What is Minimalism Anyway?

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So what's the big deal about minimalism? What does it mean and how exactly can it make life noticeably sweeter? I've discovered that minimalism isn't necessarily about the bare minimum. It's definitely about streamlining and paring back but it doesn't have to be about living with nothing at all. Face it, we need things. We should be using things that are useful to us! Those things will be different for everyone. Minimalism is about choosing your material possessions wisely and simplifying your life so you have time for your loved ones and the things that are most important to you. That alone makes life sweeter! In most cases, this will mean saying no to things that you really don't have time for. This may also mean cleaning out areas of your house. It could also mean that you refrain from shopping as much and make fewer purchases consisting of higher quality items. In fact, I recommend all of those things. :)

I gave the internet's definition of minimalism my own spin because I think it's a [life]style. It's not just about one area of your life having less and being organized while the rest is bursting at the seams with stuff. It's about simplifying all aspects of your life - home, work, personal time, etc. 

Not sure where to start? I've included a brief questionnaire below to help you think about a few different areas that could be the most congested for you right now. My suggestion is to start on one that is most bothersome and then go from there. Once you take a stab at it, I think you'll come to understand and even love the power of minimalism.

  • How are you spending your time when you're not at work? Are you bombarded by the demands of others or is your schedule full of appointments? Think about what exactly is taking up your time.
  • How often do you wear the articles in your own closet? Could you take 15 min and sort out a few items to open up some space?
  • Think about the paperwork in your home. Is the mail piling up in a kitchen cubby or cabinet? Is your home office becoming a dumping ground for miscellaneous, loose paper that you can never seem to stay on top of? 
  • Open your kitchen cabinets and take inventory of what's really in them. Are they full of outdated food or ingredients that you forgot you had (make sure you look behind things and in the far back of your cabinets). Do you have appliances that you no longer use or never used at all?

These questions should help jumpstart how you start thinking about the areas of your life that can be simplified. You can get a lot more detailed and a lot more thorough but don't try to bite off more than you can chew. Like I always say, start small first. 

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