Column: Minimalist living and how it benefits your life

Closets+can+be+packed+full+with+unused+items%2C+but+decluttering+can+help+focus+your+wardrobe.

Aaliyah Alexander

Closets can be packed full with unused items, but decluttering can help focus your wardrobe.

by Aaliyah Alexander, Staff Writer

We probably hear the nifty saying “less is more” casually in conversations, but what does this actually mean when it comes to living in a material-driven society?

The minimalism movement has creeped its way into mainstream media in the past few years. A sudden spike in the popularity of minimalistic living was seen after Netflix released the seriesTidying Up” with Marie Kondo where the host, an organization expert, guides individuals and families through a decluttering process to organize their spaces. Although the show highlights aspects of minimalistic values, it doesn’t quite hit all of the marks when it comes to minimalist living. 

So what is minimalist living?

Minimalist living is the pursuit of living with less in order to free up space and time to create a more meaningful life that’s not dictated by how many things you can acquire to maintain a certain image. It’s ridding yourself of the excess stuff and living only with the things that bring and offer value to your life. 

If that peaks your interest, then there are some ways you can begin living minimally.

Pairing down other items in your space can make a big impact, such as cooking and paper items.

First, begin by observing what outfits, products and essentials you use frequently. Do you find yourself wearing the same pair of shoes with most of your outfits? Do you generally wear the same shirts and pants in different combinations from week to week? Do you find that you can complete your makeup routine with three brushes instead of ten? By taking note of the things you frequently use, it will help in the next step. 

Next, you want to block out time to do a deep declutter. Keep in mind that minimalist living is a continuous journey, so the goal of the first declutter is to get rid of the obvious excess. Block out one month to do a deep dive into each part of your home. One week, focus on removing everything from your closet, placing them on a surface and going through each item one by one creating three piles — keep, donate, trash. Continue the same process through all areas of your home. After going through each area of your home, notice the new environment you have just created and keep that feeling in mind. 

Now that there’s less items in your home, the hardest part is maintaining this new simplified space. 

When adopting a minimalist lifestyle, shopping habits are a killer of this new found joy, so one way to combat this habit is to adopt the “one in one out rule.” For every new item you bring into your home, one item has to exit. This method maintains your new space, and it also helps when deciding if it’s really worth the sacrifice of one of your current items. This will keep unneeded items out of your home. 

A similar way to maintain this, is being intentional with the things you welcome into your life. Ask yourself if it serves a purpose. Is it going to be valuable? Can you live life without the item you’re thinking about purchasing? Pausing and asking yourself questions before bringing new items into your home is crucial when maintaining a simple space. 

A decluttered space can help declutter your life.

Lastly, shift your mindset. Think about all the benefits of minimal living — you save money for more experiences, you unsubscribe yourself from the rat race of life and you clear time to pursue more meaningful things. You decide if it is worth it.

Aaliyah is a freshman studying journalism. She writes a blog on minimalism and other topics called aaliyahinspired.com. Follow her on Twitter @aaliyahdanyell

Print Friendly, PDF & Email