In a world with constant advertising and marketing of all the newest, coolest products and services, our attention is constantly being pulled in hundreds of directions. This is where the idea of minimalism comes in! Simply put, it is a lifestyle in which a person lives with very little stuff. It is becoming more widespread, especially with the development of tiny houses and the growing popularity of living “zero waste.” On your fall and winter breaks, you may find yourself bored. Maybe your friends at other universities aren’t finished with their finals yet or you are living out of state and aren’t with family. This is an opportunity you can’t pass up! Free time?? A college student having free time is almost unheard of. Use this space in your life to do some deep cleaning and get rid of all your unneeded stuff.
- No Shopping
The first step to minimizing is pausing your consumption for a while. What’s one of the first things someone does when they are going through something? Shopppppinggg!!! Sad? Go to Target and you will surely forget about all your worries. Advertising nowadays is targeting you and your emotional impulse purchases so don’t fall prey! Before you add more stuff to your life, take a deep look at what you already have.
- Plan Your Declutter
The next step is to define your goals in minimizing. It is really easy to get overwhelmed or go into overdrive. Remember, it’s a journey! Go at your own pace. You don’t have to sell everything you own in one night. Maybe one day you go through your clothes and another you go through toiletries. Make a game plan for your own minimalist mission:)
- Start the Process
The third step is to dive in to the process! The main question to ask yourself is “Does this bring value to me and my life?” With each item, you must decide if you use it regularly. One interesting way to do this with your clothes is by turning the hangers of all the clothes you do wear in a certain period. After 3 months you might notice that you have 10 shirts that you didn’t touch and then you can donate them! If you really want to challenge yourself, try wearing 33 items for 3 months (it’s called Project 333). Another good method is to organize your belongings into categories like “yes, no, maybe” or “donate, sell, trash, keep.” This is the best time to get rid of all the junk that you tell yourself you keep “just in case” or because “you never know.”
- Enjoy the Results!
The final step is to set your new personal rules and enjoy the fruits of your labor! Consumerism isn’t a bad thing; it is just the compulsory aspect of it that we all can work on! Maybe it’s time to unsubscribe from some emails that pressure you to buy more stuff or limit how often you go onto Amazon.com. Don’t forget that each person’s version of minimalism is different! What you may find brings you value, another person may not. The main goal is to decrease your stuff so that you increase your time and happiness. It’s hard at first but in the end, it will free up your environment and bring so much clarity!