How To Become a Minimalist
Minimalism has become a popular topic among many people in recent years. If we learned anything from Marie Kondo, cutting back on our possessions is helpful for our minds. In times when we’re inundated with information, images, and news continually, it’s rewarding to cut back on what you can control: possessions, stuff, and clutter. Your friends at Duluth Pack have created this guide full of tips on how to start living more minimally.
Tip one: Start slow. Habits are hard to form if you quit your old habits cold turkey. It is too easy to go back to accumulating stuff and not living minimally when you try to do it all at once. Try to go slow and take one step at a time instead of doing everything at once. This is helpful not only because it is less overwhelming, but the habits are more likely to stick.
Tip two: DECLUTTER, DECLUTTER, DECLUTTER. The first step of living minimalist is to declutter the stuff you already have. Get rid of duplicates, cut down on your clothes, and find what matters to you. If you’re particularly nostalgic, it’s tough to declutter items that have some meaning or experience tied to them. Only get rid of what you're comfortable with at first; it’s easier to declutter old clothing than it is to declutter postcards from a vacation twenty years ago.
Tip three: Have décor that means something to you and get rid of the rest. For example, think of memories from a vacation, or an item that used to belong to a family member. These mean something and tell your story; the rest tends to just “exist.” They aren’t serving a purpose.
Tip four: Quality over quantity. One of the most important steps to living minimally is to invest in things that will last so you won’t have to buy things as often. Declutter the broken or low-quality items in your life and invest in things that will last you a long time but still help you stay minimalistic. Try out the Standard Backpack, the Market Tote, and the Grab-N-Go to get you started. These versatile bags will help you stay organized in your minimalist life, but also will make it unnecessary to continually buy lower quality items because we build these to last generations.
Tip five: Be kind and patient to yourself. Decluttering and parting with your things can be hard. It can sometimes even be emotional. Just like any habit, you’re bound to have slip-ups. It’s important to be kind to yourself when this happens. None of us are perfect, and habits are not formed easily. This is why we recommended easing into the minimalist lifestyle, instead of trying to achieve it all at once.
Tip six: Be minimal at every point of your life. This means digitally, too. Cancel any subscriptions you don’t want anymore, in both print and digitally. Delete apps you don’t use. Go through your inbox and delete emails you don’t need to keep anymore. Decluttering digitally can lead to fewer distractions when online, which can help you be more productive and intentional with your screen time.
Tip seven: Don’t compare yourself to other minimalists. Your version of minimalism is not going to look exactly like another person’s version of minimalism. Some people aren’t practically able to live with as little as others do. This is okay.
Tip eight: Get into the minimalist mindset. Decluttering and organizing and finding items that are quality that will last you for a while are all great ways to practice minimalism. But part of the minimalism movement is focusing inward and on intentionality. Try and focus on not needing as many things in your life, rather than focusing on decluttering as much as possible. If you commit to owning less, you will not need to declutter after your initial decluttering when getting into minimalism.
Focusing on minimalism can be very freeing for the mind. In a time when it can feel constantly overwhelming with what is happening in the world outside of our homes, looking inward to make our homes less overwhelming is a small step we can take for ourselves.
Happy decluttering, friends.