Are you looking to make small steps to help relieve yourself of stress, clutter and make your life overall more minimalist?
The benefits of living a simpler and more minimalist lifestyle include saving money, increased productivity and a clearer state of mind. Here are ten easy steps to leading a more minimalist lifestyle:
1. Make Life Easier By Decluterring Your Home
A great place to start when trying to make live more minimalist is tidying and decluttering your home. This will make your feel like you have more space and will minimise time spent cleaning and maintaining belongings you rarely use. Marie Kondo (of Netflix’s Tidy Up With Marie Kondo) has several tips on how to clear your home and your mind, she suggests all belongings in your home should spark joy in your life or serve a purpose and if the belonging does neither than it should be thanked for its service and discarded.
You may have an old lava lamp in your living room that you don’t particularly like anymore but feel too sentimental about it to throw it away, but by following Marie Kondos advice you may find yourself able to separate with it and move on to a clearer home and mindset.
TIP: If you are lacking storage space at home then you could get some external storage, find a storage facility that could store some of your belongings and free up room in your home.
2. Manage Time More Efficiently By Making Lists
It is easy to get distracted from that one task you need to do today by thinking of lots of little tasks you want to finish. Try to stay focused on what matters and manage your time better. An easy way of managing your tasks and your time is through lists, creating a list of tasks in order of importance. For example if you have a work assignment to complete then that could top your list but if you have to check fluff the pillows in the guest bedroom then maybe that could go lower on the list. This method means your tasks can be laid out for you and you can complete them one by one instead of getting distracted and ultimately forgetting to complete the most important tasks.
TIP: If you live with multiple person household try to make a seperate house list which could help divide the work and help free up time.
3. Prevent Clutter By Buying Smarter
An easy way to make your life more minimalist is to buy fewer things that do not serve an essential purpose. It is easy to get drawn in by a fancy coffee machine that has been advertised on television or impulse buying a new set of speakers for the living room, but if you deep down you know you are unlikely to use them much after the first few weeks then it might be worth reevaluating your purchasing decisions because ultimately some of these things can be expensive and they can clutter your home. In the long run this may save you extra money and will allow you to focus on other aspects of your life by putting less value on material possessions.
TIP: Try to be less influenced by deals because if you wouldn’t pay full price for something then it’s unlikely that it will be a worthwhile purchase, see deals as a bonus instead of a reason.
4. Make Holidays Easier By Travelling Lighter
If you are traveling you tend to find two types of people;
- people who over prepare
- people who under prepare
To live a more minimalist lifestyle when traveling you want to strike a balance, of course we aren’t going to suggest wearing the same underwear all week but we suggest you take clothing you already own if possible, to reduce the need to buy clothing that will be used for a week then tossed aside for years to come. We also suggest you take the appropriate amount of clothing for what duration of time you are traveling for, this may sound simple but an outfit for each day and a couple of swimwear and dressier items should suffice for a week or two vacation.
It is also worth checking if a laundrette will be available in the area you are traveling to because if you are stopping for a week or longer it may be worthwhile cleaning and reusing some items to cut down on your packing space. Also the lighter you travel the less work you will have to do once you get home.
TIP: Research some folding techniques that will increase the amount of things you can fit in your suitcase and reduce the chance of creases.
5. Clear Your Mind By Decluttering Your Wardrobe
We all hold on to those clothing items that remind us of a particular time in our lives like that polo shirt that was all the rage ten years ago or that jacket that was bought for that one party, but it may be beneficial to let go of your old clothes and declutter your home. Many charity shops would love to take in older designer brands clothing and failing that you could always recycle some of your older clothes.
Some stores now offer a discount on new clothing if you bring in a bag full of old clothing such as TopShop and H&M. Replace your clothing with more high quality essential clothing that will get used more regularly and can easily be replaced every couple of years.
TIP: If possible store your shoes at the bottom of your wardrobe to save space and reduce clutter elsewhere in the house.
6. Save Time By Organising Your Documents
Going through your filing box can be a headache and because it is something you might not need to use daily it can easily be easily neglected. To organise your paperwork you want to remove all the papers and go through each document to decide if you are going to ever need it again, if you are unsure it is suggested that you keep hold of it. Once you have narrowed down it down, shredded and recycled the pieces no longer needed you have two options;
you can decide if you need the physical copies of certain pieces of paperwork and place them back into the filing box
Or if you do not need a physical copy you can scan it onto your computer and place it in an organised google drive folder. This means next time you need to find a piece of paperwork you can easily find it in your filing box or find a digital copy on your google drive with a quick search.
TIP: Get a filing box with dividers so you can seperate all your different types of letters and documents.
7. Reduce Spam By Unsubscribing From Promotional Emails
When working it can be hard keeping on top of your emails especially when every other email is a marketing mailing list that you signed onto five years ago in order to get twenty percent off your first order. Now there are applications such as Cleanfox available to unsubscribe you from these mailing lists and clear up your inbox so you can focus on the emails that matter. Spam may include;
- Marketing Emails
- Job Listings
- Scam Emails
TIP: You could create a separate email accounts for work and personal, this way you can easily keep up to date with all work related emails and keep the spam to a personal email account.
8. Travel Lighter By Simplifying Your Wallet
Your wallet is something you will use on a daily basis, it has some essential everyday uses; debit card, drivers licence and your cash. But in the current day a wallet will carry much more than these essential items, like reward cards, membership cards, points cards, business cards and much more. Ask yourself which of these cards do I need on a daily basis and remove the cards you use more rarely and store them safely.
TIP: It may be worth downsizing to a card holder and carrying around 5 cards and less cash, any change can be put into a money box.
9. Free Up Space By Going Digital
With the rise of online streaming it is very likely that you subscribe to Netflix and Spotify. Your old DVD’s and CD’s have been made useless and although it you may have been unsure in a possible decline in online services it now seems that streaming is here to stay. The best if you put all your CD’s and DVD’s into a keep and a donate pile then you can always put those that are important to you in storage and you will know they are always available. Here are a few streaming services you can subscribe to in order to reduce physical copies.
TV and Film;
- Amazon Prime Video
- Apple Music
- Amazon Music
Books and Audiobooks;
- Audible (Audio Books)
- Readly (Magazines)
- Kindle Unlimited (Books)
TIP: There are lots of streaming services for specific programming, for example Hayu for reality TV or DAZN for sports, find a streaming platforms that suit you.
10. Increase Productivity By Decluttering Your Desktop
Do you find it hard to work on your laptop or desktop pc. It might be because of the clutter of apps and folders on your homescreen. Try to simplify your homescreen by adding 3 folders, personal, work and applications. Then create more folders inside of those three folders with more specific criteria, this will help simplify your search for certain files and application and should help you manage your personal and work based files.
TIP: Also look at replicating this mentality with your smartphone.
In summary, none of these tips are essential however implementing them into your daily life may lead to a more productive and a lower stress lifestyle. There is no rush in implementing these tips and it is suggested that you implement them step by step as to not get overwhelmed. If you set yourself the challenge of taking one step to simplify your lifestyle each week then you should begin to notice a difference and find what works best for you.
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