I know the term “minimalism” can be off-putting. It’s trendy. It’s vague. It brings up images of white counter spaces in front of white walls, complete with a vase of monotone flowers. But the philosophy behind minimalism, the idea of consuming proportionately to your needs, is something that’s been around for ages.
Plato, Buddha, Gandhi, and countless thinkers throughout history have often condemned the pursuit of excess in material possessions. And practising this idea can be life-changing for much of the modern world. I’ve found that minimalism actually creates abundance. It creates time, money, and energy to pursue the things you love.
For example, in my own life:
- Time – When my house is clean, I feel free, like I have time to do the things I love.
- Money – By not spending on frivolous items, I create more money for the things I love.
- Energy – Because I own less, I spend less energy taking care of it, therefore freeing myself up for the things I love.
Here are some helpful tips I’ve adopted that allow me to live with less and focus on creating room for the things that matter the most.
- Keep the clothes you love. Minimalism isn’t about guilt or getting rid of things that “bring you joy”, as Marie Kondo would say. Find your true style and keep the clothes that reflect it.
- Donate the ones you don’t love.When de-cluttering your wardrobe, ask yourself, “Do I love it? Do I wear it? Does this fit me and my style?” If not, then you don’t need it. Donate the clothes you don’t love to create space for ones you do.
- Try to identify what your wardrobe needs.We notice if we need a pair of comfortable shoes, black pants, or a scarf to go with our favorite shirt. Make a list of the things you need before going shopping and stick to it. Plus, we can often find pieces that serve us much better than others. For example, gold, silver, and nude heels can match with most fancy outfits (think colorful shalwar kameez or saris). You really don’t need 25 pairs of different colors.
- Embrace wearing the same things over and over again!I don’t know about you, but I end up falling back on the same clothes while consistently neglecting others. That’s a clear indication that I don’t need those items. Over time, I have noticed that 20-25 items are more than enough for one season. And yes, that means people will see you wearing the same thing several times. Embrace that!
5. Toss anything chipped or cracked. They can accumulate bacteria and they’re not pleasant to use.
6. Keep minimal dishes and mugs for daily use. If you have company you can always use your fancy china (or disposable ones if it’s a casual gathering.)
7.Clear out your pantry. Our pantries can easily become disorganized or cluttered. Try to plan your week’s menu to incorporate some of the items in your pantry so that it always stays up-to-date. And do get rid of any expired items!
8. Keep essential toiletries. You can make skincare as complicated as you want, but all you really need are a few basics. For example, a gentle face cleanser, a moisturizer that suits your skin (jojoba oil has been my go-to for years), and sunscreen is enough for your face. What you eat plus a good hormone balance will do more for your skin than the best skincare items will.
9. Analyze how often you use appliances.I used to own a blow dryer and curler that I’d always place in a basket under my bed. Over time, I noticed they often literally gathered dust. That was a clear sign that I simply didn’t need them. You know what you need and use; try to donate what you don’t.
10. Don’t buy more makeup. Have you ever watched those YouTube videos of beauty gurus who show dozens of purchases in one haul? I understand that it’s part of their job, but the rest of us simply don’t need that many products. Even watching those videos is overwhelming for me.
The one thing I’ve learned is that minimalism is a mindset. It’s about being intentional and realising that every single thing you bring in your home depletes you of a little time, money, and energy. The less you bring into your home, the less you have to use, clean, dust and put away. If you approach material possessions with that mindset, you’ll find it easier to adopt the ancient principle of minimalism.
Looking for more great tips? Here are 5 Tips for an Organized Home