Monday, 28 December 2015

5 tips for a successful minimalist journey

Whilst we are in the midst of the holiday season, and those New Years resolutions are slowly creeping out ready to be announced and affirmed to the world in a few days, I thought I would share some tips that will help anyone who seeking some change. For me personally I feel like I've been on this minimalism train for a few stops now. By no means am I a fully fledged, certified minimalist, we're still working towards that. But I wish someone had shared some insight and some tips with me from the beginning. 

I don't like to fail. I don't like to quit. I like to approach new concepts and adventures with a plan and a bit of caution. But I'm very enthusiastic, when it comes to something as exciting as minimalism as a lifestyle. Minimalism just seemed to offer answers and solutions, to my stressful, confusing life which steam rolled over me every, single day.

Not surprisingly, I have made quite a few errors along this minimalist journey. I'll try and help you avoid those bumps as much as I can.

1. Be realistic

It's not going to happen overnight. It probably won't even happen within a year, unless you make some drastic and maybe brutal changes. Whether you are down sizing a 3 floor mansion, your spouse is a borderline hoarder or no one else in the family is willingly joining you in this lifestyle change, understanding and accepting the reality of the situation will save your sanity! I know it saved mine! For me personally, minimalism was like learning how to walk. It starts slow. There are lots of stumbles at first. The more you practice, the better you get at it.

2. Set small goals.

I mean tiny. Get rid of one thing a day. A few things a day.  Spend15 minutes a day decluttering. Dedicate yourself to one area of the house a week. Whatever suits you, your home, your schedule and your lifestyle. I have three kids so unless I get them involved in the decluttering process it normally occurs when they are asleep. My husband can not declutter to save his life so occasionally I will just ask him "give me 5 pieces of clothing that I can get rid of." "Hey you hate these shoes right? Can We get rid of them?" It's small but its better than nothing.

3. Celebrate every achievement.

One of my favourite achievements was decluttering our cups and mugs after several incidents where glasses had fallen out of the cupboard and smashed on the floor. It was an obvious safety hazard. Now my kids can safely get their own cups and I haven't broken a glass in a long time. Decluttering can seem never ending and it's quite easy to lose motivation but by really celebrating the small stuff, you will be motivated to continue on with this process.

4. Don't compare yourself to others on this same journey/lifestyle

I read a great post at about this exact danger over at mnmlist. If you think about it, it makes no sense to compare yourself to others, in any way, about any aspect. Everyone has their own definition and approach to minimalism. It would be silly of me to compare myself to a single lady with no children who has adopted this life style, because I have 3 very creative kids and a husband whose hobby is fishing and can you imagine the amount of clutter paraphernalia associated with that??

5. It's not about the stuff

I thought for a long time it was about the stuff. It's not. It really isn't. Yes, I'm sure!
Minimalism is about letting go of the things that don't matter to you, so you have the room, time and energy to focus on what DOES matter to you. I use the term "things" very loosely. Okay, yes that does involve getting rid of "the stuff" but it shouldn't become obsessive, which it almost did for me. I just love that feeling of have an empty drawer or space on the floor. Seeing the back of the kitchen cupboards is exhilarating (to me).

These "things" we need to get rid of could also be commitments you don't want to commit to, toxic relationships or even other people's opinions. Just let it all, go. A lot of the time we buy "the stuff" to impress others. We have closets full of clothes that we hardly wear to try and portray this image to people whose approval we subliminally seek. Now I wear something because I like it, it's comfortable and I will wear it over and over again with pride. Many times we say "yes", "okay", "that's fine", when we really don't mean it. I think it's time to be true and put a stop to all that.

Hopefully I've given you a little perspective and a little push towards a more uplifting minimalist journey. What kind of challenges have you experienced when starting out a more minimalist life? How did you overcome these challenges? Comment below or let me know over on Twitter. I'm over there way too much!

Step 93,

1 comment:

  1. This is so true, especially #1. I found that at the beginning I just wasn't able to let things go as easily, so I started with the things I really didn't need. Over the course of about a year, the category of "things I don't need" has gotten broader and broader as I've gotten comfortable with minimalism, and I've been able to get rid of more. You have a lovely blog, so glad I found you!


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