Live Like a Minimalist

Edited by Shelley, Melissa Rae, Eng, Donna and 2 others

Believe it or not, living like a minimalist is an art. Living the life of a minimalist actually helps you delve into simplicity, breathe in solace and enjoy 'life to the lees'. Once you start believing in this minimalist mantra, you'll begin to indulge in less extravagant things, find happiness with the immaterial and nurture the habit of needing less. You can shun the idea of bringing home every single thing you see on television and on big, bold advertising boards outside, and start believing in the theory that less is in reality, more. With less clutter, you'll devote less time to keeping your house clean, leaving you more free time to simply enjoy life. You'll be able to pack your bags with just the bare necessities, and you'll have more money to spend on important things. If you are still an amateur and wondering how to step into the world of minimalism, here are some easy pedestals to climb up to the path of minimalistic freedom and harmony.

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Nurture the Feelings of Desiring Less

While living with less in life can be peaceful, the first step towards having less is to imbue the habit of desiring and needing less. Physical and materialistic possessions tug at the strings of our hearts' desire all of the time, and in a world filled with luring alternatives at every step, it is indeed difficult to resist the temptations and desire less. For instance, you may be all for expensive clothes with designer labels, swanky cars, and plush apartments, but ask yourself a few questions. Do you really need such expensive clothes to stash in your closet? Couldn't you have done with less costly dresses which would look good without burning a hole in your pocket? Why do you need to buy an upscale, four or five-roomed apartment? Do you need to accommodate your extended family members in your house or apartment? If not, what do you plan on doing with those extra rooms that remain vacant most of the time? They would probably be just there to flaunt your status and wealth to those few guests who would come visit once in awhile during vacations and latch onto your hard-earned money. Although these are pragmatic things to think about, we hardly find ourselves pondering on these questions. We crowd our lives with too many impractical things and drain our wealth for unnecessary reasons.

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Clear the Clutter

Now that you know how to start your minimalistic venture, begin the process of clearing out any clutter from your kitchen corner. Get rid of the things that you do not need, such as an old toaster, microwave parts, the old plates that you do not use, the worn-out cups, the cracked saucers, and all of the mess that you could do without. Designate that corner as the minimalist corner that gives you peace of mind. Without all of the clutter, it's neat and clean without any effort. If you have a basement or garage brimming with unwanted things, take a day or two off to get rid of any unnecessary possessions. Instead, turn it into a useful corner; it can become your little home office, your child's study, a place to party with friends on weekends, or simply use it as a nook to relax and enjoy your low-stress, minimalist lifestyle.

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Give to Others

When you have cleared your house of things you do not need, think about giving them away. There are many who are in real need of the stuff that you don't want, and you would be showered with blessings and good feelings if you contribute to the needy in your area. Give away old blankets that you won't continue to use, or clothes that you feel are too old-fashioned for you to wear anymore. These items may seem outdated and unworthy to you, but to those deprived of luxuries, these may be things that they would cherish always. Even if you have old gadgets, wires, and adapters stashed in the drawers of your closet, think of going green by recycling. You would not have any use for them anyway, so you may as well clean up your drawers and simultaneously ensure that you're not wasteful or contributing to the global trash problem.

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Shop Only for What You Need

You may have seen your pal flaunting jazzy haute couture and accessories at a party. The next thing you do is find out the store from where she got them and hunt down those items, draining all your dollars by indulging in a shopping spree. You may have a wardrobe filled with fashionable stuff, but do you really go to such parties where you could actually show them off? Would it not have been more practical to fill your closet with more stylish, yet affordable clothes that may not have been designed by fashion couturiers, but would look gorgeous on you anyway? Your house may already be stuffed with similar things you see decking up the shelves of the department store, yet you cannot resist shopping for them. You can very well do without them and there is no point in bringing home the same goods in different designs, so drop the idea. Make a list of things that are of utmost necessity in the present. Develop the habit of buying just those, relegating the overwhelming temptations behind.

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Eat What You Have

Don't just binge on junk food or stuff from gastronomic joints every now and then just because you feel the urge to pamper your tummy. Even if you are a complete health food and fitness freak and believe in eating only homemade food, try cutting down on options. Practice minimalism in your culinary endeavors as well. Cook with the minimum that you require and make just enough to feed all of your family members. Check out your refrigerator or kitchen shelves for things that are already there, and use them up in your next meal. Do not let those bundles of spinach or that big broccoli rot in the fridge just like that. Instead, rack your brain and stir your culinary skills to experiment with the items that are about to perish. This will ensure that there is minimal or no wastage, and nothing going into the trash. By making a list of a few supper choices that you can have in rotation throughout the week, you can cut down on your grocery and food consumption without sacrificing your health.

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Move to a Smaller Space

Coming back to where we started, now that your house is cleared off all the mess and there are fewer things to stuff with many corners just lying empty, reconsider the space issue. If you are living in a plush villa or paying rent for a gorgeous five roomed apartment start thinking on lines of moving to a smaller apartment. Think how many rooms would be sufficient to accommodate your family members without seeming too crowded or cumbersome. Drop off your guests and extended family members, who come on annual visits, out of the list. When they do come, you can always make alternative arrangements of beddings and other things for the few days. But by moving into a smaller space, you would revel in the feeling of leading a minimalistic lifestyle and saving hundreds of dollars annually. Once you move in, organize the minimal things that you have got now and you will surely find life much more at ease and simple than before. After all, cleaning a smaller home is much easier and less tiresome than spending hours sweeping, mopping and dusting corners of a big apartment.

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Save Your Money

Opt for an emergency fund, invest in something worthwhile for your future or simply make an account for daily savings. Being minimalistic doesn't always mean you have to look into the minimal side of what you possess. You can also cut down on your expenses by choosing to go minimal on your debt paying schemes as well. Pay only the minimum amount required of you every month so as not to get caught in the debt trap. Keep aside the remaining amount which you could have managed to pay in addition to your monthly interest of your credit cards or loans. If you feel it is difficult for you to save without compulsion make an emergency fund which you would use only in case of extreme contingencies. In this way, you can get rid of your stress as well as you would be relieved and relaxed knowing there are sufficient funds to meet your emergency needs at any point of time.

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Enjoy Life as a Minimalist

Once you have stepped into the cosmos of minimalism, learn to enjoy life as it comes. Take pleasure in giving to others, packing less for your travel, walking on foot instead of traveling by car, and making simple choices on a daily basis. If you are planning a vacation, look out for venues near your place of residence instead of picking out spots that are far away and expensive to travel to. Hunt down a serene spot that's not hyped as a top tourist destination, yet it possesses all the aesthetic pleasures needed for a relaxing vacation. Go out for nature walks and breathe in the fresh air instead of taking a drive in your car. Talk with your neighbors, spend time with unfortunate children, develop relationships with people you meet every day and cherish these new bonds.

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Final Words

After all, when you lead the life of a minimalist you have less to think about, worry about, or stress over. You spend less time shopping and preparing food, and of course, you are relieved to know that you have a handsome amount of money saved for those dire situations. This leaves you with enough time to indulge in the things that actually matter, which provide you with satisfaction and solace that we so crave for in our lives today.

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Questions and Answers

Do you have any minimalist living apartment design ideas?

I understand that the right minimal list design in your environment can reduce stress levels? Is this true?. I have tried: I have tried removing clutter from my life to have a more zen lifestyle.. I think it was caused by: A hectic lifestyle and not enough time to clean my apartment caused this problem.

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Here is a YouTube Compilation of apartments arranged in a minimalist lifestyle.

For many people, a minimalistic living arrangement does help reduce their stress levels. Everything in its place has a way of making a person relax. As for cleaning, create a schedule that breaks down those chores on a daily basis. Instead of spending several hours in one day, breaking it down to 20 to 30 minutes a day is an easy way to establish a routine and keep your apartment clean.

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If you have problems with any of the steps in this article, please ask a question for more help, or post in the comments section below.


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Categories : Green Living

Recent edits by: VC, Donna, Eng

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