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How to start your journey to minimalism

Simplicity and minimalism are hot topics in today’s society, with social media being flooded with pins and tweets of minimalists’ perfectly empty bedrooms. I’m sure many of you, like me, have been insanely pinning the contents of random strangers’ organised fridges, drawer separators and gorgeous simplistic décor inspiration! Personally, I’m always one way or the other and stuck in inner turmoil! I love the idea of having all my clutter around me and having a bohemian styled bedroom of “organised mess”, but I’m slowly falling for the idea of a minimalistic life. I’m beginning the journey to minimalism with baby steps. It can be really difficult to jump headfirst into a new lifestyle. So here are a few simple steps to simplifying your life!

Sorting your Possessions
For the closet-hoarders, it’s hard to throw away our possessions! But most of us who currently aren’t living a minimalist lifestyle will likely have at least 50 items we could bin and not miss! Choose a number of items to get rid of to set yourself a realistic goal. Perhaps 20 or 50 items. You can start by choosing to purge 10 items from each room in your house, that’s easy enough.  
·         Your closet (creating a capsule wardrobe is a great idea, I’ll be writing a blog post on how to make one of these very soon!)
·         Your work desk (do you really need another set of pens? I mean I probably do because I’m a creative writing student but do you?)
·         Your cosmetics (find a hair and makeup routine and keep only items that you use. Throw away any beauty products that are now empty or broken – stop hoarding old products to make your collection look bigger. I do this, but I promise I’m stopping!)
·         Your “collections” (throw away old nail polish and consider donating any movies you don’t like or don’t watch anymore)
·         Random paper (throw away any magazines that you haven’t read for ages, and any posters or vouchers that you’ve been saving, but let’s face it, you’re not going to use them
Using your Time Right
Sometimes we give priority to less important tasks and people over those we really should care about. Try this exercise:
First, make a list of everything you need to do in one day. My list looks something like: going to my lectures, writing sessions and seminars, coursework, freelance work, blogging, time with my boyfriend/friends (depending on what town I’m in), cooking, cleaning, and relaxation. You should then prioritise that list. For me, spending time with my friends and boyfriend is number one, then important things like school, homework, and work come next.
Next, you should decide whether you can realistically fit all of this into your schedule. Can you actually fit all of these things into one day? Probably not. You can solve this problem by learning to say no to things. Give more time to things more important and less time to tasks that aren’t, and learn to say no to things like overtime if you decide that time with your significant other or your friends are more important.
Pay Attention
In a world where multi-tasking is considered normal, even admired, people still aren’t getting stuff done as efficiently as they could. Simplify your to-do list by learning to single-task. Focus on having only one tab open at a time so you can truly engage with what you’re reading and learning. (I’m really bad at this, but I do try! I currently have at least ten tabs open…). You can also avoid distractions by turning off the TV, and putting your phone away from sight.
Read my blog post on getting organised and productive for more tips on attention!
Technology
Sometimes it feels like technology complicates our lives rather than simplifying. But in today’s society, most of us need technology for both our careers and our personal lives. I personally need technology because I work from home as a freelance writer, and all of my resources and coursework for university is submitted and accessed online! However, all of this can become very overwhelming, and so it’s okay to stop and take a break. Plan a technology detox. This detox can be a significant amount of time away from technology as an occasional break, or become part of your lifestyle. You could monitor the amount of time per day you’re on your phone, tablet, or computer, and decide how much you can reduce your usage and still be satisfied. Even simple tasks like deleting emails and talking to friends online can take up a lot of useful time. You can use the app Unroll.me to clear out any unnecessary email clutter, and unsubscribe from any websites or shops that you don’t use anymore. This is much quicker than scrolling through thousands of emails and individually clicking links to unsubscribe!
I will soon be writing a blog post on different ideas for a technology detox!
What about you? Have you considered living a more minimalistic lifestyle? What steps are you taking to achieve this? Comment below!


 

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