Essentials of Minimalism: Lifehacks for Living Minimally

You might think that minimalist living has a particular look to it: clean white counters or a closet holding exactly 24 items, for example.

But a minimalist lifestyle is not about fitting all your worldly possessions into a single backpack (though if that is your goal, here is how to pack your backpack like a minimalist) — it is about clearing the clutter from your life and adjusting your mindset so you can live with more purpose and peace.

So rather than tell you how to create the perfect capsule wardrobe, we are going to break down the principles of minimalist living so you can experience the sweet freedom of living with less on your own terms. Make sure to follow the coming lifehacks so it becomes easier for you.

1. Evaluate your life & examine your space:

The first step to minimalist living is stepping back and observing. Examine your home, your belongings, your lifestyle, and your attitude from an objective perspective. Do you own multiple versions of the same items? Do you feel stressed about trying to find a place to store the blankets your grandma knit for you? Is your closet overflowing with clothes you never wear and can not keep track of? Do you spend five minutes in the kitchen searching for the right lids to go with your plastic containers? The more you are able to view the details of your life through an unfiltered, objective lens, the more clearly you will be able to see what it is you want to change.

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2. Declutter your space AGAIN:

This one goes without saying. To live with less, you have to get rid of a lot, which can sometimes feel overwhelming and impossible. The good news? Starting is the most difficult part. Once you commit to clearing out your space, the actual nitty gritty decluttering process will begin to feel manageable.Here is how to start decluttering: Start simple and get rid of any duplicate items you own. Next, get rid of everything you don’t use or see on a regular basis. The stack of magazines you never read? Toss them.

Here is how to start decluttering: Start simple and get rid of any duplicate items you own. Next, get rid of everything you don’t use or see on a regular basis. The stack of magazines you never read? Toss them.

Next, get rid of everything you don’t use or see on a regular basis. The stack of magazines you never read? Toss them. The fuzzy socks you wear approximately once every two years? Say goodbye. As you go through your belongings, focus on eliminating not just the items you do not use, but also the ones that do not bring joy or meaning to your life.

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3. Stop buying needless stuff:

One of the biggest components of minimalist living is giving adequate thought to the things you buy or bring into your home. Before you scoop up the powder blue scarf you see for sale at your local boutique, stop to ask yourself why you feel the impulse to buy it. Do you need a scarf to keep warm or brighten your wardrobe for winter? Did you pick it up because you saw the red sticker with a 50% discount? Is the discount reason enough to buy it? Ask yourself the hard, decidedly un-fun questions before you add more stuff — and potentially more chaos — to your life.

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4. Buy high-quality products:

That being said, when you do need or want to buy something, go out of your way to make sure it is a quality item. Investing your money and time into finding things that are built to last will ensure you do not have to shop as often to replace your worn down or broken belongings.

The same goes for style. Invest in classic, timeless pieces — whether it is for your wardrobe, linen and bedding collection, or furniture — that you know you will love for years to come.

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5. Be happy with what you have:

Minimalist living is largely about the search for contentment, and contentment begins with gratitude for what you have. Focus on the beauty, convenience, and ease your stuff brings to your life, whether it is a painting that makes you smile or a French press that jumpstarts your morning routine.

When you feel grateful for everything you own, the desire to own more gradually disappears. The more grateful you are, the more meaning your life will have.

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