How many things do you have at home and on your computer? Do you need all of that stuff? Does it make you happy? Since I gave up my apartment and left Germany, my life feels so much better. However, you don’t need to be a Digital Nomad to benefit from minimalism.
Minimalism as a lifestyle
Even though I loved my apartment, it felt like a big relief to sell all the furniture, books and other items I simply don’t need anymore. Having said this, I didn’t sell everything. Some valuable things are stored in a family attic.
I’m at the beginning of my minimalism transformation. But it already feels so good that I want to inspire and motivate you to take the time and ask yourself a few questions.
- How many material things do you own?
- Do you really need 20 T-Shirts or do you wear always the same ten?
- Do you have a basement or attic filled with stuff you didn’t touch since ages?
- Are you even aware of all your possessions?
- How often do you go shopping and why?
- Do you buy things because you need them or just because you like them?
- Or do you shop out of boredom?
- How is advertising influencing your behavior?
More than ever, we get confronted with advertising and fancy things which make our life easier – that’s what the brands claim at least. But is our life really easier than ever? Or isn’t it more complicated and full of stuff we could live without?
No wonder that minimalism seems to be a new trend. But in my opinion, it isn’t just a trend. It’s a lifestyle. Nevertheless, many people are confused about the term. When I started to discuss the topic on Facebook, I got confronted with:
“I don’t like the idea of not having things to call your own.”
“But what is with my beloved books?”
These are two common questions and worries regarding minimalism. Sure, minimalism can be defined as an extreme spareness and simplicity. But who said you can’t own things anymore? Minimalism isn’t only about material things anyway. Here are some areas of your life which you can declutter:
Minimalism ideas for all-day life
One of my favorite categories! Be honest: Do you feel happy or often stressed out by your smartphone due to an information overload and old unanswered messages? And what about your (sheer amount of) desktop folders?
It’s time to simplify your digital life! Here is how:
- Delete useless apps and software on your computer
- Turn of push-notifications if they aren’t important
- Minimize folders and icons on your desktop
- Delete old inbox messages
All of that helps you to get a better focus and get less distracted. Digital distraction is one of the main reasons for procrastination.
For more productivity tips read my article HOW TO BEAT PROCRASTINATION AND STAY PRODUCTIVE.
What do you really wear and like? I’m pretty sure you have T-Shirts, shoes or accessories which you never use and just use up space.
Why don’t you donate them to make somebody happy who can’t afford a shopping trip?
Another tip: Only buy a new item, if you get rid of a similar one. Don’t only add and maximize. Be more critical with new fashion. Stick to timeless pieces. Avoid fast and cheap fashion.
Get inspired by the interview of my digital nomad friend Mariel Jumpa, the founder of Slow Fashion World.
Furniture and decoration
Imagine how you would feel if you gain more space simply by reducing furniture which is filled with things you never really use. Which objects are just cheap dust catchers in your apartment?
DVDs, books and CDs – they can take up a lot of space, right? How often do you use them? Why not get rid of the ones, you really don’t like or use anymore?
If you’re in love with your collection, keep it! But present it at least in a nice way. Don’t just store them in a box under your bed which never gets your attention anyway.
If people have a big kitchen, they tend to store so much food that they loose the overview – which leads to expired dates and pure food waste. Check all dates, eat what you already have. Before you buy new food, check your storage first. Save space and money – don’t be a prodigal.
Yes, even your diet can be cleaned up. I promise, you will feel so much better if you cut out white industrial sugar, processed and junk food or even meat.
Get inspired by my article WHY BEING VEGETARIAN IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN YOU THINK.
To eat clean gives you more energy and a better body shape. Keep in mind, I’m against a radical or extreme lifestyle. I also eat ice cream and bakery cake or chocolate. But if I do, I enjoy every little piece. I don’t eat that stuff daily and mindless.
Do you buy new shower gels, shampoos and face creams because you get easily bored? What about you invest in a few quality and timeless products only? Piling up bottles and tubes waste space and you should anyway not use too old cosmetic or makeup which could harm your skin and health.
If you want to do yourself an even bigger favor, use organic cosmetic. You have no idea which ingredients are actually harmful? My friend Kelly Bonanno created a free guide for you:
Enjoy the read and new knowledge!
I got rid of my TV many years ago. Because I felt distracted and wanted to focus instead on my own business, doing more yoga and reading books.
I admit, watching TV once in a while helps to unwind. Said that, I rather prefer to watch documentaries and choose specific movies – to avoid mindless zapping through boring TV channels.
Friendships and Facebook contacts
How many so called Facebook “friends” do you have? Do they matter? Do you communicate with them regularly? Are you networking actively? Once in a while I go through my Facebook friend list and delete “dead contacts”.
When I observe over a long period that a contact isn’t interacting with me and a full year went by without any conversation or interaction – I simply delete that contact. It doesn’t make sense in my eyes. A “dead” contact doesn’t make me happy – what about you?
Same goes for “toxic” friends. People who spread negativity and a bad vibe, steal my energy and drag me down. If they have a serious problem, I’m willed to help and support. But sometimes you can’t help them. Some people seem to enjoy their negativity. I don’t. Period.
Learn to say no
Do you agree that our (life) time is precious? I’m 35 years old now and I want to establish Wellness Nomads as a highly inspiring platform to improve peoples lives. Creating content and filling multiple social media platforms requires a lot of discipline, focus and time.
If I would say yes to any spontaneous meet up, reply immediately to messages all day long or skype every day with a friend, I would not accomplish much.
I rather prefer to spend quality time with my friends and network contacts. If I dedicate my time, I do it mindfully and with a full focus. Both sides benefit from it. Imagine I would pay only half of my attention to what you have to say and play with my smartphone while you talk to me.
How do you feel now after reading about minimalism – motivated to declutter?
Wanna get more inspiration? Just recently I watched Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things and I got highly inspired by the two main characters Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus.
These two guys run a blog called The Minimalists. I promise you will not be disappointed reading their articles.
Joshua and Ryan even came up with a 21-day challenge to simplify your life. Check it out and tell me if you like it.
Minimalism is a choice. It’s a lifestyle. You don’t need to give up all things and live with a backpack only, haha. No. I simply want to encourage you to reflect your lifestyle choices and daily habits.
Are you mindful or do you spend money because you’re bored or want to impress friends? Why do you buy things? Do they have a purpose? Do the things you have make you truly happy or do they distract you and steal a lot of time?
When you start to simplify your life, think about your biggest priorities and commitments. If you eliminate useless distractions and stuff, you will gain more freedom, time and focus.
De-cluttering means de-stressing.
Invest your time wisely, spend more time offline, leave the house and get active. Meet friends and move your body. Follow your hobbies, who knows if this leads to a business in the end? Minimalism can improve your life to the better – if you want.
I want to close this article with one quote by Wu-Man – a Chinese Zen Master:
“If your mind isn’t clouded by unnecessary things, then this is the best season of your life.”
Stay balanced, Kathrin
Get your anti-stress freebie! My FREE SLOW DOWN GUIDE comes with 15 tips to reduce stress.
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