In this post, I am going to talk about the 5 Golden Habits for a Minimalist living. Minimalism for me doesn’t mean that I don’t buy, but asking myself if I genuinely need the product before buying. Practicing minimalism not only reduces the burden on the Earth, but it also makes us happier. The fewer things we have, the more detached we are and the happier we are.
In my earlier posts, I have talked about decluttering and organizing. If you haven’t read them, you can just click the links below and read them at your own pace.
And because decluttering and minimalism mostly go hand in hand, let’s talk about the rules of minimalist living.
Do not buy in bulk
You open your wardrobe and you see 10 pairs of jeans, piles of shirts, polos and tops staring at you. However, as you go through them, you will realize you haven’t even worn half of them even twice. Then why did you buy them? Because they were on Sale or on Discount.
Bulk buying during SALE is one of the biggest threats to minimal lifestyle.
- Avoid buying during the sale. The red sticker on the price tags confounds your mind and tempts it into buying what you don’t need.
- Before making a purchase, think of the items you seriously need. Even think of the scenarios where you will use them. Once you are sure you will be using them fairly frequently, then place an order.
I love shoes and can buy 3 to 4 pairs together without once thinking when I would use them. However, I did not buy a single pair of shoes or sandals in the year 2018. The same is the case with clothes. I didn’t buy a single item of clothing for 9 months. I even attended a high-profile wedding during this period wearing borrowed clothes.My minimalism living mantra – Don’t buy unless you are ready to discard first. Click To Tweet
And it has worked pretty well for me. To tell you the truth, this minimalism drive hasn’t pinched me one bit.
Avoid storage spaces
This is very important, so do take note. The more storage space you have, the more you will store. So, keep away from buying new cupboards and adding new shelves.
Try this activity. Mark one shelf in your cupboard and empty it. Go through its contents and keep only those items which you ABSOLUTELY need. The rest you throw out. Now, try it with another shelf in the same cupboard. Very soon, you will realize that you don’t need the cupboard at all. Once the cupboard is out, won’t you get a corner free or more space to move about.
Recently, we got rid of our book shelf after donating some 50 books and got a small one instead. The same way, we traded a big cupboard for a smaller one. The bookshelf was a wedding gift from the friends, but instead of being sad to see it go, I am rejoicing at the extra floor space.
Repair and salvage
I came across this beautiful message on the What’s App which said that Japanese don’t throw broken items, but they repair them using Kintsugi art or golden repair or golden joinery method. Remember, how our father would sit on a Sunday morning to repair broken remote controls, blenders, etc. because they believed that whatever is broken can be repaired.
However, today, once a thing is old or broken, we just show it the door and quickly replace it with another one. Many a times, I have seen people hoarding the old item even after purchasing a new one. And the worse is keeping the broken item for sentimental reasons.
Instead of throwing things and buying a new one, let’s see if the old or broken item can be repaired. And if not, then throw it before buying a new one.
Repurpose a product
I remember when I got married and started my life as a homemaker, I bought an array of things for different purposes. A window cleaner, 2-3 types of floor cleaners, a separate bathroom and toilet cleaner, soap for washing utensils, liquid soap and powder for clothes, etc. Now, I make bio-enzyme at home, which is a multi-use cleaner for floor, bathrooms, mirror, etc.
My refrigerator door was lined up with packaged masalas of all kinds – rajma masala, chhola masala, buttermilk masala, this masala, that masala, until I realized why couldn’t I use the hand pounded spices that I keep in my spice box – they are the same spices that are used in different Indian dishes. So, out went the packaged masalas, and it hasn’t affected the taste of the food.
I was proud of myself and how efficient I was at having everything in the house and prepared for every occasion. But gradually I realized the efficiency is not in using a hundred products, but repurposing the same product in a hundred ways. Click To Tweet
Don’t accept gift items
I don’t accept a gift item unless I am absolutely sure I would need it. In the past, I have had a cupboard full of things – knife set, crockery, Tupperware boxes, vases, etc. that I never used just because I was too shy to say NO to gifts.
Now, I just say NO to people who are close to me and know me. As for the ones whom I am not able to say no without hurting their feelings, I take the item and give it to a friend or family before asking them if they would need it (and being truthful about the origin of the item and why I am giving it away) or give it to my help.
My daughter often complains – “No sooner than I get a gift, and your brain goes into an overdrive thinking how to get it out of the house!” I am sure she will learn in time too.
These are my 5 golden habits for a minimalist living. Do you practice minimalist living too? Which rules of minimalism do you follow?