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Beginners guide to Minimalism - by guest writer Anne Cheree McKay

Minimalism is not so much an aesthetic as it is a lifestyle. Constantly looking up images of minimalistic homes and environments can be inspiring, but becoming a minimalist should start with an active choice to live with only the things that you absolutely need. 

It is estimated that the  average home hoards  around $2,100 worth of unused items. The space and money that could be obtained from decluttering could make room for more valuable investments—ones that would, as tidying aficionado Marie Kondo would call it, “spark joy”.

Selecting To Keep
Let’s bring up another one of her most important pieces of advice. According to Kondo, instead of choosing what to discard, learn to select what to keep. When you’re in your decluttering process, it can be tempting to cling to things with a bit of sentimental value or to convince yourself that you’re still using that specific item quite often.


Turn the decluttering process around—pick out only a few necessary
pieces, and discard everything else that lacks value. This will also give you the chance to make some money or donate your things to people who might need and use them more. After you internalise and apply this mindset, you want to develop consistency and avoid purchasing anything that could clutter up your home again.

If you think you need to purchase something, look around your home and see if you already own something that can serve the same purpose. Jars, old
toothbrushes, and laundry waste are some of the  things you can repurpose  into food containers, cleaning supplies, or rags, respectively. With this, you can save money and also lessen your carbon footprint.

Eating Clean

Common misconceptions about maintaining a healthy diet are that it’s expensive and requires complicated planning. But  eating clean  is actually very much rooted in minimalist values, such as keeping things simple without compromising quality or taste. The first tip is to focus on whole, single-
ingredient foods. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish, poultry, and eggs are great, versatile ingredients that can be turned into all kinds of healthy meals. Junk foods got their name for a reason, and our main goal here is to eliminate unnecessary junk.

Second, take the time to plan and organize your pantry, and it’s going to make both shopping and cooking easier and efficient. Having fewer things in your pantry will help you keep track of what needs to be replenished—you’ll also avoid creating food waste due to expired ingredients.


Choosing Elevated Basics

Globally, the apparel industry is worth an astounding $2.4 trillion. It’s undeniable that the fast fashion industry has affected the way we feel about our clothes. Selecting to keep also applies to outfits, so do the same and sell or donate pieces that no longer spark joy.
Treat clothes as an investment, so shop for quality and not quantity; for value and not trend. For instance, when shopping for dresses , opt for cuts that complement your size and shape and don’t go out of style quickly. A wrap dress, for example, can be worn for casual and more formal occasions and can be styled and tied in different ways. Investing in a pair of classic, quality denim pants might hurt your pockets at first, but you’re guaranteed to get wear out of it for years and years.
Choose pieces that you know you won’t just wear once.
Changing Your Mindset

Look at other aspects of your life and ask yourself if these still make you happy. For instance, other minimalists practice social media cleanses if it influences them to be materialistic or affects their self-esteem and outlook in life. After all, it’s  scientifically proven  that all clutter in all its forms—in our lifestyles, at home, online—can lead to anxiety and unproductivity. Being aware of what you want to
gratefully keep in your life and humbly getting rid of everything else is the essence of mindful minimalism.

Written by Anne Cheree McKay
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Photo 1 by The Humble Co. on Unsplash Photo 2 by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash , Photo 3 by tu tu on Unsplash  

Main photo Photo by Andrea Davis on Unsplash  

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