MINIMALISM - STARTING SMALL.

Going minimal can be hard. It's a huge life change even if it is one that is for the better. It can be a pretty scary step to take and not one some people are ready to jump into headfirst. I have blogged previously on my experience with minimalism and how it has benefited my life - more time, more money, less stress - all things that I'm pretty sure everyone wants more of. Today I wanted to touch on some easy steps to take to help you start out on your own minimalism journey.

Minimalism is different for everyone. Some people believe that minimalism is only owning a certain number of things and no more than that. Others think it's giving up most of your worldly positions and living in a tiny house with barely anything in it. Neither of these things are incorrect. The great thing about minimalism is that there are no rules to it.

Minimalism is a way of living in which people let go of things that they do not need and try to avoid purchasing more than you actually need. Since there are no 'rules' to follow, minimalism takes different forms for different people, depending on what you want to get out of it.

For some, minimalism is about decluttering their homes and physical possessions and for others its about decluttering your life; letting go of people, thoughts, activities and feelings that add no value to your life. Knowing what you want out of minimalism and how and where to start can be the hardest part. The first step is always the hardest so to help you along your minimalist journey, I have written a few steps that you can take to start you off.

UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU WANT TO CHANGE. 

The first step in starting your minimalism journey is understanding what it is in your life that you want to change and exactly what minimalism means to you. My first steps into minimalism were decluttering my personal space and I found it so calming and freeing to have so much less stuff and that lead me into changing all aspects of my life. You need to decide what it is you want to gain from a minimalist lifestyle, what aspects of your life need the most work and what about the minimalist lifestyle appeals to you the most.

USE IT OR LOSE IT. 

This is a great way to start purging items from your home. Our possessions should be things that we use and that bring value to our lives. If you have things in your home that you don't use or value, why do you keep them? There are so many things laying around you home that you don't use. Things that you keep just in case they're needed one day. But who are we kidding? One day usually doesn't ever come.

Instead of having these perfectly functional but unnecessary items sitting around your house unused, donate them. Sell them. Recycle them. Do something with them instead of just letting them languish around your home. Donate those old clothes, sell that old TV, give away that old gaming console. Free yourself of useless items and make space for useful things that will enrich your life.


EVALUATE YOUR RELATIONSHIPS. 

Minimalism isn't just about decluttering the physical things in your life, it can be applied to our relationships too. The people that we surround ourselves with are the ones that have the greatest influence on your life. They are the ones you grow and evolve with. The relationships that we have with the people closes to us are the ones that are going to have the greatest impact on us. Surrounding yourself with uplifting and positive people is only going to benefit you and your life.

By evaluating who we spend our time with and identifying if the people in our lives are the kinds of people who are bettering your life or making it more complicated. You want to spend more time with those people who lift you up and less time with the people who drag you down. You want an equal give and take from your relationships. If you're getting nothing out of some of them, it might be time to take a step back.

WARDROBE PURGE. 

Minimising your wardrobe is one of the most common first steps into minimalism and probably one of the easiest too do, but hardest to stick too. People like looking good and how we dress ourselves helps us express who we are. Staying on trend is something we all strive to do but that often means we are often adding new pieces to our wardrobe without getting rid of any.

Wardrobes are a thing that get bigger and less organised the older you get. You find clothes in there that you haven't worn in years and wonder why it's still hanging around. Well it's time to put a stop to that. Take out each piece and really think about the last time you wore it. If it's been months since you wore it (depending on the season) its a keeper. If you haven't worn it in awhile, let it go.


DISCARDING DUPLICATES. 

We all somehow end up with more the one of the same thing at some point and most of us just keep the extras for a just in case situation - a time that rarely ever comes. I want you to walk through your house and find everything you have multiples of and get rid of all but one. Have two copies of the same DVD? One has to go. Two sets of measuring spoons? You only need one of them. Do this in every room in your house. Then close the box, set it aside and if you haven't had to open that box again in a months time, take it to good will.



Buy less, choose well. - Vivienne Westwood



UNPLUG FOR 24 HOURS.

One of the biggest draws for most people when it comes to minimalism, is having more time. More time for family, friends, hobbies, work and even just more time to do nothing. One of the biggest things that consumes most of our time is our phones. The average person spends roughly four hours a day on their mobile phone - a full quarter of their waking hours. That adds up to twenty eight hours a week - more than an entire days worth of time. Pretty sad right?

Minimising your online presence is a great way to free up time for more important things. So put the device down, step away from the computer (After you finish reading this post, of course) and go do something that doesn't require a screen. 

EMPTY YOUR YOUR JUNK DRAWER. 

Don't pretend you don't have one. Everyone has that drawer, cupboard or basket in their house where they shove the random but sometimes useful things you don't know what to do with. Mine at one point, was an entire chest of drawers. I cleaned it out before I moved house and damn it felt good. I also found a lot of things that I had been looking for. Now it's your turn. Find a new home for it, a use for it and if you don't need it, let it go.

MAKEUP CLEANOUT.

Like wardrobes, makeup bags are a breeding ground for unused items. You buy new things and forget about what you already have. Most people don't realise that you're only supposed to keep makeup items for a certain amount of time after opening. They have a best before date or sorts. Each beauty product or makeup item you buy will have a little container image with a number inside - that's how many months you have to use it after opening before you're supposed to throw it away. So go through your makeup bag, check the time frame on the back and if it's been over that - throw it.

This is something you should also keep in mind when purchasing new beauty items. If you already have something similar at home, don't buy a new one because then you have two items to use in the same time frame. This well help you save money in the long run (yay!) and also minimise waste.

FREE FUN.

When was the last time you did this? I cannot count the number of times that I have asked some of my friends if they wanna hang and there response has been 'I'm broke.' My favourite days are when my best friend and I sit in front of the TV and binge watch our favourite tv show or just hang out talking and pigging out. Not all fund days require money but most of the time we equate a good time with money spent. So the next time you're looking to spend some time with a friend or a loved one, think up an activity that doesn't require you to spend a cent.


For those of you looking to incorporate a little minimalism into your life, try these small, simple steps to begin with and see how you go. Minimalist doesn't have to be scary. If the word still makes you anxious, just think of it as epic spring cleaning. Or being really, really organised.

Have you tried these steps yet? Do you have any other tips to start off on the minimalist lifestyle? Let me know!

Sincerely,

Bella.

What's your opinion?

@bellaleeheart