if we add something to our lives, we will feel better. Sure, getting something new can release a shot of dopamine and bring us up a bit, but that feeling is short-lived, and then we’re just left with this new thing that doesn’t do what it was meant to do anymore. So then we get something else. Something bigger, something better, and the cycle continues.
Instead, try using experiences. The things we do have a much bigger impact on our feelings than the stuff we have. Experiences can lift us up and keep us there far much longer. Especially if those experiences are shared. These can create meaningful memories we can keep forever. The great experiences of last year have a sentimental value that still brings joy today.
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7. Prioritize your time
The minimalist principles also apply to how you spend your time. Our calendars can easily become filled with needless tasks and unnecessary to-dos. Take a look at how you’re spending your hours. Sleeping, for sure. Eating, yes, that too. But what about the in-between stuff? Could you be using your time more wisely? Is there a short amount of time here and there that just seems wasted? Perhaps you need to create some boundaries with those people who take up too much of your time. — Yes, minimalism with a family IS possible – Maybe then you’d have time to get around to doing that thing you’ve always wanted to do.
8. Cancel subscriptions
Not necessarily all of them. This is just one of the simple tips to squeeze in before we hit the big ones. Take a look at your subscriptions. Are there any you don’t really use anymore? Cancel them. It’s as easy as that.
You can also apply this to email subscriptions. Avoid having your inbox overflow with pointless emails by scrolling down to the bottom and hitting ‘unsubscribe’. (Not on my newsletter, though!)
9. Declutter and Organize
Now for the big one. Decluttering to turn our home into a minimalist home is great for the mind, body, and soul. It’s so easy to just keep things we pick up on our not-so-minimalist journey. Even the biggest house can be filled with too much stuff.
Depending on how cluttered your living spaces are, this can seem like a daunting task. So break it down. You can do one room at a time. Or start with a single shelf. It is a process you will be glad you did in the end. Here are some areas to focus on:
Excess paperwork – Get rid of all those “official documents” you don’t need anymore.
The mystery draws – You know, the draw that has all the random things that don’t have a place anywhere else.
Kitchen – Do you really need 24 mugs and 16 plates? Probably not.
Out of storage – Stand in a room and just look around. What has been thrown to the side and forgotten about? Put it away, or give it away.
10. Donate and dispense
For some, this is the biggest hurdle. You’ve created your minimalist routines, organized your stuff, and now you have a big pile of things to do away with. It’s not all trash! So donate it. You hitting the reset button on your home can actually do some good for others. Take clothes to the charity shop. Take those books to the local library. Give things to your friends. It feels good to give.
Now you’re armed with these minimalist lifestyle tips, you’re ready to open a new window to your own version of minimalism. A more simple life awaits, without all that extra stuff. Making space in your world leaves room for something new. White space for the masterpiece that is your life.
Feel free to share this minimalism guide with your friends and family. Share the actions you take on socials. Tag me (@SavinaOfficial) and we can take this journey together.
This post was all about a minimalist mindset.