How to do the “minimalist thing”

Too many people spend money they haven’t earned, to buy things they don’t want, to impress people they don’t like. – Will Rogers.

Values – To embrace a minimalist lifestyle you must first determine what your values are. Your values will become your personal standards, this means that if an activity, a purchase or a possession doesn’t align with your values then you know it is not meeting your standards and it is time to make a change or let it go. I found that buying gifts for the girls doesn’t bring us closer together- so Danny and I decided for their birthdays to buy them one gift and have one experience together.

Home – The physical space in which you live is the best place to begin. Go through your home one room at a time and donate or throw out the items that aren’t being used. There is nothing more freeing than letting go of things you don’t need. If you’re uncertain if a possession should go ask yourself: have I used this in the last 6 months? If you the answer is no this item is very likely something that you no longer need.

Clothing – Start with all the clothes that does not fit. I have lost 20kg in the past year and was holding on (don’t ask me why!) unto so many items. I decided to go through my cupboard and donate everything I have not worn the past seasons as well as all the clothing that does not fit me. It was really freeing doing that,.

Purchases – Chances are high that you probably don’t ‘need’ anything you don’t already own, most of us living in western society have more than enough of all the basics such as linen on the bed, cutlery and white-goods. So before making a purchase ask yourself: do I really need this?
The second question to ask before making a purchase is: will this add value to my life? It is worth figuring out your personal style and what aesthetic aligns with your values, this will ensure that any new purchases are in alignment with what truly appeals to you and not just what corporations say should appeal to you.

Time – Ask yourself where you spend your time now? Three hours surfing the web could be better halved with a designated period for chilling online and the other half of that time with your loved ones or making a phone call to someone you care for. It’s wise to schedule down time for yourself but if you know you get carried away use a timer or set an alarm on your phone.

I work from home most days. And if you work from home, it can be very easy to lose hours through distractions and you end up with a lot of half completed projects. Break your work day into sections; set timers for each task and activate the “do not disturb” on your devices so that when you’re for example writing for 2 hours nothing can disturb you. When it is time to respond to emails you are not trying to post on social media. One task for one time section – single tasking, means completing more tasks with higher focus.

I compiled these pointers as I found them really useful on this journey. What do you think? Is it something you would like to try?


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