The minimalist lifestyle has been taking off like crazy around the westernized world. While there are a great many benefits associated with diminishing the amount of stuff you own, saving money is an important one. Before we begin on saving money, let’s get to the root of what it means to be a minimalist.
What is a minimalist?
If taken to the extreme, minimalists own fewer than one hundred possessions, which cannot include a home, a television, or a car. Yet, even the most successful minimalists agree that the previous standards we mentioned are severe. Put simply, minimalists live a simple life.
If you desire to live a life with minimalist ideologies as your guide as extreme as only owning 100 things more power to you. Still, there are some of us that desire freedom but are not willing to give up or cars or televisions and that is perfectly fine. FInding a happy medium between ultimate minimalists and a person who needs to own everything they see is obtainable.
We are here to help you move toward minimalism while saving some money along the way.
- Decide where to start?
The best place to begin would be your home. Letâ€™s assess the situation. Where do you have the most stuff? For some of us, it could be in the kitchen with cabinets brimming with plastic containers. Others might think that their garage is the area with the most stuff with boxes stacked that havenâ€™t been opened in years.
No matter what room of your home you feel is the most crowded with things, choose one and letâ€™s get started.
- Plan your attack
Whatever your reasons might be for wanting to minimize your home, be it that you are tired of looking at the clutter, or you are preparing your home for the market, it is always wise to start with a plan. Write down what you want to accomplish and map out a strategy for each room.
For example, a minimalist may be moving to a smaller home, which might require two or more children to share a bedroom. You need to plan out where to place the beds or whether or not you need to research bunk bed mattresses. Minimizing the home you live in now is no different.
Get some paper, create a page for every room, go to that room, and look around. Should you clear out the closets or the dressers first? Make a decision, write it down, and move on to the next step.
- Keep what you need
This may seem like we are suggesting you move in the opposite direction but the truth is before you can get rid of what you donâ€™t want, you have to know what you do want. If you canâ€™t live without your white noise machine because it helps you sleep then put it in the â€œessentialâ€ pile, but that means when you rummage through your closet at finding the cassette walkman and tapes that have ocean sounds you can give those up.
Declaring what you must have will help put plenty of other objects you find into perspective.
- Let go of fear
You may not fit in those pants again, and we know they were worn on that memorable night and you want to keep the reminder but look around your home. How many things are there just because they remind you of something? These little reminders pile up and before you know it they require storage containers and more space, all which will cost you money.
Buddha taught the importance of practicing impermanence and a minimalist needs to keep this in mind as well. We grow attached to things and only when we let go of that attachment are we truly free. You can make money as well by selling your discarded items online via stores like eBay or Craigslist or you can have a good old-fashioned garage sale.
- Donâ€™t add
While the previous tips focus on clearing out this one that will save you the most money. We realize new seasons come around, which require new clothing and technology is advancing at a rate that is putting a dent in our wallets. Resist the urge to have it all.
If your favorite sweater has worn a hole, patch it up. The cost of adding a cool piece of fabric opposed to buying a brand new sweater is significant. Of course, if you arenâ€™t in the mindset to wear clothes with holes in them, then by all means, purchase a new pull over. Just keep the purchasing down to a minimum. The less you add, the less stress there is, and, more importantly, the less you will spend.