We share seven ways to help you create a healthy minimal lifestyle.
What is minimalism or a minimal lifestyle?
When you hear the word minimalism, the first thing that comes to mind is “something less”. We know the starting point of a minimal lifestyle is to have less. But sometimes life takes over and other priorities come first.
As a lifestyle, minimalism means looking only at the essentials. The motto ‘less is more’, helps us to remove the extras and rediscover what counts and makes us feel better. On a personal level, each of us can find our own interpretation of minimalism as a lifestyle.
How to get started with minimalism? Here are some ideas that you can customise according to your priorities:
1. Tidy up and declutter
Let’s start with the most immediate task: decluttering and getting rid of the extra things you don’t need. Start by thinking about the belongings you need most, write them down, and save that list somewhere. Now think about what you don’t need, and whether or not you could potentially sell those items or give them away.
Once you have donated or disposed of your old clothing, you can start to hang your clothes back up. A good tip is to arrange your clothes by category, such as blazers, coats, jackets, hoodies, sweatshirts, t-shirts and so on. Now, what makes it easier for you to pick out an outfit every day is to sort those categories by the colour — Light to Dark, or Dark to Light, whichever suits you.
Organising and using furniture in a minimalist way does not necessarily have to impact practicality or your style. We can make small changes in rooms we frequently use the most or at a desk or work-station.
For your desk
Don’t just remove papers and documents so that they’re out of sight. Try to make an effort to see if you actually still need them. Remove or throw anything away that doesn’t add value or is just on your desk ‘because’ it is. If anything doesn’t add value, remove it altogether. Such as those ten pens you have in your pen holder, or the many notebooks you have because it looked good, but you never used them. Now your work environment should be less stressful without any excess lying around.
3. Think digital
How many times do we think of ordering our digital files and apps? Rarely, and so files accumulate on our desktops, apps appear all over, photos fill phones, and we lose sight of documents, memories, and what matters.
Are you one of those people that tends to fill up their desktops full of png’s, jpeg’s, screenshots and multiple folders that you don’t access for months or even years? Well, this is like your mother telling you to clean up your room, so clean it up! Before throwing everything into the trash can, create folders on your desktop called ‘Keep’ and ‘Rubbish’. Start going through your desktop items and sort them into those two folders. Then go through the ‘Keep’ folder and do the same thing. Be hard on yourself; otherwise, you will have another filled up desktop called ‘Keep’.
Make a plan to delete useless files, photos and apps, and store the files you want to keep. Go into your notifications settings and start turning off notifications for the apps you hardly use. Repeat this every month.
And what about the e-mails that overwhelm us? E-mails come in daily, and we start to get flooded by them. Have you ever looked at your inbox or a friends inbox and saw a big notification badge saying “9,999 Unread E-mails.”? Well, glad you’re reading this. Now’s the time to tell yourself or a friend to clean it. What you’ll have to do is unsubscribe manually each day as e-mails fly in. You would want to unsubscribe to e-mails that you think are irrelevant or you have no value in reading. As a suggestion, unsubscribe to all those shopping e-mails and only remember your favourite brands.
Find the method that’s right for you to manage e-mails and your phone notifications.
4. Review your agenda
A minimal lifestyle relies on time that matters, like taking care of yourself and the moments dedicated to relationships, family and friends. Where to start? Log off for a day, write down the things to do and sort them out based on the priority with Eisenhower’s matrix.
Raise your hand if you don’t compulsively scroll through social pages, zap or pass from one activity to another without stopping. Thought you wouldn’t raise your hand, and if you did, then the person behind you might think you’re strange. Only Joking. The risk is to end up with a mass of information without obtaining anything meaningful.
Therefore, if you find yourself addicted to all the useless videos and information on your social media feed, start to unfollow and unsubscribe to those channels. You’ll begin to see more relevant content within your feed and less irrelevant content.
6. Practice gratitude
Focusing every day on something to be grateful for can help you realise what you already are and already have. Therefore, limiting the search for things that you don’t need. This adoption of gratitude in a minimal lifestyle will help you to think more positively and stress less.
7. Live your minimal lifestyle
After introducing small changes to your lifestyle, try to keep them and prevent the accumulation of unnecessary things, and commitments that only drain your time.