So, you’ve decided to become a minimalist…now what?
There are many ways you can approach minimalism – financial minimalism, family minimalism, digital minimalism and so on. Before you dive in and choose an approach, I would encourage you to write out your reason, or reasons, for becoming a minimalist. I think there are two good reasons to do this.
First, writing out your personal reason or reasons for becoming a minimalist encourages you to be more intentional and authentic in your approach to minimalism. Your individual circumstances, personality and likes and dislikes will all contribute enormously to what values you want to maximize in your life and therefore to what you think you should cut out in order to foster those values.
Second, writing out your reason or reasons for becoming a minimalist will help you when the going gets tough. If you are torn about getting rid of something you can go back to your primary motivation and ask, “Does this foster my values?” and center yourself in that question.
When I first started finding my way to minimalism, I was looking to promote peace and freedom in my life. I wanted to lessen my feelings of shame and guilt and free myself from the physical, mental and emotional management of my belongings. These are still my primary motivations and continue to help me make decisions about what to minimize and maximize in my life.
You could choose broader reasons like I have or you could write down something very specific you would like to achieve. Maybe you want more time with your family. Maybe you want to live more sustainably. Maybe you want to stop spending time and money on things you don’t need. These are all great reasons and will help you intentionally tackle the clutter in your life.
Perhaps if you want to spend more time with your family the first thing you will tackle won’t be your possessions but your schedule. If you want to stop wasting money the first thing you look at might not be the physical items in your home but your spending habits.
That being said, the first step I intentionally took toward finding a more minimal lifestyle was clearing out my physical space. I have a physical reaction to how clean and clear and orderly my space is. I can concentrate more and just breathe better when my space is under control. So, that might be a good spot for you to start too.
The important part is to know your “why”, to start where it makes sense for you, to re-center yourself in your “why” when things get tough and to keep going! Also, expect your why to grow or change and effect areas you hadn’t even thought about. The more you get rid of, the more you will want to get rid of.
I have found a lot on inspiration over the last few months from people who approach minimalism in different ways. Below are some of my favorite video resources to get inspired.
Let me know what you are working on first!