Disclaimer: I am not a minimalist at this point, I still have a lot of mental and physical clutter i have to go through. I embrace their ideology and hope that one day I will achieve my own take on minimalism. So think of this as a sort of a guide that i myself am trying to follow.
I’m the type of person who obsesses over detail, I like things that are cluttered and crowded. i reached to a point where if my art works are not flooded with tiny little details i will not be satisfied with it. So when minimalism started luring me with its aesthetics it felt a bit odd, why would i be attracted to a polar opposite of myself?
I always kept my table neatly cluttered with decorations, pens, and trinkets, the idea of an empty table would cause me so much discomfort. They always said that the signs of a productive person was a messy room but now if I have too many things lying around i can’t get myself to work.
I eventually began embracing the concept of minimalism, slowly. At first it was just the clothes then it was Aesthetic next thing i knew i wanted to empty my whole room and keep it that way. I know right now it’s becoming a bit of a trend, a lot of bloggers nowadays are influencing people with it and i fell for it as well.
I wasn’t sure why at the beginning but later on i realized that the benefits were helping me a lot both physically and emotionally.
Now at this moment I still did not fully embrace the movement, there is still a lot of things i need to get rid of and certain lifestyle changes i want to achieve, but these things will not happen over night. but i have developed some steps to help me get there. It might help you as well?
Disconnecting: In an age where social media plays a huge part in our lives it’s become quite difficult not to get somewhat addicted to it. I usually spend a huge chunk of my day on my phone, even if there isn’t anything interesting on it i just refresh 50 times to see something new. Also thanks to messaging apps you’re constantly connected to people, that can be a great thing and a bad thing for others. Personally I’ve reached to a point where i continuously bombard people i know with text messages over the most generic of things. now whenever i text something to some one i ask myself is it vital for this person to know this at this time? if not i just wait for a good time.
Food: At the age of 16 i began taking medicine prescribed to me by a doctor, i took the dumb approach and consumed it while only drinking my daily chocolate milk. i didn’t realize at the time the damage i was causing to the inside of my stomach. it eventually left me bedridden in a hospital for a week. after that i had to be extra careful with what i ate, but i didn’t really improve my diet and continued with the pain.
Recently i decided to take the first step in eating healthy, i stopped consuming animal products and cut out as many preservatives as possible that i would consume on a daily basis. Eventually my body started noticing the change and no longer was i bothered with stomach cramps and pain. It’s good to step back and analyze what you are putting inside your body everyday, you would be shocked to realize that the simplest of foods can be the most benefiting for you.
Another thing i find vital is water, i was an avid soda drinker and never noticed that it was the dehydration that was damaging the skin on my face.
Less is more: cliched as it may sound but it’s true, when i spring cleaned half of my room i felt like a heavy weight was lifted off my back. After that i realized how much garbage you can produce buying needless things, if you could try to avoid buying things that you don’t need it can help you a lot. I still have a huge amount of clutter that i plan to get rid of soon, my issue stems from the fact that i merged my tiny bedroom with my crafting supplies as well as my art supplies but I am going to try to fix that soon.
Japan is also embracing the trend of minimalism:
Clothing: when it comes to my clothes i notice myself wearing pretty similar clothes (lord knows my mother always keeps reminding me). i always have a tendency to wear black or white shapeless long clothes, not sure why but it just comes naturally to me. But what i have noticed is that there were a lot of clothes, despite their sentimental value, i really never wore. instead of keeping it in your closet you could donate it to people who could really use it. Dress however you like but make sure that you either always use the clothes you have otherwise its just used space in your closet collecting dust.
Un-disposable: and what i mean by this is that i noticed when we buy or use things they produce a lot of garbage. Try to use products that have very little packaging, or at least its bio-degradable. all those plastic bottles people use everyday are such a waste, you can recycle them which is great but if you could get a reusable bottle (glass is the best option) you can reduce the amount of garbage easily. Another thing i find helpful are tote bags (TOTE LIFE) Now i have three at the moment which i think is the best for me, a small sized one, medium and a large one. I use these for everything nowadays, when i go shopping either groceries or whatever I am going to buy I take one with me.When the cashier is about to grab a plastic bag to put inside whatever i have just bought, i stop them and tell them i don’t want it, i have my tote for that. The worst thing for me before is that when ever i went to buy anything all the plastic bags i had to throw away, my family usually keeps them to re-use which is good but i’d rather have one i can use again and again.
One Object, Multiple functions: I love the concept of saibachi chopsticks (japanese cooking chopsticks) they’re a bit difficult to master but what i love about them is that instead of having a utensil for one job, these chopsticks can be used for a wide variety of jobs, whisking, flipping, stirring, grabbing. So instead of having 5 different utensils you can have just 1 that does 5 of the jobs. The reason i mention this is because its a space saver and you have less things to clean.
If you want more research on how to start de-cluttering your life i’ve linked some videosd From Jenny Mustard on her minimalist lifestyle, i like her best because she explains it so well and in a way that makes you want to start right away:
- Eating like a minimalist
- Minimalism where to begin
- what kind of minimalist are you?
- Her story on becoming a minimalist
- How to Stop shopping
Another thing i would recommend is reading Marie Kodonas book: “
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of De-cluttering and Organizing “
A book that teaches you how to organize your life using the KonMari method, i’m listening to it right now and plan to use the authors techniques to help me attain a happier lifestyle that sparks joy.
I really hope that this guide helps you develop an interest in the concept of minimalism, not only will this help you but the environment as well.