Minimalistic living is actually a way of life and with spring cleaning season being upon us, there is no better time to start fresh and rid yourself of all the leftover clutter still lingering around from Christmas. Taking the internet-famous KonMari method, but putting your own touch into it. After all, it is your stuff, your house and your life… No one can tell you to fold clothes vertically if it just doesn’t seem right to you.
Personally, I’ve always been a strong believer in less is more, and found it gratifying to organise, tidy and reduce the amount of items filling up my living (and storage) spaces. I happen to have an OCD-prone personality type, which makes minimalistic living that much easier. Others find it difficult to part with unused items, even if they know they’ll probably never use it/wear it or display it again in their entire life.
This is where a little guidance from a lifestyle guru, such as Marie Kondo (creator of the ‘KonMari’ method), can come in handy. Her books have sold over 8 million copies worldwide, with her most popular edition titled “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.” One of the key points Marie makes in this best-seller, is about joy. She explains that one of the best ways to know whether you should keep an item or not, is if it sparks joy when you look at it or hold it. Of course, this doesn’t have to be applied to every single thing in your household (such as kitchen appliances or cleaning products), but hopefully the gist is there.
Even with my many years of practicing purging and re-organising, I still had a lot to learn from someone like Marie. Recently I had gone through a phase of buying clothing anytime I passed by a charity shop. Funny thing is I have now re-donated 75% of the items I’d bought within the last 6 months, realising that I had gone off the clothing, and didn’t have any emotional attachment to the randomly accumulated knick-knacks.
The good part about thrift shopping though, is at the end of the day, it’s all for a good cause. On the other hand, it just goes to show how easy it is to fall into the trap of acquiring things we simply don’t need, or even want just a few weeks or months after purchase. So, instead of “less is more” (because that’s a generalisation which falls flat on it’s face when challenged in the slightest), I now go with “fewer, better things.” You can’t argue with that.
Tip Nº1 for Minimalistic Living
Establish a goal
Before diving head first into your under-bed storage compartment, stop and think about what you’re trying to achieve. Without a goal, or method of achievement, you may end up making decisions on the fly, or not making any progress even though you’ve rifled through everything 3 times over for the last hour. First, form a point-of-view, identify what is important or necessary and then develop a criteria for whatever that is.
Tip Nº2 for Minimalistic Living
Quality over quantity
Like my new favourite mantra “fewer, better things.” Choosing quality over quantity is a bestowed wisdom which used to just be common sense. Our Grandparents knew a few things about quality brands, and shopping at Marks & Spencer’s every few months, rather than overloading your basket at Primark every other weekend. When choosing quality, you’re always going to be happier with your choices, feel better about your things, clothes and items, and have them last for a lifetime. It will also prevent you from grabbing things just because they’re on sale, and keep you generally more mindful about every choice you make in your life.
Tip Nº3 for Minimalistic Living
When designing your living space, you should always have three things in mind: Function, aesthetics, and mood. Your home should assist you in living your life to the fullest, so mindful design is how you’ll achieve that goal. If your intention is to spruce the place up, dashes of lively spring colours amidst calming neutral tones is one way to do it. Furniture should look inviting, clean and be comfortable enough to nap on. The intended mood of a room is another factor that will help you decide how to furnish and occupy your living space. Everyone is different, so there’s never a wrong style. However, If there’s one bit of advice any interior designer could pitch in, I think it’d be “go easy on the throw cushions.”
Tip Nº4 for Minimalistic Living
Anytime you’re tempted to buy something new, ask yourself these three questions, and if the answer is a resounding ‘yes’ to the first two, and a ‘no’ for the third, then you’re on the right track and can happily head to the check-out:
- Will I use this enough for it’s worth?
- Is it going to fit into my life in a unique or noticeably beneficial way?
- Do I already have something that will fit the intended use instead?
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