In any context, space matters. Be it a relationship or an actual physical location, space is important because of what it can do for you from a figurative and literal context. For example, you ask for space if you feel like personal boundaries are being stepped on. You clear space up in your condo in Mandaluyong because you’d like to have new furniture installed. Of course, given these fast-paced, information-driven and materialistic times, space is hard to come by.
When space is compromised, people can have trouble organizing the different aspects of their lives. This kind of clutter affects both young professionals and individual members of households, making it more difficult for them to focus on work or anything related. From there, it just becomes a vicious cycle of trying to find space and time to get work done and get engaged in your hobbies. The work-life balance becomes disturbed and it becomes very challenging to accomplish harmony.
Enter the minimalist lifestyle, a way of living that revolves around an individual decluttering the physical, mental and spiritual aspects of one’s life. While it’s true that it’s mostly become an interior design trend over the past couple years, it finds its roots throughout history and in more enlightened circles. For example, most monastic orders of both Christian and Buddhist faith believe that, in order to find clarity in their respective beliefs, they need to shun all material and earthly possessions. While the minimalist lifestyle does not necessarily require you to do that, it does give you an idea why it works these days. It helps give you the space you need to live a healthy and fulfilling life. Here are a couple of things you can do to start a minimalist lifestyle from the comfort of your condo.
Start With The End In Mind
When you want to pursue a certain activity or lifestyle, you would want to ask yourself what you’d like to get out of it. In this case, do you want to employ a minimalist lifestyle because it’s a trend or do you genuinely want to adopt it in every aspect of your everyday life? While it’s true that neither of these motivations are inherently wrong, the latter has the most impact because it will prompt a complete lifestyle change.
If you’re considering going into a minimalist lifestyle, what results would you want to create? Do you want it to have a huge impact on you and your loved ones? Or do you just want to have a cleaner, more manageable space in your home? Either way, that’s where it starts and if you already have a clear picture of what it looks like, then you’re on the right track.
Get To Decluttering
As mentioned earlier, the minimalist lifestyle starts at home. More appropriately, your physical place of residence. If you want to focus on the things that matter to you, you have to get rid of the things that distract you. Admittedly, this can be relatively difficult for some people and easy for others.
To quote a thought leader in the minimalist lifestyle, “Does it spark joy?”. Marie Kondo offers you a brief but meaningful window to look into all your belongings and if they truly make you happy. And it’s a helpful question to ask yourself too when you’re starting to declutter your home.
Make an audit of all the items that you own and ask yourself if it poses any practical use to you. If it does, then leave it. If it doesn’t or if you feel like you can find something else that can be of use to you and more, then it’s best to just give it away.
Start Organizing Your Items
Categorize your belongings into easily recognizable segments, primarily based on their respective purposes. Organize your belongings based on 1) their purpose and 2) their location. While it might seem trivial and easy, you’ll be surprised at the surprising complexities this might bring. For example, you have different sets of utensils in a drawer in your kitchen counter. But really, how many sets of utensils do you need? Are you expecting guests? If so, how many usually? Would it make sense to limit it to a few so you have space in that kitchen counter?
When it comes to clothes, these are relative. Your clothes can be (and is often the case) a reflection of who you are - your personality, your traits, your ideals - and it’s fine to always have spares just in case some don’t fit you anymore. Organize them according to their purpose: work wear needs to be separated from casual wear, sports wear needs to be separated from nighties. From a practical standpoint, this helps you get your clothing faster and more efficiently than having to stumble around your closet.
While it might seem a little neurotic, it’s still important to address because you’d like to be in control of every facet of your life. So when it comes to how many sets of utensils you’d like, you’re also setting a limit to how many people can come over to visit your home.
When it comes to your bedroom, you need to ask yourself how many bed sheets, blankets and pillows you need. This can ultimately dictate how much laundry you have to do and how frequent you need to do it. Practically speaking, it helps you save money and time when you lessen the number of sheets and pillowcases you need to wash.
Maintain Your Home Regularly
After auditing your belongings and decluttering your home, it’s always a good idea to keep it that way. Through regular maintenance and cleaning, you won’t have to worry too much about keeping your home in good condition and future maintenance bills that might otherwise become too expensive.
In this regard, it’s important to have a schedule for different parts of your home. For utilities, unless you have certified knowledge of electronics or plumbing, it’s probably best to have professionals do the work for you. As for the rest of your home, being able to dust, wipe and clear different areas of your home from unwanted elements can be a good family bonding experience or a departure from the norm of work.
Minimalism being a trend has caused a lot of people to wonder what it is exactly. Is it a lifestyle or just an interior design concept? Is it just a way of life or is it something that’s going to last for maybe a few more years.
While it’s true that minimalism is relative in that its definition can differ from individual to individual, it all boils down to one thing: it helps you focus on what really matters. At the end of the day, whether you’re a working professional who always finds yourself tired because of a long shift or just a person who wants to find peace and harmony in a fast-paced world, knowing what matters to you and how you can take care of it can make for a more stable and fulfilling life.