A Beginner's Guide to Minimalism
Every now and then we all find ourselves being overwhelmed by things. Our wardrobes are cluttered with outdated and unworn pieces, our makeup drawers are filled with expired foundations and mascaras, and our drawers are stuffed with clutter and junk. Although we know that our clutter has become an issue, for some reason we can’t stop acquiring more.
The world we live in is constantly telling us that we need to have more. More makeup, more clothing more cars, more things, more of anything that emphasizes what we lack. We are never content with what we have. We are constantly persuaded through marketing and advertising that we need more. From magazines, social media, and even YouTube videos we are not only dazzled by the glitz and glamour, but also the idea of having more means that we are more.
Research shows that we use objects to identity how we feel. Those who have high wardrobes and an excessive amount of things are shown to be high self-monitors, meaning that they want to control how others perceive them, while others buy things to mask who they are. The truth is even if we have everything it’s not enough because we want more than the others around us. Social analyst Thorstein Veblen coined the term conspicuous consumption which suggests that sometimes we buy things not because we need them but because we want to display our power (or significance) to others. Now I’m not saying that all of us are seeking to convince others of what we have, but I am saying that there is no such thing as “buying just to buy.” There is always an underlying motivation behind our actions. The question is what is yours?
Living minimally is all about being intentional about the things and people that you include in your life. It’s about validating yourself to live a life full of simplicity and contentment. Here’s your beginner’s guide to living minimally.
Take Inventory of Your Life.
What are you holding on to that you need to get rid of? Is it clothes, clutter, or even people? Take inventory of all that is in your life. Every thing or person in your life should be being used or serving a purpose.
Clear the Clutter.
Now that you have taken inventory of your life it’s time to declutter. Clean out your closet or the clutter in your house by separating things into a keep, donate/sell, or trash pile. Do you need to declutter your mind? Clear out your inbox, unsubscribe from emails, and silence notifications to clear your mental space and increase productivity.
Buy Less, Invest More.
Once you’ve cleared out your wardrobe, don’t just keep buying things just to buy them. Invest. Don’t invest in trendy pieces from fast fashion stores like Forever 21 and H&M. Splurge on timeless pieces. When you save for great pieces, you will get your money’s worth out of how many wears you’ll have. Build a capsule wardrobe with high quality and valuable pieces, and don’t forget to look for quality in your fabrics.
It’s so important to be aware of everything you are bringing into your life and home. Being intentional is key to maintaining a minimalistic life. Before you purchase anything, ask yourself what is the true reason why you are buying an item. As you curate a beautiful life, home, and wardrobe be conscious of what you are or aren’t putting to use, and have the boldness to get rid of anything that isn’t serving a purpose in your life.
While embarking on your minimalism journey, remember that there is no right or wrong way to live minimally. There are different levels and intensities of minimalism, so it’s best to choose and adapt what is applicable to you. Need help to declutter your life and start living minimally? Download you free worksheet below! (Please Note: If you are on my email list, you have already received this worksheet).
How do you feel about minimalism? Tell me in the comments below.
Feature Images via Chocolate Heels