In the rapid pace of modern life, people do not notice how they fall under the power of things and, caught up in the excitement of gluttony, gradually cease to control their lives. Letting chaos into their homes and subconsciously wishing to somehow put it in order, people find themselves trapped in endless consumerism. As one option to get out of this trap, psychologists recommend to consider and apply the principles of minimalism in your life.
What is life in minimalism?
How to become a minimalist and where to start? To a person encountering this concept for the first time, minimalism appears as a certain nominal value, strictly limited by the framework of lack of comfort, but such an interpretation of the concept can only harm its understanding. In fact, minimalism is a way to bring harmony into one's life through the elimination from everyday life of things and habits that can easily be done without.
How does it work and what does it mean to become a minimalist? We need to understand that for each person there are different limits to the acceptable minimums of life. If for someone the refusal to sit on the Internet can only be an additional stimulus to the dynamics of personal development, for another it will mean the deprivation of livelihood. This means that there cannot be a single register of "bans" that allow a person to accept the concept of minimalism, everything is strictly individual.
How to understand the need for change
To understand how close or how far a person is from the ideals of this thesis of life, he needs to answer three questions:
- Are there clothes (shoes) in his closet that he hasn't worn in over a year and doesn't plan to wear in the next 3 months?
- Does cleaning the house irritate him because of the abundance of items that are "in the wrong place"?
- Does he/she often have feelings of mental chaos and problems due to his/her inability to concentrate?
If the answer to two of the three questions is "yes," then "belongings panic" is already firmly in the respondent's life, and only by following the basic principles of minimalism can one get rid of it.
If in order to put things in order in your apartment, to put things and work papers in order, a person goes shopping again, he should immediately give up the idea to change something in life. The result of any purchase, even if it is an organizer for pencils or a folder for documents, is the actual cluttering of space, which already denies the possibility to dispose of the mess.
How do you become a minimalist? Beginning the serious work of freeing oneself from everything unnecessary, a person should eliminate such clichés, imposed on him by marketers, as, "in the new life - with everything new" or "save by buying more (or "buying now", "until such and such a number", etc.)". These are all invented to increase sales revenue and don't meet people's true needs.
How to become a minimalist in the home
It is advisable to first write a list of the different areas of a person's life with the necessary minimum of their components. It is best to make many separate lists and devote a few days to the processing of each.
It might look like this:
- "Kitchen" - 3 plates, 3 spoons, 3 cups (etc., with all the essentials for cooking).
- "Hygiene" - 2 towels, 1 soap dish, etc.
After making another list, the person should box up everything that is not on the list of necessities and get rid of the junk in the next week. You can do this by selling extra stuff through announcements, giving everything away to acquaintances or throwing out what is no longer useful to anyone.
Most people need more time to comprehend the necessity of this or that object, so it is best to act by going from room to room and consistently getting rid of unnecessary things.
The pitfalls of conceptual change
Trying to become a minimalist, one should not forget that an instant rejection of old habits or depriving oneself of everything that was part of the comfort zone will cause severe stress, the consequences of which are unpredictable. A person cannot quickly readjust his or her thinking in the right way, even if he or she understands the need for drastic changes.
But if an abrupt transition to a new way of life can contribute to a breakdown of adaptation, then too gradual introduction into the minimalist society will most likely lead to the fact that the movement will stall halfway through. Therefore, the novice minimalist should immediately accept the basic rule of the game: starting the way, it is necessary to clearly outline the starting point and the end point, with an indication of the term of "arrival".
On the average individual with standard notions of property and social norms, two months is enough for a complete transition to minimalist requirements. This primary designated period should be broken down into the small goals discussed above. Then the changes taking place in a person's life will not cause psychological resistance.
Steps to the new life
So, you have decided to become a minimalist. What do you need to do first? Psychologists recommend to begin the process with sorting out the closet and follow the following principle: a thing that has lain idle for a year, unequivocally goes to another owner. Then you need to get rid of accumulated textile junk and only then go to the next stage.
A step-by-step plan for becoming a minimalist:
- Get rid of unnecessary papers - old receipts, study notebooks, booklets.
- Go through all the books you have.
- Give away or sell uselessly stored toys, unused appliances, and utensils.
- Throw out of the house all accessories and creativity literature that are no longer relevant to family members (this applies to recent elementary school students).
- Dispose of all "stale" items, from food to medicine to cosmetics.
- Distribute to acquaintances all accumulated souvenirs that are of no practical use.
- Take out unnecessary furniture that clutters up useful space and does not meet its functionality.
This instruction is considered a necessary minimum for all followers of the idea of minimalism, and how to become an absolute follower of the concept, you can learn further.
Tips for Advanced Minimalists
Constant stay in the confined space of material goods deprives a person of an opportunity to develop spiritually, as well as limits his freedom of movement. Since to completely abandon property in modern society means to fall out of society, advanced minimalists try to reduce the list of their possessions as much as possible.
How to become a minimalist in life:
- Swap your living space for a smaller one if your current apartment seems too spacious or concern for possessions prevents you from focusing on more important tasks;
- Giving up your own car, freeing yourself up more time and eliminating the expense of caring for it;
- Getting rid of the TV and computer (if you don't need it for work).
The most difficult problem for a budding and developing minimalist can be the lack of understanding of the people closest to them and their unwillingness to follow the rules of the concept, contrary to the usual notions of the norm. Living under the same roof with the opponents of the system will complicate many tasks, but within his own room, a person can organize the space as he wants.
How do you become a minimalist and frugal host? Cost control is a necessary part of the idea of getting rid of everything unnecessary, but there is a big difference between the frugality of the economist and a sensible approach to spending a fan of the concept. A minimalist does not feel regret when limiting his purchases, and uses the accumulated funds for intangible benefits, such as travel or education.
To better understand what money is spent on, and to find a way to reduce unnecessary expenses, you should make a habit of writing down your expenses every day. After a few days, it will become clear which resource is eating up the seeker's budget with the greatest intensity. It is very important not to stop tracking your spending, constantly analyzing the need for each episode of your shopping activity.
7 enemies of minimalism
How do you become a minimalist? In the life of a person moving towards one of the types of reasonable asceticism, there are a number of obstacles encountered due to his upbringing, habits, as well as internal attitudes towards the issue. It is a big mistake to build an algorithm of a cardinally new way of life without internal agreement and acceptance of all its points. However, several factors can interfere with this at once:
- The individual's lack of gratitude for what he has in life at the moment;
- A tendency to despondency, complaining, "burnout";
- Excessive daydreaming and a passion for planning without following through on one's ideas;
- Lack of physical activity, a predominant amorphous state;
- Lack of motivation;
- A habit of spending time on the Internet and watching TV;
- Dependence on other people's opinions, lack of their own views on life.
It is necessary to understand that minimalism is not a way to save a certain amount of money or to justify its absence. It is possible to temporarily accept some aspects of this system in order to concentrate inner strength and cut off the accumulated negativity. But to come to a full agreement with oneself and to concentrate on what is really important will be possible only through constant and conscious control over external resources, which take away so necessary energy, money and peace of mind.