Minimalism and frugality go hand-in-hand, since both emphasize mindful, simple living and conscious consumption of products.
If you’re unfamiliar with the term minimalism, my understand is that it’s a minimization of distractions (whether thay be the clutter in your office or an email full of unread messages) so that one may immerse more fully into the present and emphasize meaningful relationships and experiences in their lives.
How does this connect to frugality? The same basic concept applies to both, that boycotting of mindless shopping and abadoning an overly-materialistic lifestyle leads to more inner peace, but minimalism goes further. It is not just outer organization and simplicity that is important to finding authenticity, but also inner, by way of practicing mindfulness, meditation, and being extremely discerning with how you spend your time. Below, as always, is a list of 10 steps to practicing frugal minimalism in order to find a deeper, more meaningful existence.
- Get familiar with the concept; a simple way to do so is that start at the minimalist’s website, a great resource!
- Pratice a form a mindfulness daily: meditation, walking, breathing, etc.
- The first action step is the most obvious: declutter! That means not only letting go of non-essentials or things that don’t bring you joy, but also organizing it so it doesn’t become a mess again. My advice? Schedule a few hours on Saturday, get a huge box, and go through your place, donating as much as you can, then the next day organize!
- Make your space a haven that you enjoy spending time in. No messes that stress you out or clutter taking up space in the back of your mind! Check out a minimalist apartment for inspiration, and to really cut down on bills, look into sustainable housing options
- Be mindful of what you bring into your space. Ask yourself if this object (or relationship or social media platform) is truly useful or brings you joy. It doesn’t? Donate it or don’t engage. Yes, I know your aunt bought it for you for your birthday and you feel guilty, but at least by donating it, it will go to someone who can truly use it!
- Decorations: make them beautiful or functional. My favorite are plants, you can get free food from them and they count as decoration!
- Speaking of letting things go, stop putting effort into relationships that don’t fulfill you. No, that doesn’t mean if they said something rude to you you should give them a piece of your mind then walk away. It means this: sit down and really think of the top 5-10 people in your life that matter most to you. Make them the priority. If you have the option do some networking with aquaintances or go to your best friend’s recital, you know what to do. Real relationships first!
- Social media, email, texts, etc. They’re taking up too much of your time and energy. Purge social media, turn of notifications if, like me, you can’t bear to part with snapchat (or Insta or whatever), use Unroll.me to unsubscribe to any email that isn’t essential- yes even that cool yogi guy that sends you daily mantras and meditations! Clean your phone- one page of apps only! Less distractions = more time for the important things
- If you’re looking for something to do, stick to free experiences rather than shopping or eating out
- Try this 30 day minimalism challenge to kickstart your lifestlye!