Minimalist Living – Is It For You?
May 13, 2019
If you feel overwhelmed by the amount of stuff in your home – don’t worry, you are not alone. You may think that you need to upgrade in order to better manage it all – but the exact opposite may be true! In many cases, in response to an overload of “junk” in your home, a downsize may be the answer. Adopting a more minimalist lifestyle may seem like a daunting task, but thousands of people are testifying that the switch to minimalist living actually makes life easier without unnecessary distractions. If done correctly, minimalist living can actually make your life much easier, and save you the time and money it would take you to upgrade your home to fit your belongings.
What Is Minimalist Living?
Minimalism is centred around the concept that less is more. The purpose of minimalist living is to simplify your life by removing the excess of anything that is adding unnecessary clutter to your physical and mental environment. To some, minimalist living means to spend less time and money on material items, and more on experiences and connections with the people you care about.
Overall, most of us can agree that there are lessons that can be taken away from the idea of minimalist living that we can all apply to our lives in some way or another. No matter how far you take it, even if all you want to do is clean out your closet, there is something to be gained from a minimalist mindset. Let’s discuss the benefits of minimalism, and how you can get started.
Benefits Of Minimalist Living
Minimalist living can positively benefit many aspects of your life if used effectively; your home, your bank account, your mental well-being, your social-life, and more. Here are a few of the many benefits that can be derived from embracing a minimalist lifestyle;
- Decluttering – most of us ultimately want to use minimalism to help us find a better system for managing the items we have in our homes, and find the will to toss many of the items we think we need. A minimalist mindset will help you do just that.
- Freeing your mind – studies have shown that “mess causes stress”. Clearing your home of unnecessary clutter removes the excess of stimulation, distractions, guilt, and gives you the chance to relax.
- More time – when you spend less time constantly cleaning your house of belongings you don’t need, you save yourself time. As well, clearing your schedule of extra tasks and activities is part of the minimalist mindset. When you focus only on the things that are necessary important to you, you will have more time to spend doing the things you love.
- Improving your health – along with the minimalist lifestyle comes the idea of eating better and simpler foods. As well, many minimalist believe that once one cuts back in their life they have more time to rest and take better care of themselves and their family.
- Going green – reusing, repurposing, recycling, and reselling belongings is a large part of how a minimalist is able to clear their homes of clutter, and is great for the environment!
PLUS! Think of the financial benefits;
- Financial freedom – changing your mindset and saying “no” to buying unnecessary items is one of the most challenging parts of a minimalist lifestyle, but spending less on things you don’t need will give you the ability to save more effectively.
- Spending more on experiences rather than “stuff” – if you are an effective saver, the money you save from not purchasing those “extra” items can be put towards your next vacation or family outings.
- Reselling – selling some of those big ticket items or bringing a haul of clothes in for consignment is a great way to make some extra cash and can really add up.
- Downsizing – once you get into the swing of minimalist living, you might realize that you do not need as big of a home as you have to store items anymore. Downsizing can save you a lot of money in mortgage payments/rent, utilities, and taxes, and time in cleaning and maintenance.
Signs That You Are Ready For Minimalist Living
- You are tired of cleaning a house that feels like it is full of “junk” that has no place in your home.
- You are tired – a cluttered house equals a cluttered mind.
- You are thinking about upgrading your home to fit your belongings – this may be necessary! However, you should seriously think about whether or not the problem is the size of your house or the amount of items you have.
- You have a desire to reconnect with nature – having less belongings means spending more time in the outdoors rather than cleaning or with your possessions.
So You Want To Test Out The Minimalist Lifestyle – Now What?
A step towards a minimalist lifestyle requires a change in the way you think about the material items in your life: this is the hardest part, but once you can make this shift the rest will follow. It is important that you are approaching each process in a positive and maintainable way, because like all long-term goals, a lifestyle and mindset shift is required to effect lasting change in your home.
The first step towards embracing minimalist living is minimizing your physical environment. This is the most time consuming part of shifting to a more minimalist lifestyle, but also the most transformative. The biggest shift in mindset will come from this stage and the other aspects of minimalism discussed earlier will be easier to embrace once you’ve completed this. For every space you want to declutter, a process you may want to follow goes as such;
- Collect – empty the drawer, clean out the closet, and lay out all of the items in the area you are minimizing to really get a sense of how much you have.
- Select – take a look at the pile and pick out the items that make you happy, that you know you enjoy and use. Take these items and put them in a separate and hopefully much smaller pile. Be very selective during this process.
- Eliminate – throw the rest away. Recycle the old notes, donate the cooking utensils you don’t use to goodwill, take your clothing to consignment, give the old toys to your neighbour with younger kids… just get rid of it! Do not be sentimental during this process!
- Return – return your selected items to where they belong after cleaning it out, and in a way that is easy to access. Some of your items may need to be moved to different places or rearranged to where they will be best utilized.
Here are a few ideas on how and where you can start to minimize your belongings in an order that will ease you into the process;
- Clean out your closet – have you worn that in the last 3 months?
- Look for duplicate items – two of the same DVDs, spatula, board game, an excess of blankets, etc.
- Remove decorations and pictures that are just “there” with no meaning to you
- Shred old paperwork
- Tackle the bathrooms – this is a big job, but it will make you feel good when you are done because there will be so many obvious things to get rid of
- Declutter your countertops
- Remove rarely used furniture
TIP: if throwing away possessions really makes you nervous, put away items that you suspect are not necessary in storage – if you do not need them after a month, it’s safe to throw them away. You may want to try this with furniture and cooking utensils for your first project!
A Simplistic Summary
As with all things, start small! Your transition to a more minimalist lifestyle can go as far as you want it to, but it all starts with that first step. After one day of cleaning out your closet, the next week spent emptying the bathrooms, then maybe shredding old paperwork, you might find yourself getting in the groove of minimizing your life. We think that you will feel refreshed. You may want to stop there and that is great too – any amount of change is good if it makes you feel better in your home!
However, some of you may keep pushing, and one day find that you do not need all that empty space you have now found in your home. If that is the case, Copperfield has a large variety of housing options for residents and buyers. Within one of the best Calgary communities is the neighbourhood of Copperstone where families and professionals of all shapes and sizes can find their ideal home. Single Family Lane Homes designed with a unique blend of modern conveniences and old world charm have spacious 3 and 4 bedrooms ranging from 1,360 to 2,365 sq. ft! Classic Single Family Homes are 3 and 4 bedroom homes, family-friendly and luxurious that range from 1,830 to over 2,600 sq. ft. Inviting main living levels with 9 ft. ceilings, attached front garage, gas fireplace and a gourmet kitchen!
Townhomes in Copperstone are coming soon in May 2019! These spacious, intelligently designed 3 bedroom townhomes range from 1,330 to 2,290 sq. ft. and all homes enjoy landscaped yards front and back plus the convenience of a 2-vehicle garage!
Come down to fall in love with Copperstone and explore one of the best Calgary communities for yourself.
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