The Minimalist Life Cleanse: Revisiting your journey to a simpler life
Many months ago I shared my interest in minimalism, via a series of 3 posts, giving advice on how to simplify different aspects of your life to achieve a more minimalist life.
What Does Minimalist Mean?
The term has been associated with interior design, and the idea of having simple furnishings, only a few decorative details and a paired-back palette of colour. It was style that was focused on achieving peace, simplicity and functionality within the home.
These days, the word has become synonymous with a movement and a lifestyle choice, not simply a style of decoration.
Legions of people are retraining their thought patterns, steering themselves away from their consumerist nature, and just generally learning to live with less possessions. Some people go as far to apply minimalism to all areas of their life, simplifying everything from their social circle to their career choice.
The minimalism life cleanse focuses on this idea somewhat because you can't really achieve long-lasting minimalism in just one area of your life without giving attention to the others.
The series was launched a fair few months ago so I thought it might be time to encourage anyone who followed it back then, or has only recently found it, to revisit the core message of the series.
So lets take stock of where you're at on your minimalist journey and revisit the steps from Stage 1, 2 and 3.
How tidy is your personal space? Does it feel a joy to be in?
Consider your wardrobe. How many items of the clothing have you worn more than once in the last 6 months? How many items in there have you not even touched in that time?
When did you last empty out your pantry or fridge? How many items do you have stockpiled which keep getting pushed to the back of the cupboards and never used?
How many shampoo's and conditioners have you amassed, all with just a little bit left at the bottom? When did you last look in your bathroom storage and consider reducing you cosmetic products down to just your absolute favourites?
If you previously discarded a lot of your possessions, consider if your spaces remain cleansed, useful and organized. Have certain corners or surfaces begun acquiring new clutter, or are you still yet to remove all the things you originally intended to?
Are you tidying up more regularly, and if so, is that a sign that you still have a lot of clutter to discard?
Spend an hour moving through your home, and note any areas which need harsher de-cluttering; sort through the belongings slowly, discarding a few items a day in the very least.
Your home can collect clutter amid a busy life, but taking a morning or an afternoon to re-assess your space really can lead to much less stress in the long-run. An ordered space which works well for your needs will not require as much maintenance so will free up some time and energy for other things!
Read about how de-cluttering your home can benefit your mind here!
It's all too easy to see the process of simplifying your life as an opportunity to acquire more, maybe to replace old and thrown away items.
However it somewhat defeats the purpose to replace the things you have successfully gotten rid of and are able to live without. You should only be replacing things when the absolute need arises.
When did you last create a budget, or list your spending? Do you know off the top of your head how much money is in your current account and savings? How far along are you on debt repayments, and are you throwing as much as you can each month, not just making the minimum payment?
Consider the last five items you purchased (bar food). Where are they now, did they serve a purpose, and will they continue to be useful in the future? Are your daily spending decisions focused on instant gratification or delayed?
Are you making bill payments on time, and are you stretching your budget (if you've even made one) to last between pay-day's? Do you dig into your savings to make up unexpected short-falls or to pay for random indulgences?
Do you feel as if you are getting what you want out of your life with the funds you have, or are you still making frivolous spending decisions that leave you wanting?
The way you view money and the ease with which you part with it will determine so much of the clutter in your life. Financial over-stretching, a home rife with objects and the worry of having little financial security, this can all be simplified and eased with more mindful spending decisions.
Read more about overhauling your spending here!
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- It might be time to hit that unsubscribe button again, because somewhere along the way you may have given out your email address and are now receiving more useless emails destined never to be read.
- Stop ignoring all those unread emails; implement the 'read, delete, reply or move' rule, which is quite simply going to keep your inbox nice and clean. I created folders corresponding to different topics and I move non-urgent or follow-up emails to those folders, or I delete the email.
- Back-up the thousands of photos on your phone to clear the decks and free up some storage space on your devices. The anxiety attached with losing our phones is only heightened when we allow them to hold our precious memories in an intangible and vulnerable form.
Review your social media and consider if you are really getting that much out of following so many people on twitter or seeing every post into that face-bay group on Facebook. Streamline your feed and reduce the amount of different subjects and people vying for your precious time and attention.
Did you stick to the idea of only having the most useful apps on your devices, or have you been pulled in by appealing looking ones which now sit idle and forgotten? Delete any apps you haven't used for a month and move your most used into organized folders.
The nature of our electronic habits can lead to divided attention, split across numerous distractions. If we can reduce the number of outlets vying for our attention across our social media and devices, then we can get back some focus and true relaxation.
Read more on simplifying your online world here!
The minimalist life cleanse isn't really a one-off act; it is a conscious effort and a way of approaching all areas of your life, that just like an exercise regime or a diet, can fall by the wayside.
Its important not to beat yourself up if you feel that maybe the initial thrill of simplifying has died off, and you are going back to old habits.
But it's also important to remember the enthusiasm you felt when you first followed the steps from stage 1, 2 and 3, when you tackled the many facets of your life which weren't bringing anything good to the table.
You can definitely get back to that mindset, one where your life is not paired down or dull, but enriched with quality objects, interests and interactions.
You can create a home and a daily routine that can be purposeful and peaceful at the same time, building a solid foundation for reaching your goals in the rest of your life.
By the way, before you leave, I recently released my book, Minimalism: Cleanse Your Life, Become A Calmer Person, available NOW! It's a more in-depth guide to de-cluttering your home, organizing your life, refining your spending habits and simplifying your relationship with your technology:
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Want more reads like this? You can now find Hannah in her own online space, Good Intentions. Minimalism, mindfulness, conscious living and self-love; all the good stuff centred around being kinder to yourself, and kinder to the world.