Adopting a minimalistic lifestyle is how you stop or at least curb all the gluttony that surrounds you. Make it a mission to streamline your life and live a little more simply. Here The Week brings you seven minimalism hacks that will help you live more with less.
Pare your wardrobe
Your closet is one those places that houses a lot of clutter and unused items. Sweaters, pants, shoes, and dresses can pile up and make a huge mess. But don’t wait until you run out of space to clean and sort out your wardrobe. Start by dumping your clothes on your bed and decide which items you want to toss and which you want to keep. You can either donate them or even sell some online. Less choice means less time spent thinking about what to wear, and once you can see all the clothes in your closet it’s also easier to put together an outfit.
Try to go paperless
It’s shocking how much paper we tend to use on a daily basis, especially if you bring work home or work from home. For starters, don’t print out what you don’t need, and ask your colleagues to do the same. If you have to print out documents, set your printer to print on both sides of the paper. But as far as possible, store files on your computer instead of putting them in folders in filing cabinets. You can also sync all your data to your phone, giving you a more handy option. Also, when shopping and eating out, don’t ask for receipts unless you need it.
Sort through knick-knacks
Purge through items like magazines, books, CD’s, movies, and other things that you only read, listened to, or watched once. These are things that usually take up much-needed space. Start by donating or selling (or throwing away) your college textbooks, novels, movies, and magazines. Also, go through other knick-knacks like magnets, calendars, books, and cards, and then decide what’s useful and practical and only keep those. Toss what you don’t need and go clutter free. There are many garage sales that happen regularly around town. Consider setting up a stall at these places if you want to get rid of some of your stuff.
Dump the ‘just in case’ stuff
Often times we tend to hoard stuff because we think we will need it someday or that we might be able to get one last use out of it. As a result, we all have several drawers full of things that we haven’t used in ages. Most of the times, we don’t even know what we have. Things like random screws, short pieces of strings and ropes, one-off buttons, a screwdriver that has lost its handle or that scissor that’s no longer sharp and all those other junk items that you have been hoarding “just in case” have got to go. Throw away everything that’s easily replaceable and doesn’t cost much either.
Invest in multipurpose items
Don’t keep anything that doesn’t serve multiple purposes in your home. If it only does one thing (We are looking at you, garlic press and apple cutter), ditch it to make room for something with more than one use. We don’t mean you should give away your coffee maker or electric tea kettle because you can heat water in the microwave or stove too but while buying items always try to ensure it serves more than one purpose. For example, in the living room, a couch that converts into a bed is perfect for visiting guests. A large enough coffee table can also serve as a desk or dining surface leaving you with more open space.
Borrow, don’t buy
If you need something for a one-off event, like a party, ask friends or neighbors for extra tableware and equipment. Minimalist bookworms would benefit from joining a library or a book exchange program. For a book exchange program, form a friends’ or colleagues’ group that swaps books on a regular basis. Let’s say there are five people in the group and if all of them even buy one book then each person gets to read five books for the price of one. Similarly, you can also do a clothes or a DVD swap.
Only buy what you need
Did you know that grocery stores are arranged to encourage you to spend impulsively? Those little boxes of lip balms, mints and chewing gum, or UNO cards right next to the check out counter serve this very purpose. Advertisements too dig deep into our subconscious and seem to convey the message that we will suffer if we don’t own the shiniest new stuff. Because of all this, most of us have far more than we really need or even want. The easiest way to curb this is to cut back on your spending. Adopt a budget that doesn’t allow you to spend frivolously. Evaluate large purchases carefully. When you do commit to spending on something, make sure you are investing in a high-quality item. The last thing you want is to find yourself replacing stuff time and time again.