What is Minimalism Anyway?

As seen in the POC Post, by Lisa Macdonald, Professional Organizer – All Organized

There is a concept recently gaining in popularity that has a lot of Professional Organizers and others talking and that is the Minimalist lifestyle.

As an Organizer I can tell you that the acquisition of material goods is not making people any happier. Often when I meet with clients looking to purge, downsize or do a pre-move consult, they tell me that their stuff has been causing them angst for a very long time. In many cases just the thought of going through their houseful of unused clutter has rendered them completely paralyzed.

Addressing the possibility of living with much less may mean paring down our possessions to our basic 'needs', rather than our 'wants', and defining what is truly important in your life.

I am regularly coaching clients to curb their conspicuous consumption, that is - Stop Buying!  If you are not happy on Tuesday, nothing you buy at the mall or outlet store on Saturday is going to make you happy. You need to find happiness within yourself and not use purchasing as a comforting salve. Here are four tips I try to share with my organizing clients regarding minimalism:

  1. Reflect on your 'needs' versus your 'wants' and take every opportunity to rid yourself of clutter. Clear out anything that is not useful or beautiful.
  2. Use what you have. Take your coffee in your insulated mug. Make tonight's supper from what you have in the freezer.  Pack a lunch from leftovers. Use all your moisturizers before you buy another.
  3. Give gifts of experiences rather than presents. Instead of birthday gifts, give a lunch or an activity together such as a hike.
  4. Challenge yourself to not shop for a day. It may be really hard but try a 24 hour shop-free day. This exercise really makes you re-examine your relationship with spending.

Think about the minimalist movement and take some time to ponder how you can be happier with less.  Don't buy a book on it though - borrow one from the library or read a blog! Adopt a 'less is more' lifestyle and enjoy more free time to do the things you love with the people you love.

content credit:
Lisa Macdonald, Nova Scotia POC Member – All Organized