A Guide to Minimalism


Keeping up with the Joneses is dead. Minimalism is taking over the minds of people. The days of competing with your neighbor are over. For minimalists, the name of the game is downsizing.

Minimalism is not just the idea of bare walls and white everything, though it can be. Minimalism is simply having no more than you need. With the cost of living on the rise, people are looking for ways to downsize. After crippling student loan debt and a horrible job market, minimalism offers solitude and a way to survive.

Pinterest and Tumblr offer one side of the minimalism wave, but there are many benefits to minimalism. Minimalism, in small ways, is not just for the hipster with the online blog. It’s a way to clear all the sludge out of every facet of your life. The worst that can happen is that your inbox  is a little cleaner. No one is asking you to start doing Yoga every morning or drink conflict free coffee that costs three times the amount.

Cleaning out your closet


One of the first steps of minimalism is getting the excess out of your life. You may not be able to change the people at your office or school, but you can get rid of the extra mess in your life. Start with your clothes. Chances are that you have a lot of barely worn clothes in your wardrobe.

Capsule wardrobes are a great way to pare down your clothes. Keep a few key pieces out. If there is a seasonal piece that you do not reach for throw it out. You probably do not need it.

Capsule wardrobes are a small collection of clothes and accessories. All other clothes are kept in storage or in drawers. The goal is to keep out only the top clothes in your wardrobe. Over time, your wardrobe eventually wears down.

A capsule wardrobe serves a dual purpose as a simple decoration piece and means to practice minimalism.

Inbox, Computer, and Cellphones


Periodically, clean out your inbox of all old e-mails. Unsubscribe from all those newsletters you signed up for. Most e-mails have a unsubscribe function. If the e-mail is over six months old, evaluate whether you need to save it. If you do, consider transferring those saved e-mails into an “archived” folder.

Do the same thing with your computer. If you are hoarding years of old pictures, consider going through them. If you want to preserve the memories, transfer the images to an online drive or an external hard drive. In the case of a computer crash, the photos remain untouched.

Next, conquer your cell phone. Unless you are still sending out Candy Crush requests, delete the game. The same goes for all those old games you do not play anymore. Then, clean out old music. Call Me Maybe was your song, but now it makes your ears bleed. Hit the delete button. Afterward, move to your pictures.

There is no shame in taking 55 pictures to get the perfect selfie. Now, however, you’ve ben get the “storage is full” message for the last few months. Get rid of all those unpublished portraits. Make room for new ones.

Clean out your life


Here is where things become tricky. We keep some people in our lives for far too long sometimes. If you are holding onto a friend from high school, consider what they bring to your life. At a certain age, you realize the quality of friends matters over the quantity.

Maybe you have a job at a bank but your friend still hangs out at the same spot since high school. Instead of feeling guilty, move on. Allow that friend to find someone who shares their interests. We hold onto people for all the wrong reasons. Toxic people need to get out of your life. Once that happens, you will see how clear your life becomes.

Keep the friends you need and move on from the ones that no longer have your best interest at heart.

You always hear those stories of the lawyers, bankers, and highly paid individuals ditch their high paid jobs for a simpler life. Money helps keep food on the table, but there is something to be said for keeping it simple. Simplicity means less overspending and more time to focus on what really matters.

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