My recent move opened my eyes to a painful subject: I thought I was relatively minimalist but the piles of boxes full of more or less useful objects proved me wrong.
I swore to myself to rethink my consumption and to be much more attentive to what comes into our house so as not to accumulate useless things which weigh significantly on the scale of my mental load.
If you have made several moves, perhaps you also share this feeling of disgust when faced with equipment? Paradox between living with less while having “choice”?
In this article, I tackle the subject of minimalism from top to bottom: by giving it a definition to begin with, by listing its benefits and above all by exploring concrete ways to put it into practice!
What is minimalism?
The concept of minimalist living has gained popularity in recent years with books like Marie Kondo's "The Magic of Tidying Up." “, “capsule” wardrobes and tiny houses.
In reality, minimalist is nothing new since it has its roots in Buddhist philosophy and was first used in the mid-1960s, according to Kyle Chayka, author of The Longing for Less: Living with Minimalism .
Being a minimalist is not necessarily synonymous with extreme paring, it is above all a philosophy of life to concentrate on what is essential to each person.
While some thrive with the bare minimum, others need a little more.
Create your own definition of minimalism:
By borrowing all or a few elements of the philosophy and incorporating them into a more minimalist lifestyle.
By putting more intention into what you let into your home.
I always find it dangerous to go from everything to nothing, to let oneself be carried away by extremes.
Go there gradually, feel your way, aim for minimalism as an ideal that we will not necessarily reach but towards which we always get a little closer.
What are the benefits of living a more minimalist life?
Adopting a more minimalist lifestyle brings as much, if not more, than everything you want to get rid of. Interesting, right?
Better manage your money: by establishing very precise criteria before making new purchases, you buy less and less often. Investing in quality rather than quantity saves money in the long term. Your money can be used for so much cooler things than just hardware!
More time: Being a slave to your material possessions is a reality! The more we have, the more we have to wash, maintain, repair, replace, insure, in short we end up spending our time serving objects. By becoming more minimalist, we surround ourselves with the necessities, thus freeing up more time for the essential things in life like spending time with the people we love or indulging in our favorite hobbies.
More well-being: Accumulating things is stressful because you have to manage them. By having less, we free ourselves from unnecessary stress.
It's better for the environment: the basis of a more environmentally friendly life is simply to reduce consumption. So what’s better than adopting a more minimalist lifestyle?
More gratitude and presence to ourselves: by carefully choosing the objects with which we surround ourselves, we are more aware of the services they provide us. We pamper them, we love them and we appreciate them more!
Where to start ?
1. Focus on one room at a time
At the risk of feeling overwhelmed and regretting what you throw away later, you will have to take the time to declutter one room after another.
Do not rush !
Start with the piece that inspires you the most, your first experience will give you a method for tackling the other pieces!
For example :
The bathroom : start by throwing away all beauty products that are empty, expired or that you will no longer use. Electronic devices that you no longer use? Sell them on second-hand sites like Le Bon Coin or give them away! To stop accumulating so much stuff, you could go zero waste (solid care, cotton fabric).
The kitchen : get rid of utensils that collect dust and damaged dishes. Ditto, sell or give away electrical appliances that are never used. Only keep things that have daily use. To reduce waste, you could go bulk!
Your bedroom : is your wardrobe overflowing with clothes? Take everything out and go through your wardrobe. You can make 3 piles with: the clothes you keep, those you sell/donate and those you throw away. In the future, choose your clothes wisely according to the rule of “less is more”.
2. Go from visible to invisible
When cleaning your home, start with the things that are visible: items on shelves, dressers, on the floor.
Then move on to “hidden” places like drawers, inside cabinets, cupboards and others.
It's very motivating to be able to visually perceive the progress of this big cleaning!
3. Keep your essentials
We don't all need the same things or the same quantity of objects. Everyone has their own definition of minimalism. As you inspect all of your possessions in every room of your home, ask yourself: Does this item bring value to my life? Does it help me create the interior I dream of?
If the answer is a resounding YES, keep this item. And if not, it's outside!
4. Minimalist decoration
Constantly changing your decor is exhausting!
For a minimalist life, opt instead for timeless, timeless items, which you will still like in 20 years, which have a special meaning, which tell your story and your travels.
5. Permanent storage
Once your landlord tour is over and you have cleaned up to begin a more minimalist life, it is not a question of leaving with the same habits.
You'll find yourself with a cluttered house again in no time.
Tidy up regularly, continue to sort if necessary and don't let new objects come into your home without having rigorously evaluated them!
6. Buy less, buy better
Adopting a more minimalist lifestyle means turning away from ambient consumerism.
Stop letting yourself be influenced by incessant ads, discount codes galore, and harassing newsletters.
Buy the things you need consciously and not on impulse.
Buy much less but better!
7. Why become more minimalist?
If you've decided to adopt a more minimalist lifestyle, take the time to really understand why you're making this change.
Is it to have more time? more money available? Is it to spend more time with your loved ones or out of concern for the environment?
Doing this little work of introspection is the foundation of a life lived with intention.
The ultimate goal of minimalism is not just to reduce material, but to live a life that is more meaningful than the one we have lived so far.
Decluttering doesn't make happiness appear out of thin air, but it simply opens the door to it.
Learning to detach yourself from material things is a philosophy of life.
We can find a lot of joy in the process of throwing away and sorting, but it is the fact of having fewer things to maintain, put away, and wash that frees up time for more fulfilling activities.
Also remember to consume differently during the holidays , and to offer less but better!
How are you going to spend this newly gained time?
Practicing yoga every day (what a good idea)?
It's up to you to write the next chapter!
Discover here our eco-responsible yoga outfits made in France from recycled materials, perfectly suited to practicing all types of yoga!
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