Simple Ways To Live Minimally

The older I get the more that I realize that amassing material possessions simply does not lead to more happiness. Actually, for years the pursuit of things has led to more anxiety and depression than anything else. By choosing a slower, minimalistic lifestyle, the pursuit of joy seems much more attainable. If you're a newbie minimalist or want to become one then I would like to share some helpful ways that you can make minimalism work for you.

Read more below...

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Discover Your Value-System. 

Many people think that minimalism takes a great deal of sacrifice and discipline. I am hear to tell you that it really doesn't. Discovering your values will keep you on track as head down this path. Minimalism is not the practice of giving up everything but rather finding what truly matters to you and making a life around just that. 

Do this: Set aside about 30 minutes to do some meditation. Write in your journal a list of your values and priorities. Then minimize that to the top five values and then post this list somewhere that is visible to you. It will act as a reminder of the life that you want to create. 

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Find Fellow Minimalists.

As a black minimalist, it has been a bit of a struggle to find people that can relate to the idea of purposely having a little. In our culture stuff- cars, large homes, trendy clothing are symbols of success. People tend to think less of you for not wearing or having the things that they have. It is difficult for them to understand that you have just as much money but choose to save it or spend it differently. On this journey, find friends, bloggers, forums, and organizations of like-minded people to help you stay the course. 

Do this: Find your people! A few of my faves on Instagram include BrownKidsBlack Minimalist, Style Bee, Smile Elaina, and Madame Moiselle Jamie . The internet is a treasure trove of useful sites for minimalist living. Take a deep dive and find some that you respect. 

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Follow Your Own Voice.

It is inspiration that brought us all to this realization of simpler, minimal, and mindful living but at the end of the day we are aspiring to live out our own purpose. To be a minimalist is to live your best life...simplified. It is easy to get wrapped up in this idea of black and white themed wardrobes and Instagram timelines. However, minimalism is anything but this. 

There are a number reasons that lead people to this path. For some it is living more conscious and ethically and for others it is wanting to get out of debt or the freedom of leaving the corporate rat-race. Whatever your reason it will be your guide for the type of minimalist you will become and it will aid you in sustaining that life. 

Do this: Trust your instinct and taste. Do not subscribe to the all neutral palettes and let your personality shine in your minimalistic approach to design, style and living.   

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Make Your Goals Known.

I have shared with a number of friends and family my desire to live more with less stuff. The reactions were mixed but I feel like by making it known there is less confusion about my change in buying habits for myself and my children. My mother now even stops to think twice before trying to give us anything because she knows my desire for less things around the house. She doesn't totally understand it but she definitely respects it.  I've shared with my loved ones how much a simpler life has benefited me from lessening stress, anxiety to fewer messes that I have to manage as a single mom.  They all truly want to see this happiness continue.

Do this:  Parents and friends like to show their love by gift-giving. For holidays and birthdays, create a life of goals or gifts that would truly be meaningful for you or your family. Ask that your loved ones contribute to helping you accomplish these things instead bringing toys, clothing, or items that you may find in a closet or donation box soon. If you are saving for family passports or travels then ask relatives to contribute funds or want to help feed families in your community then ask for donations. Be creative and try to avoid amassing more of useless things. 

Take A Break. Don't Give Up.

Like any habit or lifestyle change, minimalism will take time and much practice. You will get off track, you'll have a bad day and splurge, your closets or pantry may get out of control from time to time. You're not striving for perfectionism but rather being better able to handle these slip-ups. Being more conscious of when life is spiraling and how to reel things back in. If you start to feel overwhelmed by minimalism (it can happen) then take a step back to reflect on your values and start again refreshed. 

xo,

Shelly C.