Minimalism, it’s quite the hype at the moment. It’s actually been around for years and it can seem a bit extreem at first glance. I won’t lie, minimalism seemed like an extreme way to live when I first learned about it. About four years ago articles on minimalism were mainly from people who gave or threw away every thing they owned. I saw pictures of very empty houses, wardrobes and kitchens with empty cabinets. And yes, that is a form of minimalism but thankfully, minimalism can be customized to your liking. Let’s talk about how to slowly become a minimalist, so you can find what kind of minimalism fits you.
What do you want to gain from minimalism?
It’s a question that will probably take you some time to answer. For me the answer has changed a few times. For example: Many people think minimalism is about getting rid of stuff. They think ending up with an empty house is the end goal. I think they couldn’t be more wrong. What does an empty house really bring you? Think about, does an empty house solve all your problems? No, it doesn’t so it’s worth thinking about what you want to gain from minimalism.
To me, minimalism is a lifestyle that helps me get what I need. Which is financial freedom, time to enjoy fun experiences, staying true to myself and living my dream life. But also, only buying things I really need and really like. For me, minimalism is about putting focus on what matters and what matters isn’t stuff. It’s leading a fulfilling life with friends, family and a husband. It’s creating a home filled with things that make my life better, not with things that just take up space for no reason. It’s about being able to feel proud of the person I am and the life I’ve build. Because it only exists out of things, actions and people I really love and need. Think about it, what do you want to gain from minimalism?
Start with a plan
How to slowly become a minimalist? Start with a plan, write down what you want to accomplish by using this lifestyle. Do you want financial freedom, learn new skills or quit buying things you don’t need? Write it all down and set some timelines for yourself. Keep in mind that some goals take a bit longer to achieve, and that’s okay. Minimalism is a lifestyle, not a contest. For me, putting more money towards awesome experiences instead of beauty products, has been a big goal. It took me about a year to shake the habit of buying beauty products I don’t need. But now I don’t even think about it anymore.
I advise to start with three main goals. Mine are financial freedom, stop buying things I don’t really need and investing money into experiences instead of stuff. Your goals can be completely different and that’s alright. Minimalism is highly customizable, just don’t fall into the ‘internet trap,’ which means you follow the masses. Minimalism is a really big hype right now and people constantly make up ‘rules’ you should live by. Don’t just follow made up rules. Do follow (some of) these guidelines and create a minimal lifestyle that fits your plans.
Decluttering and organizing your house is a great start. It helps you figure out what items in your house are really you and what you actually need. Don’t throw things away just because you think that’s what minimalism is. I have a video on how you can declutter your wardrobe and how I clean my house. These are great steps to take to slowly become a minimalist. Minimalism is also about weeding out the bad influences in your life. Take a closer look at your relationship, friends and family. Are they bringing you closer to your goals? If not, it might be time to say goodbye or spend less time with certain people. And yes, that can be hard, but you need to start somewhere. Surround yourself with people that understand you.
The best thing is to find likeminded people, or fly solo for a while. Being by yourself can bring you back to your center, to who you really are. When there’s no one to tell you what to do, you start to think about what you would do. And that might be very different from your usual habits. Speaking of habits, what habits are holding you back to get to your goals? Are you watching too much Netflix? Are you just lounging on the couch all the time? Time to get practical and change that. Start finding other ways to spend your time and improve the quality of your life. Oh yeah baby, that’s true minimalism!
Reuse and recycle
As minimalism is very hyped at the moment, many people try to get a buck out of it. They will try to convince you of buying things to make your life minimal. Like new ‘minimal’ jars for your kitchen, so you can get that ‘minimal look.’ Don’t do it, unless you really need the minimal jars because you don’t have anything to store your food in. But that’s highly unlikely, don’t you think so? Becoming a minimalist starts by finding things you already have and put them to good use. Reuse and recycle what you already own, so you don’t have to spend money on useless items.
For instance: I would love a new kettle with temperature settings, so I can make the best cup of Matcha tea. But my current kettle is still working, so I cleaned it up and learned how to let the water cool down to the right temperature. Yes, minimalism makes you more creative. It teaches you how to use your brain instead of buying yet another item. If you are really in need of a certain item, ask friends and family to swap double items or buy things second hand. Minimalism will help you become more inventive so you can save money, time and effort on stuff. Whatever you’re able to save can then be put back into reaching your goals.
Self-care and digital minimalism
Slowly becoming a minimalist will also allow you to practice better self-care. Minimalism is about reaching your goals without any unnecessary distractions. It allows you to lower the focus on material items and status, and improve the focus on your wellbeing. This is where digital minimalism comes into play. In my case doing more creative things like drawing and watercolor painting, means I spend less time watching Netflix. I don’t need more time to practice self-care, I just need to rearrange the time I already have. This way I am also able to stay close to my true self, my own wishes and work on my mental health as well.
Being a minimalist means you carefully look at how you currently plan your days. What do your days look like and how can you improve them? What are your self-care goals in life and how can you minimalize ‘bad’ daily habits to reach them? Lowering my screen time is very important for me. Which means I spend less time on my phone and intentionally sit down to paint. In terms of self-care it helps me to relax my brain and turn off the work mode I’m in during the week. Yes, slowly becoming a minimalist can also mean you tweak your daily life a bit. You see, it doesn’t always have to be extreme. Slowly become a minimalist by finding your goals and work on them a little bit every day.
Are you ready to slowly become a minimalist? Comment down below!