Minimalism in the home
Want to move or live abroad?
You don’t need much to make your home a place of comfort
What is Minimalism?
Minimalism has been an English buzzword for the last decade or so. People are claiming minimalism—essentially having less stuff and clearing out mental space—is making them a lot happier.
So, is minimalism owning nothing but the clothes on your back? No, it’s simply doing an honest assessment of your values and focusing on the things that really matter to you.
Maybe you think owning nothing but a laptop and a small wardrobe is perfect, while I adore my library of books and get a lot of joy from them. Both of us can still be minimalists and keep what really makes us happy. It’s more about getting rid of all the stuff that doesn’t matter and drains your happiness and focus.
Last week, Winnie and I recorded #19 Home Abroad on Ride the Vibes about moving abroad. Instead of repeating what we said there, I want to give you tips on how to make minimalism in the home allow you to be free. let’s dive in!
Better Focus on What Matters
Cutting out what doesn’t matter to you allows you to focus on your own life more. Maybe you like to play music, but do you need to keep that second piano you haven’t played in three years? Do you need to keep notifications turned on for your messaging app? Take an honest look at what is actually valuable to you.
Decluttering feels good, and you will feel better after eliminating unnecessary belongings and expenditures. Sometimes, less is actually more since you will keep, derive meaning from, and focus on what you really need.
Regain Control of Your Life
Are you worried about how many likes you have on Facebook? Worried about owning a house by the time you are 35? Need the newest iPhone?
All of these worries use up your mental bandwidth. Plus, do these really matter to you, or is this what you feel pressured into caring about by society and total strangers?
By defining your values and where to spend your money and time, these expenses and outside interferences should begin to fade and give you control over your life.
Where Should You Live?
Choosing where to live is where minimalism in the home begins. Do you want to live in the city or the country, or somewhere in between? Are you a homebody, or do you usually go out? Do you want to be alone in an apartment or live with roommates?
For me, getting outside in nature is one of my ways of coping with stress and getting away from distractions. However, maybe you are a social butterfly who loves the nightlife and needs access to bars and restaurants. Maybe I do well living alone while you need roommates to hang out with to keep you from feeling bored.
You can always somewhat adjust to where you live, but the closer your location matches your values, the fewer distractions will come your way, and the more comfortable you will feel being you.
Not Hoarding/Taking Stuff Out
The first step in making your home a minimalist paradise is to stop hoarding from happening. Having tons of boxes with random stuff covered in the dust of forgotten yesteryears is a nightmare.
Try to only put things in your home that matter to you. Of course, that will be different for everyone. If you love to cook, you might need a bunch of kitchenware that I don’t need. If you’re a writer, having a library could be essential since you probably read a lot.
Remember, minimalism isn’t about a specific number of possessions: it’s about keeping the items that truly resonate with you. I like to go through some of my things a couple of times a year and toss out everything that will never be used again.
How Much Living Space? How Many Rooms?
We are conditioned to think more space means a better life and higher status. However, does this extra space actually contribute to you feeling more fulfilled or happy?
Everyone has different hobbies and lifestyles that will affect their living space. I love to write and record podcasts, so having an extra bedroom is helpful. That said, I don’t need two extra bedrooms.
Evaluate what you really need for space. If you need a kitchen, a patio, or an extra bedroom, go for it: just don’t rush into the “more space always better” mentality. Having the right amount of space is less to clean, less to fill with junk, and it’s easier to manage mentally.
Minimalism affects us everywhere, but since we live at home, it’s essential to make that space reflective of our values and needs. Decluttering, choosing where you live and how much space you have, and not buying/focusing on stuff because society tells you to will all make your home a place of comfort and focus. Minimalism in the home is one great way to take back control of your life.
Here is another blog to satisfy your desire to travel or live abroad: Living Abroad? These Four Tips Will Help Keep you Sane!
1. minimalism (n.)
Def. deliberate lack of decoration or adornment in style or design
Ex. His room is a total display of minimalism. There’s just a bed, a dresser, and a guitar.
2. buzzword (n.)
Def. an important-sounding usually technical word or phrase often of little meaning
Ex. Synergy is a corporate buzzword that basically just means teamwork.
3. adore (v.)
Def. to regard with loving admiration and devotion
Ex. She adores her coffee. I wouldn’t finish the rest of it if I were you.
4. declutter (v.)
Def. to remove clutter from a room, an area, etc.
Ex. Max spent the weekend decluttering his house.
5. expenditure (n.)
Def. the act or process of expending
Ex. Our biggest expenditure was promoting the website.
6. derive (v.)
Def. to take, receive, or obtain especially from a specified source
Ex. I can’t derive any real meaning from this story.
7. bandwidth (n.)
Def. the emotional or mental capacity necessary to do or consider something
Ex. Work has really stretched my mental bandwidth lately.
8. homebody (n.)
Def. one whose life centers on home
Ex. My girlfriend is a homebody, but I like to go out.
9. hoard (v.)
Def. a supply or fund stored up and often hidden away
Ex. His mom has been hoarding movies for 40 years.
10. conditioned (adj.)
Def. brought or put into a specified state
Ex. You were conditioned to think you always need to buy new stuff.
11. contribute (v.)
Def. to give or supply in common with others
Ex. Why didn’t you contribute anything? We did all the work.
12. reflective (adj.)
Def. marked by reflection: thoughtful, deliberative
Ex. He claimed his comments were not reflective of his true values.