Minimalism is a method of thinking about the things we keep in our lives. The most obvious way it is applied is to your possessions, but it can be used to improve many parts of your life.
The things we keep have large effect on us. As well as occupying a physical space, each thing we own occupies a mental space as well. For example, imagine a basket full of dirty clothes. The basket takes up space in your home, but in the back of your mind is the knowledge that you need to wash them.
There are many things we hold on to, because they seem valuable in some way, but unless you use them, they are just taking up space.
Take a look through your shelves/wardrobe for something you haven’t looked at or used in the last year, a book, DVD, jeans etc. Do you think you’re likely to use it in the next 12 months? If not, is it really worth holding on to?
Minimalism promotes the idea that if some isn’t ‘adding value’ to your life, you don’t need it. Your home, and your mind will be clearer if you let go of it.
Minimalism doesn’t just concern objects, you can also examine your behaviour with the same scrutiny.
There are activities we do automatically day to day, like crashing on the sofa to watch TV. You might not even want to watch anything, you might end up scrolling past shows and movies for a long time to find something. In that case are you really gaining value from watching TV?
The minimalist approach would be to only watch something you’re excited about, so only turn the TV on when you can name the show you’re excited to watch.
Some relationships are truly valuable, but not all. If you notice you slip into bad behaviours around certain people, or if a relationship is giving you stress and/or negative emotions it might be worth asking if that person is worth having in your life. Is there a way to change the relationship to something more positive?
The key to minimalism is using extra scrutiny when making decisions, about all aspects of your life. There are so many ways this thinking can be applied, that it can be useful to focus on one area at a time.
There are lots of guides about applying minimalism. The first book from ‘the minimalists‘ a great introduction if you feel applying minimalism could improve your life.
‘Minimalism: Live a Meaningful Life’