You’ve decided to become a minimalist and have decluttered your house. Now you have it exactly how you want it! Now what??
Becoming a minimalist is easy; maintaining a minimalist lifestyle is tricky.
When you try to maintain your minimalist lifestyle, it’s important to remember your WHY. Why is minimalism important to you? What purpose does it serve?
Minimalism is an amazing tool we can use in our lives to create the life we want to live. Being able to focus on the things that are important to you is so freeing. The intentional life we choose can open doors to opportunities we wouldn’t otherwise have. Minimalism is about facilitating intentional living so that we can focus on the things that are truly important to us.
By removing excess stuff from our life, we get more time and more freedom.
Let me tell you, it feels amazing to only own stuff I use. Stuff no longer runs my life! I get to choose what is in my house and what takes up my valuable time. I’ve found that the more I pursue a minimalist lifestyle the more freedom I have. I am not controlled by my possessions. Rather, the things I own are used to help me with the life I want to live!
But there is a tricky part about minimalism…We live in a world where consumerism is HUGE. Try and go one day without seeing an ad for something. I doubt you can do it.
We see ads on our phones, laptops, magazines, books, buses, cars, even driving down the freeway! Not to mention TV or radio. We live in a world where we are bombarded with things we “need” to buy.
The pressure is crazy!
There’s this idea out there, that if we buy more stuff we’ll be happier. And even as a minimalist it’s easy to believe that lie. It’s easy to begin to believe the lie that we NEED all this stuff that’s being advertised.
But don’t worry, there are some things you can do to maintain your minimalist lifestyle and stand strong against that cultural pressure to buy more and more.
What are some ways to maintain your minimalist lifestyle permanently?
Be picky about the things you allow in your home.
By being picky about what you allow into your home, you are going to facilitate your intentional life. What is most important to you in life? Are the things you’re letting come into your home going to help you with that life?
Example: If you run a craft business, and that’s what you love to do, you’re going to need supplies. Bringing in new craft supplies that you are going to use is part of your intentional living.
Now, if someone is NOT a crafter, and they begin bringing in a bunch of craft supplies that will never be used, they are simply adding clutter to their home.
Be ruthless about keeping out clutter.
Don’t let yourself get lazy about minimalism! You’ll regret it. Save yourself time and work, by getting rid of all that clutter as fast as you can. Create your own small routines for keeping clutter out.
Example: When you bring in the mail for the day, sort it before you set it down! Recycle the junk mail, file the things you need to keep.
When you buy new shampoo/cosmetics, throw out the old, etc.
Be kind and gracious when refusing something.
This is something I find is difficult to do as a minimalist. Often times people are trying to be generous and offer you something to help out, when the reality is you don’t NEED what their offering.
Don’t use minimalism as an excuse to be rude to someone: just say politely that you don’t need what they are offering. Or you can suggest that they take it to a local charity where someone in need might be able to use it!
Example: Your great-great-great aunt hears that you’re moving to a new house and wants you to take her fifteen foot long sofa. Kindly explain that you already have all the furniture you need, but that you know of a charity called ____ that would put it to good use.
Be confident in the lifestyle you have chosen.
Minimalism isn’t normal.
There. I said it.
It isn’t a widely spread lifestyle. I think a lot of people would find out they loved minimalism- if they tried it. But it is so different from this competitive society we live in where you have to have a big house, brand new car, and all the right gadgets to be “cool.”
Because minimalism isn’t the “cool” thing, it means we need to stand strong in our lifestyle. We can be gracious and kind to people who don’t agree, but it doesn’t mean we have to change for them.
We can be confidident that minimalism is a lifestyle that works for us!
Example: Your friend tells you that minimalism is weird. Simply say that it’s what works for you.
You don’t need to defend your lifestyle to someone who is just trying to be abrasive- to put it simply, they’re just being mean.
Questions to ask yourself before you bring something into your house:
- Do you need it?
- Will it add value to your life?
- Will it help you with the life you want to live?
- Do you already have something very similar?
Those four questions have kept me from buying LOTS of things I don’t really need. These are great questions, especially if you tend to be a spur-of-the-moment shopper. I’m 100% guilty of that. That’s why having a good set of questions to ask myself helps keep me from buying stuff I don’t need and that won’t add value to my life.
Remember that keeping a minimalist lifestyle can be easy! Just remember what’s truly important to you!
About the Blogger:
Carina Jane is a blogger from Oregon who writes about all things related to minimalism, meal planning, and keeping up with life. Check her out at www.carinajane.com!