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Minimalist Living – Doing More With Less

It was a few years ago on a lazy weekend. I was happily reading a very weird book titled ‘The Rule of Four’.

Without any warning, a voice came piercing through the air “How many times do I have to remind you to clean your own damn cupboard?!!”

I jumped and got into action within seconds. Moms tend to have that effect on their sons. Mine was no different!

A couple of hours later and with my cupboard looking slightly better than the dump it resembled earlier, I couldn’t help but wonder at the sheer waste that was accumulating in there.

I had too much of everything and I didn’t use most of it! Too many clothes, books, half-used items and too much junk!

It was time to get rid of it. To minimize the amount of stuff I possessed. That day began my embrace of Minimalism.

What is Minimalism?

Iron Man Minimal

Minimalism which started out as an art style has evolved to become almost a way of life. A minimalist is one who embraces simplicity and seeks to do more with less. One of my all-time favorite definitions of Minimalism is

Minimalism is a tool that can assist you in finding freedom. Freedom from fear. Freedom from worry. Freedom from overwhelm. Freedom from guilt. Freedom from depression. Freedom from the trappings of the consumer culture we’ve built our lives around. Real freedom.

Source: theminimalists.com

Minimalist Living – The Why and How

a) Spend Less and Save More

Money

The boom of e-commerce which we are witnessing thrives on not just the convenience it offers but also exploits two of our very common weaknesses: greed and laziness.

Haven’t you had that experience on Amazon or Flipkart when you visit their site out of boredom or just idle curiosity telling yourself ‘I’ll just go take a peek at what’s new’

And before you know it, you have added random junk into your cart without realizing the lure of discounts and brand names have made you a victim. This is exactly how we end up possessing what we don’t need and don’t have money left for what we actually need.

A minimalist approach to spending makes you re-evaluate your decisions because it forces you to ask yourself about the value of the object you intend to purchase. Naturally, this approach makes you conscious about your spending habits and you’ll notice a steady change in your savings as they grow!

The obvious outcome of this will be the financial freedom you get for buying what you actually need. You can also choose to invest more in quality when it comes to your choice of objects. You’ll be surprised at the effectiveness of minimalism once you realize you’ve started enjoying the finer things in life without being broke!

b) Make Productive Use of Your Time

pocket watch

Once I decided to try minimalism, I realized pretty soon that I was spending atleast 10 to 12 hours in a week doing useless tasks. Most of them happened because I kept overloading my life with useless commitments, overloading my head with useless thoughts and my room with useless junk!

The moment you become a minimalist, you  start to become more productive. This should come as no surprise because you are already a master of extracting maximum value out of things. This thinking spills over to your work habits (sometimes even without you  knowing about it!)

You start to become more focused, executing tasks with efficiency and efficacy. Because your attachments (both mental and physical) don’t dictate your schedule or disturb you much, you begin to acquire that balance which others crave all the time.

c) Attain Peace of Mind and Tranquility

 

Zen Master
PC Okko Pyykkö (Flickr)

Since you’re saving more, you’ll already be less stressed out. Add to this the peace of mind you’ll achieve once you realize your possessions don’t control you anymore!

Minimalism also compels you to stop being materialistic and start focusing on your own growth and character building. This has a positive effect on the quality of your living and will gradually lead to a calm and tranquil state of being.

Over to You

The way to lead a minimalist life begins with attitude. You need to be convinced that owning less and de-cluttering will help you become more free and a better individual. If this attitude is not present, any stuff you may get rid of will only act as a trigger to buy more useless stuff which will just pile up in your life!

I am sure you must have done something minimalist which made you feel great after you did it. Why don’t you share it with me in the comments below? Oh and here’s a nice little Swedish proverb to bring a smile to your face.

“Fear less, hope more; eat less, chew more; whine less, breathe more; talk less, say more; love more, and all good things will be yours.” 

Cheers!

Published in Philosophy

16 Comments

  1. Harleena Singh (@harleenas) Harleena Singh (@harleenas)

    Hi Nik,

    Loved this post, as one can relate to it 🙂

    Perhaps I’ve repeated it earlier on your blog, but always good to hear it again, something my Mom used to always say – very little is needed to live a happy life. This one line has a lot of depth and meaning, just as you post explains.

    It is the attitude, the mindset that we can make do with the resources we have, which makes us happy, content, and living a minimalist life easily. To narrate one such incident – being from the Army, Dad got transferred to a different state, so packed our luggage (whole house), and sent it through trucks and trains, and carried just the main essentials to live for a few weeks, as we had to live in a temporary accommodation, till we got a permanent one. And we lived pretty well, with just those 3-4 suitcases the four of us carried! So, we could do away with the loads of things that were in transit…lol…but being humans, we adjust and make place for the clutter!

    You are right about your tips, de-cluttering, in all aspects, helps you de-clutter your life, your mind, and lead you to be more productive. We do believe in it, and also living with the basics.

    Thanks for sharing. Have a nice week ahead 🙂

    • Hi Harleena,

      Wonderful anecdote indeed! Thank you so much for sharing it here 🙂 and yes you’re right, one needs less and not more to be happy but we’re caught up in the hoarding mindset so often that minimalism rarely enters our thoughts! But experiences such as the one you narrated here make us re-think and hence de-clutter!

      Have a nice week ahead 🙂
      Cheers!

  2. Yatin Khulbe Yatin Khulbe

    Hi Nikshep
    I can easily connect with your story. My mom also says me the same thing. I have a habit of using plain sheets. I am definitely going to strip off the excessive sheets and make it a clean cupboard.
    With the rise of flipkart related services, people are busy in virtual shopping only. In their free time, some of my friends search for irrelevant items only. Ya, we need to effective use of time also.
    Thanks for sharing this wonderful post.

    • Hey Yatin,

      Great to hear your commitment 🙂 awesome thing to do! I am happy you could connect with the post! Have a great week ahead 🙂

      Cheers

  3. Ikechi Awazie Ikechi Awazie

    Hi Nikshep

    Minimalist living has so much benefits.I do remember this wisdom that when your expenses is lower than you income, then you are wealthy. What better way to achieve this than to leave a Minimalist life.

    Besides when you consider it carefully, most things that people possess are liabilities that don’t bring value. My mum taught me to always remove unnecessary junk to have a clean cupboard. Also she made me realize that buying on emotion is bad. Priority and focus in spending do matter.

    Thank you for sharing this awesome tip. Have a wonderful week.

    • Yup well said Ikechi 🙂 emotional buying is never good! Loved your definition of wealthy! 🙂 have an awesome week ahead!

      Cheers!

  4. vidyarths vidyarths

    Hi Nik,

    Great post.

    You have a great blog here:) I love the layout and design- very zen!

    I loved the way you defined minimalism and how we can do more with less.
    I had only heard of minimalism but never knew it can be a way of life. Your post helped me teach that it surely can be implemented in our lives by making the “right” sacrifices.

    You are spot on in saying that it all has to do with our attitude, with minor adjustments we can live a stress-free and fulfilled life.

    P.S loved the swedish proverb.

    Thanks for the great post

    Keep writing 🙂

    • Thanks for those really kind words Vidyarth! 🙂

      Cheers!

  5. landofinspiration21 landofinspiration21

    Hey Nikshep,
    This is my first visit to your blog and I must say i am very much impressed with the way you have explained everything.
    Although I liked the complete post but point b on time was excellent.
    Thank You for lovely post

    • Hey!

      Welcome to Stumbleuponlife! I’m so glad you liked the post 🙂 keep visiting!

      Cheers,
      Nik!

  6. lenie5860 lenie5860

    I have enjoyed minimalist living for many years now. At first it was forced on my through circumstances but then I realized I enjoyed it. I was recently asked by a friend how I could manage with only 2 pair of jeans – not hard since I can only wear one pair at a time. But our society had become ‘more is better’ although I do believe it is changing somewhat.

    • Hey Lenie!

      Yup the change needs to happen! The sooner the better 🙂

  7. Brita Brita

    This is definitely something my husband and I are working on. I’ve cleaned out my clothes (and his) quite carefully, and now I’m very careful before buying new ones. We just moved, and not only did we get rid of a ton of stuff before moving, but now we’re being very intentional with the new things we buy.

    • Wow that’s a good move Brita! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  8. Lea Bullen Lea Bullen

    Hi Nik,

    I have gotten rid of things that I didn’t use or no longer needed and I have to say it was great.

    You don’t need a lot to be happy. And the clutter only adds to your stress so there is more than way way that it makes you feel better.

    ~Lea

    • Thank you so much Lea 🙂 enjoy your week ahead!

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