You may have heard the term minimalist before, but what is it? How can I apply this to my life? It's simple living and is simple to achieve, except the benefits are unlimited and can open opportunities you never imagined possible.
Lets go a little bit further into what exactly a minimalist lifestyle is and how it can improve your life. If you want to read another separate article on minimalism by Leo from zenhabits, you can here.
I actually stumbled upon this whole minimalism thing while living with my Grandparents (who unintentionally lived a minimalist lifestyle), and never looked back. All this means is that you reduce the clutter in your life down to the essentials plus a few quality items to enrich your daily life.
To the typical persons lifestyle, a minimalist lifestyle could consist of the following:
Few pieces of furniture
This doesn't mean you have to get rid of everything and sit on the floor. It simply means, get rid of those hand-me-down chairs that sit in "that one room" or any extra furniture that you don't particularly enjoy.
I use every piece of furniture I have everyday, not just for the storage of items, but to display them. For example : My candles and waterfall I have sitting on top of my dark cherry wood dresser.
No piles of anything
Clothes, papers, nick nacks like pens and kleenex - I know how convenient and comforting it is to have whatever item you may think you'll need, but put it away.
Just try it, it may seem difficult to break the habit of leaving things scattered across the dinner table or kitchen countertop, but it is an incredibly amazing feeling to cook or live around clean countertops. It frees your mind and lets you get engaged in other beautiful things in life besides paying bills.
Plants around the house
We've all heard of the benefits of house plants such as their ability to filter allergens inside your home. Some indoor plants could cause allergies for some, but I doubt the plants I recommend would cause them.
I personally have a few plants that I've had for 4 years, it's a blast to have a consistent growing plant collection over a long time versus someone giving you flowers that last a week or season. It's a hobby that can be meditative. It slows down time in life, watering and misting them.
What are the benefits?
Deeper and enhanced breathing
This is no joke, you have experienced it many times before.. those times when you clean out an entire closet, bedroom, drawer or car, the deep pleasure and relaxation after a de-clutter or cleaning session. Relaxation probably occurs because cleaning and moving stuff is exhausting! but, also because it feels good to see less.
Increased ability to focus on life
I've felt the stress that comes with a cluttered nightstand or kitchen counter, it can drive you crazy. Bills staring you in the eyes, old drink cups that you might drink (you won't), and a stack of sticky notes of things that you don't want to forget, but always do.
If I had to give the biggest benefit of creating a more minimalist lifestyle, it would be the freedom to think that it gives you.
We have so much on our minds that doesn't get attention because we are distracted by things. The TV, the do-list, the dishes, all these distractions can add up to a feeling of having no time for you and your thoughts!
It's time to tidy up, I wrote another article about that here. It will improve the quality of your life and give you some stress relief in a time where others try to give you too much of that already!
Have a great time with your life, reap the benefits and mental focus that you will discover.