Perhaps in response to the rampant consumerism of the ‘80s and ‘90s or perhaps as a coping mechanism during and after the recent economic recession, minimalism has become one of the trendiest lifestyles of late.
Minimalist life preaches a few simple and attractive philosophies:
- Less is more: Having fewer possessions grants more individual freedom.
- The inessential can be eliminated: It is possible to rid oneself of the detrimental, including both items and emotions.
- It’s important to be present: Everyone must have a purpose, but it is vital to balance striving for that purpose with appreciating every moment of life.
Fortunately, it is possible to adopt a minimalist life. The following projects help you learn to live with less with only a few steps.
The 100 Thing Challenge, minimized to 100TC by those in the community, is an incredibly daunting trial for one new to minimalism. As the name suggests, this project requires you to own no more than 100 things ― and everything counts. One of the world’s most famous minimalists, Dave Bruno, published a book on his 100TC journey, explaining how living with less enabled him to enjoy life more. When you have fewer possessions, you are forced to focus on what is truly important, which tends to be people and experiences rather than material goods.
Instead of ditching thousands of items in one day, you can use 100TC as a goal in the far-off minimalist distance. You can begin by decluttering, cleaning out storage spaces, and generally ridding yourself of the stuff you don’t want, need, or even really use anymore. Places like the attic, the basement, and the garage are excellent starting spots; you don’t need to keep every scrap of clothing or the oft-ignored family boat, and there are charities more than eager to accept such large donations.
How you count your possessions is up to you, as long as you do not begin to measure yourself by the number but rather the meaning behind the things you decide is worth keeping.
2. Project 333
Like 100TC but dedicated to the closet, Project 333 encourages people to pare down their wardrobes to just a handful of items per season. The rules are thus:
- You have 33 articles of clothing, chosen by you to suit your lifestyle. This includes clothing and accessories you wear out, not underwear, sleepwear, or exercise clothing.
- Every three months, you replace seasonal clothing. For example, you might exchange sleeveless shirts for long sleeves or sandals for boots.
That’s it! The objective of Project 333 is to help people be more practical in their clothing choices. If you are smart, you will choose tops and bottoms that are easily mixed and matched ― statement outfits are wasteful when you have only 33 options for three months. After a few months, you will hardly notice your reduced wardrobe. In fact, most people admit to feeling liberated; much like students who wear uniforms to school, participants of Project 333 spend less time stressing about their outfits and devote more energy to positive or productive life experiences.
3. Minimalist Aesthetic
While most minimalists argue that minimalism is less a look and more a lifestyle, there are a few style trends that lend themselves to the movement. Spartan décor is undeniably chic and easy to make yourself. Here are a few DIY projects that help you bring minimalism into your home:
- Planters. Plants purify the air while adding visual interest. This concrete planter is simple to create and looks wonderful in a minimal home.
- Double-duty hangers. Minimalism is all about reusing your belongings, and these jewelry hangers and this hat rack transform your necklaces and hats into works of art when you aren’t wearing them.
- Lighting. Lighting is important, but table and floor lamps often require too much space. This wall-mounted copper light is easy to build, even if you lack an electrical background.
4. Tiny House
If you want to dive head-first into minimalist life, you might consider becoming a member of the tiny house revolution. Instead of committing to established homes spanning several thousand square feet, many individuals and families are constructing their own tiny homes, which tend to be more economical and environmentally friendly. Even better, many tiny homes are built on trailers, so you can take your home with you while you travel the country ― or the world.
There are thousands of blueprints for tiny homes available online, or you can design your own. Most cost around $20,000 to build, though your costs might be as low as $5,000 depending on your needs and wants. Living in a tiny home is a significant commitment to the minimalist life, but if you like the idea of minimalism, you might love having a tiny home.
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