10 Simple Steps to a Minimalist Lifestyle

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Is it possible to live happily with less?

If we accept what most advertising tells us, the answer is almost certainly no. We’re surrounded by stimuli – television, magazines, radio, digital media – that encourage us to do one thing above all others: consume. Modern society demands that we buy, use and discard more than we did the last time around. If we do that, we’ll be happy.

But what if that story is wrong? What if, contrary to what we’ve been told, the “good life” is a result of less and not more?

The Value of Minimalist living

All around the world, people are embracing a more minimal lifestyle. Eschewing ideals of material accumulation and ever-increasing wealth, they are finding that it’s possible to find contentment in owning less.

It’s a particularly strong trend amongst millennials, who are coupling pared-down living with an environmentally-friendly and sustainable lifestyle.

In that vein, this short post is a crash-course in simple living. If you’ve ever considered a lifestyle that involves less but don’t know where to start, then the six simple steps here will set you on the right path. There’s nothing particularly complicated about decluttering but it can be a little counter-intuitive. Have a skim through and pick out the points that are relevant to you.

1. Create A Plan

I think it was Abraham Lincoln who said that, given an hour to chop down a tree, he would spend fifty minutes sharpening his axe. Something along those lines anyway.

Having a plan at the start can dramatically increase your chances of success. You can hone in on a few important areas and start building that initial momentum that will carry you forward.  You’ll also have something to return to if you ever feel overwhelmed.

  1. Begin by clarifying to yourself the reasons you want to get rid of the clutter in your life. These are your personal motivations. Make a list and return to it whenever you feel like throwing the towel in. Reminding yourself of the benefits can act as a powerful incentive if you start to question the point of carrying on.
  2. Make a list and prioritize. Decide on the main aspects of your home/life that need a clean up and pick out a few one or two that are most in need of a minimalist renovation. They can be things like your wardrobe space, your kitchen cupboards or your inbox. 
  3. Cut your own consumption! Watch your own buying habits closely. Part of the battle, once you’ve got rid of most of the unnecessary clutter, is stopping yourself from filling up the empty space again. If you can develop the habit of not accumulating more once you’ve gotten rid of your current excess that’s half the battle won. 

2. Start With the Small Things

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