Balance

Minimizing to Improve Your Life

Can you get rid of more of what is unnecessary so that you can focus on what really matters?

There are enormous benefits to simplifying and minimizing. We can reduce our stress levels and improve the quality of our lives by getting rid of the excess. If you can continue to find ways to simplify, you’ll feel more at ease and full of purpose and energy. The less anxious, busy or unsatisfied you are, the better your life will be. Let’s dig into a few things that you may be able to reduce or eliminate.

Minimizing to Improve Your Life

Most people think that minimalism is all about owning very few possessions. While that is part of it, it’s more about creating time for what you love and looking for ways to have more freedom. This is done by carefully considering what you may be able to remove, have less of, do less often, get rid of or simplify in all areas of your life. It’s a great way to learn about yourself and to really find out what matters to you. It’s about living more intentionally and creating more value. It’s about living more fully and having fewer restrictions.

See, getting rid of excess “stuff” is simply one aspect of minimalism (which is different for everyone). The idea is to eliminate the ideas, possessions, relationships and activities that don’t really enhance your life or bring value to it. It’s about decluttering your space and mind, simplifying and not living with the obsession of “needing” more. We all have choices and it’s important that we continue to be aware of how we are spending our time, money and energy. What are a few things that you wish you could do more? Travel more? Create your dream job? Spend more time with loved ones? Relax more? Do more of your passions? Maybe you could do more of what you wanted to if you owned less or simplified.

That being said, there is nothing inherently wrong with having things. But minimalism is a tool that can help you live more freely with less fear, stress, guilt and restrictions. We can end up putting our passions, health, growth, relationships, free-time and our desires to help others on the back burner because of our concern for our “things.”

What You Can Minimize

1. Your Language

Try not to chatter or gossip and aim to speak with fewer words. Eliminate negative talk to yourself and about others. Talk purposefully, honestly and positively.

2. Your Possessions

Remove the “extra” from your life, declutter your space and aim to live with less stuff. Regularly trash and donate.

3. Your Tech Time

Reduce your time behind a screen and spend far less time being connected to everyone and everything all of the time on the internet. Regularly disconnect from your phone, turn off notifications and create healthy boundaries for yourself with your social media.

4. Your Commitments

Lessen the activity on your busy schedule whenever you can. Commit to fewer meetings and social gatherings and open up your schedule for more spontaneity. Practice saying no to the “non-essential” and clearing up your calendar.

 

Declutter Your Stuff

What can you tackle first? Here are a few great options.

A desk full of pens, papers, old supplies, receipts.

A hall closet full of unused linens, mismatched towels and toiletries that haven’t been used in years.

A junk drawer with old electronics, cords, games.

A cupboard full of untouched kitchen ware, food or supplies.

A basement, garage or attic full of boxes of old VHS or cassette tapes, bags, unread magazines, athletic gear you don’t use.

A trunk or car space full of old paperwork, trash or clutter.

Countertops, fridges and shelves that have of receipts, coupons, change, cords or mail.

7 Tips to Minimizing

  1. Begin by making a list of the things you know you want to keep.
  2. Start slowly and begin trying to get rid of a few things and see how you feel living without them.
  3. Think about the other people who may be able to benefit from or use what you currently don’t need.
  4. Donate or trash at least one item each week and continue to challenge yourself to think about what’s really necessary, purposeful or helpful.
  5. Try to get rid of a bag of “stuff” from each area (kitchen, car, bathroom, closet, bedroom, office) for the next 14 to 30 days. Donate the good stuff, trash the rest.
  6. Look at each of your spaces and attempt to create empty/decluttered spaces by removing everything off of your fridge, countertops, top of your dresser, shelves. Try it for a week and see if you enjoy it more or not. You can always put stuff back on those spaces if you like that better.
  7. Volunteer with those who have less than you. Supporting and helping these individuals is a great way to give back but also to improve perspective about what you really “need.”

I own very, very little in comparison to most others but I’m still working on living a more minimalist life. I’m drawn to it and it helps me feel more free and alive. I like the idea that I could easily get rid of three pieces of furniture and the rest of my belongings would fit in my car. If the things I currently have go bad or get old, I’ll simply replace them. But I do not want any “extra” in my life, in my closets, under my bed, in my car or in my cupboards. Each week, I continue to simplify and reduce as my goal is to have even less.

By owning less and therefore taking care of less, doing fewer errands, fewer chores and fewer loads of laundry… I have a lot more time to help others, hang out with people I love, do what I’m passionate about, travel, create, relax and pursue my goals. Try it out.

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