While letting go is hard, the results can be extremely rewarding
Being a minimalist isn’t anything new or groundbreaking, and it sure isn’t just a fad. "Minimalism" can be a loaded word, with so many different meanings and interpretations. For us, it’s about more than just de-cluttering your home, clearing your closet or having empty shelves and white walls—it’s a tool to get rid of the things that simply aren’t serving you in life so you can focus on what’s important and take back time for the things that matter the most.
It’s human nature to attach meaning to things—whether that’s an old tattered sweater gifted by a friend or relative, something you bought on a trip abroad and just can’t part with, an extra vehicle, old books—things we simply can’t seem to let go of.
Although minimalism and de-cluttering our physical spaces have been proven to help with our mental state (thanks Marie Kondo) and to make more room for things in life that are truly important to us like time with family, friends, and wellness—that’s not the only way to move towards a minimal lifestyle.
The thing is, we all know that happiness isn’t found through things, but through experiences and living life itself. So ask yourself the question: what makes you happy? Minimalism is all about paying attention to what you spend your time and money on in every aspect of your life. Minimalism allows you to make those kinds of decisions more consciously. Sustainability and minimalism go hand in hand—we think minimalism might just be the path towards living a sustainable lifestyle.
1. Take a trip
Photo by Ibrahim Rifath on UnsplashThere’s nothing quite like travelling—near or far—to help you realize how little you actually need to get through the day. Pack grooming essentials, some basic pieces of clothing, and you'll see that you can manage just fine out of a backpack or suitcase with very few things. Why not attempt to do with only those same things at home? Another great thing about travelling is seeing how different cultures live—visit a Japanese home and see how there’s a place for everything. Or embrace the Scandinavian art of knowing that less is more—become comfortable with simplicity.
2. Make a list of things you don’t need
Write a list of all the things you have in your home and then cross out anything you haven’t used in the last six months to a year. If you haven’t used it, it’s likely just taking up unnecessary space. Do the same with things at work and in your personal life—you don’t just have to focus on physical things.
3. Minimize your wardrobe
Photo by chuttersnap on UnsplashFast fashion is a huge problem—according to CBS News, the apparel and footwear industries together account for more than eight percent of global climate impact. Choose quality clothing made sustainably. Brands like Everlane take a minimalist, transparent, and ethical approach to every aspect of their business, from production to purchase, giving you the option of what you pay and sharing the impact of the option you choose.
Think about how much clothing you need, instead of buying all the latest and greatest styles. Do you need that new pair of jeans that require around 7,500 litres of water to produce, or can you have your favorite pair repaired? Buying high-quality items usually means they last longer, and many sustainable clothing brands will repair garments for you, including Patagonia, Barbour, Filson, among others.