How a minimalist lifestyle can transform your life for the better
‘Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we may not like, so that we can buy things we don’t need.’ This classic monologue from Hollywood Blockbuster’ Fight Club has a deep meaning and at some level, it points to the idea of minimalism.
Minimalism is living as frugally as possible, while fulfilling your basic needs. Minimalism preaches against the practice of accumulating material possessions that serve no purpose other than stroking one’s ego or letting them comply with a preconceived notion of success.
If you want to live a minimalist life, even remotely, this article is for you. We will share a few insights and tips to help you get started. Along the way, you will also see how minimalism can make your life simpler, enriching, and more fulfilled.
Minimalism starts at home
Minimalism is not what most people think. You do not have to give up everything you own. Rather, you must identify things that you value the most, while getting rid of everything else that does not serve any purpose in your life.
Hence comes the decluttering part. It is tricky because anything you may want to discard makes you want to hold onto it. So, here is a rule of thumb that you can follow. Pick up items that you have not used in the last six months. Put them in a box and donate or sell them off. If you have not used those things in the last six months, you will probably not use them again.
Do your bit for the environment
Minimalism is driven by an underlying objective to simplify lives and conserve the environment. As a minimalist, you will want to reduce your carbon footprint and adopt environmentally friendly alternatives wherever possible. Downsizing your vehicle or switching over to an electric car is a great place to start or finding the best energy provider in your area and making your home energy efficient. Replace older appliances with 5-star-rated appliances to conserve electricity and reduce your monthly bills. Minimise your e-waste by avoiding impulsive gadget purchases. Most importantly, use public transport or a bicycle for city commutes and running errands.
Benefits you will reap in the long run
A luxurious lifestyle costs more than just money. It costs your freedom and often makes you a slave to your job because you have credit card bills and EMIs to pay, “things you own, end up owning you.”
On the other hand, minimalism helps you break free from this materialistic trap. You do not have to worry about paying a $400 EMI for a fancy car or buying expensive furniture, accessories, and clothes.
This feeling when breaking away from materials can be liberating in many ways. You can work at your will, take a week off for vacation, become financially independent, and retire early. The best part is that you will have sufficient money in your bank account to spend on experiences that you will fondly remember, rather than buying things that will stop giving you pleasure and satisfaction down the road.
You will be eliminating distractions by getting rid of the clutter. This allows you to focus on things that add meaning and purpose to your life.
It is not always easy to lead a minimalist lifestyle, but the long-term benefits are worth the effort. Prioritising experiences over materialistic possessions, you will have beautiful memories to look back at, which will give you more happiness.