What is minimalism all about? Getting rid or stuff? Not really. Living with less? Sort of. It's not just about things that you do...reducing your consumerism, getting rid of your possessions, cutting back on obligations, etc. I look at it as creating a life of quality instead of a life of quantity and a life full of experiences instead of stuff. To me it is about finding joy and fulfillment in the simplest way possible.
Over the past couple of years, our family has let go of over half of our possessions. We moved into a house almost 1/2 the size. It has been quite a journey. But, with each additional trailer load taken to our donation center, I could feel myself becoming lighter and lighter. Less "things" for us means better quality of life. We still could probably reduce more and with 6 kids, there is a constant need to check the flow of things coming in. But, it's a journey that has led us to a better way of life.
So, should everybody donate all their possessions and move into a "tiny house"? Um, NO! (But aren't they just adorable?!) To achieve a minimalist mindset, you do need to take some specific steps. However, the end game is up to you. You may be happy with simply freeing up more time to spend on a hobby. Or, with reducing your monthly spending so that you can travel more. Maybe your ultimate goal is to live unencumbered from property and financial obligation in a cute, cottage-style, tiny house on wheels. To each her own!
Achieving A Minimalist Mindset 101
- Identify Your Values and Priorities. Some value strong loving relationships more than anything. Others value working hard and playing hard. For some, both of those things are priorities. When incorporating minimalism into your life, knowing your values and priorities is a must to guide you and keep you on the right track. Ultimately, by incorporating minimalist principles you will be making more room in your life for what you value most. Danielle LaPorte's Desire Map may be helpful here. Many people aren't aware of their "core desired feelings" and mask their true needs with physical things. Learning what you truly value and prioritize makes it easier to say NO to those things that aren't what you really want or need.
- Make changes as needed. This can really take some courage. You will probably need to cut some things out and learn to say NO more often, and this can be difficult at first. We are so engrained to say yes to things we really don't want or need, just to fit in or "keep up with the Joneses." But, do you really want that old lamp from your great aunt? Do you really need that new appliance when you have three things that can do the same task? How about that packed schedule, is it bringing you joy? Anything you can loosen there? Depending on your core desired feelings, you may want to swap a shopping trip for connection with friends another way. For example, I have a couple of friends that I love to get together with. Why not try going for a walk instead of hitting the stores? We don't come home with stuff we don't need and get to work towards a priorities of spending less money, better health, and spending more quality time with loved ones.
There is so much great info available on the Internet. Below are a few places to continue on your journey towards a minimalist mindset and enhanced wellness that comes from it.
- Understanding The Minimalist Mindset – A Discussion Of The Why Of Minimalism (Simple. Organized. Life.)
- 11 Essential Steps to Become a Minimalist (Planet of Success)
- Start Here (The Minimalists)
- The 10 Most Important Things to Simplify in Your Life (Becoming Minimalist)
If you are having a hard time engaging your brain and getting into the whole "letting go" thing, supporting with essential oils is a great way to help you move into a different way of thinking. Try these essential oils together in your diffuser to help you release the things from your life that aren't supporting your core desired feelings, values, and priorities.
Simplify Diffuser Blend
2 drops Marjoram
2 drops White Fir
2 drops Lemongrass
2 drops Ginger
I definitely believe that minimalism has value for everyone. It is a wonderful way to bring a sense of peace and fulfillment into your life!
Have you incorporated minimalist principles and practices in your life? Tell us about it in a comment.