Personally, I am not a minimalist. At least not in a classical sense. I don’t sleep on a white mattress in an empty room, where there is just a pair of chopsticks and a bowl of rice. Not only I am not that extreme in my minimalism, I think minimalists who see me, quickly start turn to turn noses, after seeing my messy room and my rich selection of clothes, makeup and perfumes.
Even though I don’t come across as a minimalist at first glance, nor do I inspire to live in a semi-empty place in the future, I am proud of myself, because… Boy, I was a hoarder. A shop-a-holic with huge credit card limit, literally no sense of “enough” or “I already have 10 of these at home”.
10 pairs of jeans may not seem like a “minimalist capsule wardrobe“, but only if you consider, that there were 50 of them mere 5 years ago. I can actually say the same thing about every area in my life, where people start rolling their eyes, saying “Oh my god, how much stuff”, but only I know, that this is merely a tenth of what it used to be, and I am proud of myself.
Having said that, I am against rules, when it comes to minimalism. We ar all different, we have different income, needs and lifestyles. Applying rules like “30 pieces capsule wardrobe” could be perfect for one person, but a frustration challenge for someone else. In my personal opinion, it’s the sense of having only things you need and want, that counts.
For me today, there is only one guideline: if there are things laying around in my house, that are unneeded (duplicates, old, unloved items, useless, unwanted gifts, etc) – if I find any of these, I know I am off track and some work is required to get back. However, other than that, I try not to force any rules on myself. I believe that best results are achieved, when you are happy and relaxed.
Nonetheless, you do achieve better results, when following some minimalism guidelines, and I wanted to share some of these with you today…
1. More money.
Very simple: because you have fewer expenses, you have more money left, and how about less maintenance and insurance? The road to “more money” is not just about earning more, but also about spending less. Fewer possessions create space for a smaller house, because smaller houses:
- Are easier to maintain & clean
- Costs less
- Ensure better contact with family
- Are easier to sell
2. More time and energy.
Do some research before buying, cleaning, maintaining, repairing… The more stuff, the more time and energy it takes to organize everything and keep everything in order.
The easiest way to organize your stuff is to get rid of most of it
– The Minimalists
“Our stuff” costs time and energy, just think about it. Living with less means more time and more energy for other things that are more important than stuff.
3. You compare (yourself) less with others
A competition that you can never win: ‘the competition with others’. The competition can not be won because everyone is different and walks a different path in life. Someone will always have more, regardless of your financial status. Someone is always richer and will constantly be richer, because as you climb up financially, your reference group is changing but there is never really a satisfaction.
Because as soon as you think you have won, you want, you guessed it, more! Be your own, unique self and say to yourself: ‘I am enough’. Again. ‘I am enough’. Repeat it as often as you can today.. By clearing up your mind of envy, fears and complexes, you settle with the non-winning competition of wanting more.
4. More satisfaction
Material things will never fulfill our hearts permanently, because things do not make us happy in the long term. As soon as we break the cycle of “more and more”, we only discover where the real dissatisfaction is, but also the real wealth.
5. You leave fewer footprints behind
For those of you who are environmentally conscious, it’s easy to understand that less useless and compulsive consumption and less participation in consumerism creates less waste and pollution. With minimalism you can make the economy better in a conscious way.
Put money in local companies who have passion for the product they sell. Put money in experiences. If everyone would make more conscious choices, then in the long run we can create an economy based on personal responsibility and interaction within a community. An economy that is not based on the feeling of ‘not being enough’ and therefore buying a lot of what we do not need. You don’t support the environment by investing all the money you have (and don’t have) into a Louis Vuitton bag…
6. You go for better quality
Owning more is not necessarily better. Having better quality stuff — is. As soon as you say goodbye to unconscious and compulsive buying, you free up room for conscious consumption and therefore room for quality and sustainability. I always say that it’s better to own two high quality t-shirts, which will be classic, chic and last for a few seasons, than stuff your wardrobe with ten summer-sale-remains items, which are too trendy to last for the upcoming seasons and
7. Less distraction
There is distraction everywhere in this time. Less distraction is more focus. And focus is getting more done.
Live the focused life, it’s the best child there is.
– Cal Newport
8. Less stress
Imagine a messy dirty room full of stuff. Now imagine a clean room with little stuff. What do you get more stress from and which gives you a calm feeling? Few possessing is fine, but wanting less is even better.
9. Give more to others
When more time, energy and money is released, there is more to give to others. What can you give to the people around you?
10. More freedom.
With collecting and too much stuff you come to a point that you do not own the stuff, but the stuff you: If you want to fly, it is best to give up everything that will bring you down.
The first step towards a life with more meaning is to remove that which does not help. A step towards freedom. To fly to the life you want to live.
11. Less clutter
A house with less stuff is automatically always a tidier home. And that is very nice.
12. More overview
After a lot of cleaning up, you can easily find what is left over and you spend less time looking for your stuff. That which is left are often the favorites. The favorites where you are more economical and better care.