How To: Jump into Minimalism Head First

Have you ever felt like you simply have too much stuff? Do you dread having to clean your house, organize your closet, or come home to a mess? Would you rather enjoy experiences like concerts, vacations, and exquisite meals than more things? 6 months ago I answered yes to all of the above, but had no idea what to do; until I seriously started learning about minimalism.

It all started around the holidays. A little backstory: I am awful at giving gifts, and nearly as bad at providing ideas to my friends and family for myself. The truth is, I really don't want stuff. I like the stuff I use, like my planner, and my Spotify account, and my favorite makeup staples; so, these are exactly what I asked for when my parents said 'What do you want for your birthday?' Crafting this simple list brought to my attention that I really don't want to accumulate stuff.

When the holiday season rolled around, I had started listening to a podcast called The Minimalists and I was hooked. The two speakers offered advice on getting rid of the clutter of life, enjoying the experiences, and absorbing the value from everything you do. Finally someone had put into words what I had been wondering about.

I started with my closet, let me tell you, it took a lot. I meticulously went through every article of clothing I owned asking 'Do I actually wear it?' for every single one. Eventually I had gotten rid of more than half of my wardrobe. I moved on to my desk, my vanity, and eventually my bathroom. By the end of my minimalism tornado, I had either sold, donated, or trashed more garbage bags than I can count of my stuff.

I have to say, it felt great. Since I started to cut away the excess I have kept my once disheveled room spotless, I feel calmer and happier every time I return home, and I haven't been shopping for something I don't actually need since the holidays. Moreover, I have freed up the time to work on this blog, start a daily yoga practice, and focus on setting meaningful goals.

Here are my Top 5 Reasons to Jump Head First into Minimalism TODAY:

1. Clutter brings stress into your house which should really be a safe, relaxing space for you, so get rid of it all.

2. Planning outfits, packing for trips, and organizing your closet are all way less daunting if you know where every piece of clothing you own is.

3. Just in case doesn't actually happen (most of the time). The shirt you keep--- because it is a very specific shade of blue that you might someday need for an event you don't already know about---just takes up space. Of course, there are exceptions (like extra TP), but seriously if you can't explain exactly when you'll need it, get rid of it.

4. It's super easy to clean now! You know how annoying it is to pick everything up, then get down on your hands and knees to scrub? Not anymore! When everything has a place and isn't falling out onto (literally) every surface, you don't have to pick it all up and the cleaning (think vacuuming and dusting) is way easier when all the stuff doesn't sit around making everything dirty.

5. Cutting out the excess frees up your mind (and schedule) to do all those things you've been saying you want to. Whether its pick up surfing or spend more time with family, its totally achievable with minimalism.

I am nowhere near completing my journey into minimalism and by no means an expert. I still find things I let go of and will continue to do so for a while. Keep in mind, minimalism does not mean deprivation and there is magic number that makes you a minimalists.

To me, minimalism means cutting away the excess stuff clouding your view and suffocating your mind, allowing you to enjoy a life with purpose.

Here is the link to The Minimalists website. From here you can find their podcast, books, and blog. www.theminimalists.com

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