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I initially started this Minimalism journey so I could save money and improve my finances as a stay-at-home mom. I thought, if I learn to change my mindset to be extra frugal, save money and learn to buy only what I need, then taking control of my finances will be a lot easier and fun.
As I learned more about Minimalism and started incorporating it into my life though, I realized that there’s definitely more to it than just helping me with money stuff. It offers a multitude of benefits in parenting, your health and priorities as well.
The great thing about Minimalism is that there is no right or wrong ways to downsize your life and you can choose how far you go.
If you are ready to take the plunge, I recommend that you start small. Here are the little changes I made to jumpstart my journey. Trust me, with these easy changes, you will immediately feel the benefits and I bet you will not want to quit.
1.Read About Minimalism
The authors of the book quit their 6-figure jobs and embarked in a Minimalist journey in pursuit of happiness. This book inspired me so much to pursue my own journey (alongside my financial freedom journey).
Don’t get me wrong though, I was not an extravagant person to be needing a lot of downsizing. In fact, I grew up poor so my lifestyle was far from being fancy. But, I was not frugal either. Minimalism, I believe, is not just about downsizing, although it is a big part of the recipe. I felt that I needed to change my mindset and start prioritizing more meaningful and important things to be happier.
2. Clear out digital clutter.
If you are subscribed to too many email lists, chances are that your inbox is heavily spammed with marketing emails. Decluttering your inbox will help you simplify your life and help you free up more time. Unsubscribe to as many email list as you can, most especially to lists that don’t add value to your life, or designate an email address that you only open on the time you allot for reading your subscription emails.
3.Plan simple meals.
I didn’t quite realize that I was spending too much time preparing meals until I started practicing being conscious of my time. Planning simple meals is a great start to simplify your life and free up more time and it doesn’t have to be complicated!
If you need help with planning your meals, try the $5 Meal Plan and receive your weekly meal plan (recipes + shopping list) directly in your inbox. What I like about this service is it allows you to easily customize your meals based on your or your family’s preferences or taste. Sign up for a 14-day free trial through my link. You can cancel anytime.
4.Declutter your closet.
If you have clothes that you haven’t worn in years, maybe it’s time to let them go instead of letting them collect dust or add up to your clutter. Put them in a box and keep them out of sight for 30 days and if you don’t need them within the period, sell them online or donate them.
The second time I declutter my closet, I let go of my personal “just in case” stuff as well as “party” clothes—a lifestyle I don’t want to indulge in. I am still too far from my Minimalism goal and our home is still far from the Minimalist home I have in mind but what’s most important is I’ve started it. One little step each day will eventually help you get there, right?
5. Learn to say no!
You might find this tip far from easy if you are anything like me who have difficulty saying no to requests, fearing it might hurt established relationships. But I think learning to say no is essential if you want to simplify your life. If there’s any commitment (family, friends, church, hobbies, work) that’s too taxing and is stressing you out, maybe it would help if you drop one of them.
For me, I recently dropped one project that, although pays okay, is becoming burdensome and demanding. One less deadline equals more calm and less overwhelm.
6. Save an Emergency Fund.
If you’ve not started this, now is the time to start saving. Having an emergency fund will reduce your stress not only when an emergency comes up but also before it even happens.
Check out this post on how to save $3000 in 5 months when you don’t have money.
7. Limit use of social media.
Social media, most especially Facebook, is addicting. It used to consume hours and hours of my time, checking out what’s happening in other people’s lives. What did I get from it? Nothing, really.
I finally got out of the vacuum of this addiction when I started becoming conscious of my time. Even if I still use social media, I am no longer wasting my time on it. I use it sparingly to communicate with family and select friends and promote my blog, but I set a schedule for when to use it and not just any time I want to. This wards off distraction, promote productivity and allows me to focus on what’s more important to me.
8. Start Project 333.
If you are up for a challenge and some fun, do the Minimalist fashion Project 333 that challenges you to dress with 33 items or less for three months. This includes accessories, shoes and outerwear.
I didn’t do this consciously, though. As a stay-at-home mom, I don’t have to dress up for work and go out too often. In fact, I wear the same clothes almost every day. The idea of Project 333 is to teach you to dress with less and be happy with it.
9. Declare a clutter-free zone.
Your clutter-free zone could be your kitchen table, countertop, your nightstand or a drawer. Then, expand a little bit each day. A clutter-free kitchen table or nightstand can become a clutter-free room and eventually a clutter-free, minimalist house.
10. Practice 1 In 1 Out Rule
The 1 In and 1 Out Rule is a very effective way of keeping your baseline from slipping out of control. This teaches you to become more mindful about new purchases. If you buy a new pair of jeans, let go of another one that you are not wearing.
11. Let go of one sentimental item.
Do you own any sentimental item you cannot let go of? When my father passed away, I wanted to keep some of his clothes to remind me of him and make me feel he never left. Since he died in the Philippines, I kept thinking of getting some of his stuff shipped to me. Due to the hassles of logistics though, I decided not to and I am glad I did. Otherwise, his stuff would add to my physical, mental and emotional clutter. I realized, I did not have to have his clothes to remind myself of him because my memories of him are within me.
Most importantly, remember that Minimalism is not about the numbers and how much less you have. It doesn’t mean I am more Minimalist than you are for having less items than you do. What works for me may not work for you so you can design your own Minimalism based on your needs.
Now, I challenge you to try the steps above and let me know how you feel about it by commenting below!
Join me on this journey!
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