I first came across the idea of minimalism lifestyle when a friend shared with me pictures of apartments in Scandinavia that were so bare and basic but had everything a person needed to life. Japan was the next country that followed this trent with very minimalistic lifestyles, ways of living and fashion. I quickly fell in love with this new movement and saw many great benefits of living in a very minimalistic way.
You see, the concept of minimalistic living is realising that we have already everything that we need in order to survive, and it prevents hording and cluttering out lives with things that we don’t need. Instead of wanting more, we change our minds to think that we are content with what we have and banks on the gratitude towards this. As a result of this, we buy less, spend less and overall live a much more positive life.
The habits of a minimalistic lifestyle can also bring many positive aspects and I explore the 4 key habits which will help improve your lifestyle.
Clear desk, clear mind
Keeping a clean and tidy desk, whether it be at school, university or at the office can easily take your mind off distractions. At the core of minimalistic living, is that a clean space equals a clean mind, and clean space equals better productivity! You may find that your productivity and creativity will dramatically increase just by clearing your desk of unnecessary junk, and less things on your desk (such as papers and files) means less things to worry about.
Clean out by category
Next time you spring clean and before you decide to keep (everything), ask yourself “Does this add value to my life/Does this make me happy?” It’s so easy to keep everything much harder to get rid of things we don’t need. Take your time and only keep those things you absolutely need.
Next time you have nothing to do, pick a category whether it be, your books, items in your bedside draws or your phone, and clean out those redundant or useless things in your life. It was only recently i went through my phone and deleted a whole bunch of apps that I hardly use and cleared 6 pages of apps to 2!
Some questions to ask yourself when cleaning out;
- Have I used this in the last year?
- If I was shopping right now, will I buy this?
- Am I holding onto this for sentimental value?
- Do I have a realistic plan to use this?
- Does this fit me or my living space?
- Am I holding onto a broken item to fix in the future?
Evaluating your spending habits not only helps for long term savings but prevents spontaneous purchases or splurges on things that you may not need. Too often I encounter “broke” university students who complain of a lack of money or not enough to get them by for the week, yet they rotate through 10 pairs of sneakers, have enough for coffee and eat out daily. Changing your spending habits is difficult and doesn’t happen overnight, but the rewards of having good financial habits, especially at a young age are plenty. Budgeting is a must, especially when you start to receive a steady stream of income. Whatever you earn, you must also save or keep a portion aside that you must never touch till in the future or for a special occasion. Budgeting also helps you to achieve financial goals, controlling your spending habits and making sure you work towards ultimate long term rewards, such as travelling, moving abroad or even buying your first property.
When I was 18 and had my first full-time job as a retail assistant, I lived pay check to pay check weekly and quickly found myself spending more than I had made. When it came time to do my taxes, I was surprises how much I had made in the last financial year, yet not a single cent was in my bank account. Sure I had outfits to choose from and tasted almost every new restaurant out there, but I was not in control of my spendings. I could really see the rewards of changing my spending habits and was able to quickly reach my short term financial goals as well as my long term, buying my first house. It wasn’t easy and often required sacrifices and lots of self control, but at the end of the day, I was in control of my own spendings.
Clean out the closet
Don’t you hate this: about to head out on a Saturday night for dinner with some friends but you have nothing to wear!, while starring at closet(s) filled with clothe!
Cleaning out by category also includes cleaning out your closet and getting rid of clothe that you will never wear, old or worn down pieces and pieces that will never come back into fashion.
Keep a few of each clothing type, simple and basic outfits and colours that don’t jump out or are too bold. At the end of the day, less clothing means less cleaning up and laundry to do and less ironing! Same with shoes, one pair for excersise, a nice pair of work and slippers.
And always ask yourself before you keep anything or buying addition things –
“Will this add value to my life?” If the answer is “No”, then you don’t need it!