7 First Steps to Minimalist Living

By: Mahvish Akhtar

There are many ways to achieve peace of mind and comfort in our lives. One way of doing that is minimalist living. We have compiled a list ofhow to start if anyone is looking to make some healthy changes in their lifestyle. Here is a step by step guide.

From the moment we open our eyes, we’re told to do go after bigger and better. Advertisements of every kind have only one thing to show us and teach us that if we work hard enough and earn enough money, we can have the best, the fanciest, the trendiest, the most popular everything.
What if that were not true? What if this is not where happiness comes from? What if satisfaction is a matter of something completely different? The truth about what makes us happy and what it takes to
Be truly happy is hidden in different kinds of peace and an entirely different type of living.
That truth would change almost everything we know about the world. It would change how we live in it. It would change how we view it. It would change the way we spend our hours, our energy, and our money. It would change where we focus our attention and our minds. It would change the very core of our lives. This concept is freeing and liberating. This lifestyle challenges us to think about the things we are missing out on in our lives. This way, we can make time for the things that are important for our soul, but we have been putting aside because we were told to believe that they had to be set aside for more essential wants.
Unfortunately, for some of us, the idea of minimalism is just too counter-intuitive. It’s an approach to life we have never been introduced to or have never been invited to explore. The benefits of minimalist living have not been articulated. As a result, it’s too far a leap, too long a stretch, and jumping in with both feet seems impractical.
Let’s not jump in with both feet then. Maybe start with little experiments of how this can be experienceddailywould be more helpful.
Let’sstart with seven areas of life where living with less can be sampledquickly and reasonably comfortably. These can be picked one-by-one, risk-free. Conducting each experiment for 3-4 weeks will give a good feel for the practical benefits of this lifestyle. In the end, it is your life, so you get to decide the length of each experiment.
Here are seven ideas:
1.Clothing:
According to statistics, we wear 20% of our clothes 80% of the time. That means that many of us have closets full of clothes that never see the light of day. They are just taking up space. The simple exercise of going through your closet and removing all unused clothing leaves your closet lighter, your mornings less stressful, and your wardrobe full of things you love. Give your lighter wardrobe 30 days.
You can put the clothes away nearby for your comfort until you have decided that this new system works for you.
2.Personal Items:
How long has it been since you have been through your drawers containing jewelry, makeup, and other personal items? If you go through those items, I can guarantee you there will be many articles that you have not used in moths, maybe even years. There are things that you occasionally use that you could easily do without. With lesser options, getting dressed in the morning would be much more comfortable. No one needs to waste five extra minutes deciding between 3 different shades of orange lipstick.
3.Decorations:
Many of the decorations in our homes hold no personal value to our lives. They just simply happened to match the color of the carpet or be on sale when we walked into the store. Unfortunately, they are distracting you and your guests from the decorations in your home that share your story and highlight your values. It’s okay to want your home to look aesthetically pleasing; however, that can be done without cluttering the house with nonessential pieces.
Take a moment to walk through your home with a discerning eye. Leave only the decorations that are the most meaningful to you. Your home will begin to share your story beautifully. The simpler-space will leave your home more open and inviting.
4.Toys:
The general ideology that most of us live by is that more is better; weshow love for our kids in the same way. Our solution to fill any free time our children might have with toys and items that they can play withkills their creativity to a reasonable degree.
Fewer toys may benefit your kids in several ways. When kids are not using toys, they are using their imagination. They are finding creative ways to play and different ways to play alone and with each other. Again, the matter here is not about getting rid of everything, and thequestion is about choosing what is useful and what is just available as a backup that has not been used as such.
5.Kitchen Items:
There never seems to be enough storage space in our kitchens. Yet we cant argue that most of our grandmothers cooked far more elaborately andnow better than many of us today in much smaller kitchens. The truth is that,like anything else, when it comes to cooking, simple is almost always better. We need far less cooking utensils than we think we do. As a result, our drawers, cabinets, and countertops can be far better organized and useful if we simply owned less. To give this experiment a shot, check out this article from the New York Times: A No-Frills Kitchen Still Cooks. Then, store all your unnecessary utensils in a plastic bin, put them away out of sight, and see if you just enjoy cooking a little bit more in your new environment.
6.Furniture:
If you’re up for the challenge, removing excess furniture from your rooms will immediately open up significant space and airflow in your home. The rarely-used pieces of furniture in your home are easily recognizable and taking up more space than you realize. They could also be added to the list of decorations that you don’t need in some cases.
This one is a bit tougher than the rest because these are big items, and storing them will need more space. However, there is no time limit on when you start or finish this experiment, so take your time with each category and decide how to go about it. Time is on your side.
7.Clutter:
Clutter is a massive distraction. It pulls attention from anything that needs focus and redirects thoughts, even for just an instant, that is enough to lose what is necessary to accomplish the desiredoutcome that is necessary. Experiment, even for onlyseven days, with keeping your countertops completely clear. Store things in drawers, cabinets, pantries, or temporary storage boxes. After one week, you’ll likely return some of it for the sake of convenience, but I’d bet my bottom dollar that you won’t replace all of it.
Start as comfortably as you like.
Your home will begin to share your story beautifully. The simpler-space will leave your home more open and inviting.
The general ideology that most of us live by is that more is better; we show love for our kids in the same way. Our solution to fill any free time our children might have with toys and items that they can play with kills their creativity to a reasonable degree.
Clutter is a massive distraction. It pulls attention from anything that needs focus and redirects thoughts, even for just an instant, that is enough to lose what is required to accomplish the desired outcome that is required.



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