21 Steps Towards Adopting Minimalism As A Lifestyle!

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  • You spend a lot of time choosing what to wear and still feel like you don't have anything?

  • Feeling trapped between all the stuff you have?

  • Don't have enough room for the stuff you own?

  • Constantly feeling sorry about the things you think you should do?

  • Do you think that you never have enough time and have a hard time keeping up with your life?

  • Do you get endless e-mails from social networking sites?

  • Getting bored of keeping up with the people you don't actually care about on social media?

  • You love nature but you feel guilty about the way you consume?

If your answer is yes to many of the above questions, it's time you meet minimalism. It's not a coincidence that successful people have adapted minimalism as a lifestyle. Steve Jobs wore the same black jumper and jeans for years. Einstein supported minimalist thought. Style icons are known for their consistent outfits. All these people have something in common, right?

1. Your new motto: “Less stuff, more memories.”

The more stuff you have, the more time and effort you need to take care of it. Which one do you prefer: Saving up to travel around the world or buying something that you will get bored of in a month? Think twice before the next time you do impulse shopping.

2. Define your style and your actual needs.

This step takes some time and effort. Think about your lifestyle. If you're commuting to work by bike, why do you need that many pairs of high heels? Why buy crop tops if you're only gonna wear them once in your lifetime? Consider finding your own favorites. Start by choosing your favorite color palette. Neutral colors are always good for your wardrobe. Try to invest in timeless pieces. Writing down your favorite clothes could be starting point to reconsidering your wardrobe.

3. Go through each and every item in your wardrobe.

Clothes you haven't touched in a year should go. If you haven't worn those pants over the last 6 months, either they don't fit your current style or you don't fit in that anymore. Pile up these clothes, wash them, and donate the ones in good condition. This way, you'll get rid of the things that are not working for you. Also, you'll help people in need. When you're going through your closet, try to note why you don't like these clothes. You'll need these notes later.

4. Do not go to shopping without making a list.

Those two lists you've written before? You'll need them when you're going out to buy new items. These lists will help you to make better decisions for your wardrobe. If you only buy the things you actually need, you'll realize what you need better. Calm down! That slip dress might be super trendy right now, but if it's not on your list, forget about it.

5. Quality over quantity.

In time, you'll start to buy less and less. Buying less means saving more money. Instead of buying cheap items that are produced in unethical conditions, try investing in fewer items with good quality. This way, you'll support fair trade and do good for our world.

6. Apply the following 4 steps to your place, too.

That cake mold you never used, those CD's you never listen to anymore, the books you don't read... Get rid of all the stuff you don't need anymore.

7. Learn about gift economy.

Surely there is someone out there who needs something you don't. Find out places that you can give away the things you don't use. Google terms like "gift economy" and "freecycle." You can sell your expensive items to second hand shops or put them on websites like Ebay.

8. Adapt minimalism to all parts of your life.

Consider your lifestyle choices. What are your interests and hobbies? What do you spend your time on the most? How many Facebook friends do you see IRL? What are your career goals? Make time to consider all of these questions. What are the real reasons behind your shopping addiction? Maybe, you actually need more attention from your loved ones.

9. Did you think it through? Now, close all your social media accounts that you don't use.

Leave them all behind. Only keep one or two that you use the most. If you have five different blogs around the cyberspace, close them. You'll save a lot of time and you don't have to deal with all the e-mail coming from these web sites.

10. Go on a "friend detox" on social media.

Remove all the cyber friends that you don't want to hang out with IRL. No more annoying feet photos at Maldives from that friend of a friend. Now, you only have the people you really care about on your list. Those you unfriended won't ask you why, we are sure.

11. Clean-up your mailbox, message inbox and contact list.

All the spam mail you get about stuff you don't care for? Why bother? These small things distract you and take a lot of your precious time. Hit unsubscribe and delete.

12. You don't have to take all the responsibility.

You have no obligation to catch up with everything. You don't have to be perfect. Obsessively cleaning your place, taking the kids home from school everyday, doing a double-major at college... All of these should be choices, not obligations. Critically consider your wants and needs. Don't be ashamed of getting help from others. If you try to handle all of it on your own, people might not realize that you need help.

13. You don't have to meet other people's expectations.

People might tell you to settle down, but maybe you want to explore the world a bit more. They tell you to "have kids," but you are not ready. Instead of accepting that promotion, maybe you want to change your career path. If you are questioning your life through other people's opinions, please stop. This is your life. You live it your way.

14. Your interests shouldn't be a place for greed.

A world class musician, an amazing cook, a winning ice skater... All at the same time? Why do you go under this much stress to prove yourself to others? Even the smallest things are enough to make you happy. Walking in nature, spending time with your friends, listening to music... Do more of what makes you happy. Your hobbies are for making you happy, not for putting you under stress.

15. Next, clean up the language you use...

We complain. We blame others. We gossip. We do not talk mindfully. We don't express ourselves well. Maybe all these negative behaviors are polluting our minds. We might be going mad about the things that are not actually there. Try spending a day without any complaints, for a change. Call this a complaint diet. Observe how you feel at the end of the day.

16. Make more ethical choices.

Our lives are full of choices. It's important to consume less. However, it is also important to observe what we consume. Recycle. Support the local producers. DIY. A sustainable lifestyle is essential for making the world a better place.

17. “Help! I can't be a minimalist when it comes to eating!"

We got rid of everything that is not working for us. How about the food we consume? If we adapted a "less is more" approach in our clothes, we should do the same thing for what we eat. You'll realize that the more mindful you eat, the more you enjoy your food. Healthy living ftw!

18. Be aware of how you spend your time.

If you apply the above logic to your life and still complain that you don't have enough time, it might be because you don't use your time efficiently. Maybe you spend too much time behind your screens? Maybe you spend all your time binge watching tv? Observe how you spend your time and write down what you do for a day. You'll be surprised by how much time you actually have.

19. Do not multi-task.

Multi-tasking is not a skill; no hard feelings. Driving and talking on your mobile at the same time is dangerous. You might have an accident and die while you're trying to answer your phone. Focus on one thing and then do the rest later. One step at a time.

20. Enjoy the silence.

Get used to small silence retreats. 30 minutes or an hour... Pray or meditate. Sit still and enjoy doing nothing for a while. Be with yourself only. This will make you more peaceful and calm.

21. Finally: Be grateful about the things you have.

Cicero once said "If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need." Sure, everyone has different needs. However, you should focus on the things that are making you happy and be grateful for them. Remember that minimalism is a lifestyle and a process. Don't rush things. Lessen things in time and you'll realize how much freedom you gain.

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