Even If You Hate Minimalism...

Minimalism is growing more and more by the day. You may have not noticed, but the internet is completely saturated with it, specifically speaking, YouTube and Instagram. And while many of us would agree that minimalism is a good concept, I'm sure there are those few, far, and in between that find it completely annoying and I think I can *vaguely* see why - a concept that's centered around leaving a smaller footprint and consuming less shouldn't feel so unattainable and elitist, and yet the super clean and bright #minimalist social media profiles with white walls, green plants, and neutral wardrobes all over the internet have a way of making you feel like a failure if you don't have it going the same. Not to mention, almost anytime someone uploads a blogpost or YouTube video, there's always a handful in the crowd making remarks on how that person is doing it "wrong". But let's get back to the basics for a minute: owning less, creating less waste, saving money, and living in a less cluttered environment. If you're doing those things, you're doing it right. Regardless of whether you're on board or not, there are a few lessons I think we can all take into consideration - even if you hate minimalism.

Evaluate the things you buy ahead of time
In the past, when I'd tell myself I could only go shopping when I actually needed something, it was almost a lost cause. I found myself justifying something I still didn't need. I think the whole generic question, "Do I need this?" can work for some people, but there are other questions to ask yourself first such as "Do I have the space to store this?" "How many days a week will I use this?" and "If I put off buying this for a week, will I regret it? What will my life be like?" They're more direct and specific, and will encourage you to be more honest with yourself. Evaluating the items you buy will result in saving money which is a good thing for anyone.

Live less trashy aka zero-waste
In my opinion, it should always be ones goal to create less trash. Have you ever paid attention to the number of times per week you take out the trash? For some people, it's a lot. One of the main focal points of minimalism is awareness of carbon footprint; consuming less, thus tossing less. A great example of this could be to buy as much as you can in bulk, resulting in less packaging, or bringing your own grocery bags and travel mugs with you. Another could be opting out of fast fashion - cheap clothes that don't last long (and also a leading cause of textile waste...). Recycling is also a major factor in the full equation of achieving this. Living zero-waste has less to do with the "aesthetics" of minimalism and more to do with the planet. It'll make you feel better about how your habits affect the world around you.

Go digital when possible
Switching to digital as much as possible is always something to strongly consider because you'll create less clutter AND create less trash. Bada bing, bada boom. You can pay your bills online, you can buy e-books and digital movies. You can read newspapers and magazines online. You can have receipts emailed rather than printed. You can usually buy event tickets and have them scanned through your cellular device. Jotted down notes can be kept in the "Notes" app. I can't think of anything else at the moment, but I know there are so many more ways you can go digital.

Slow down
We get very caught up in the hustle and bustle of our every day lives: work, school, gym, meetings, events, etc. I've said this numerous times and I'll say it again: minimalism isn't just about the physical items sitting in our homes. It applies to every aspect of our lives. Planning out your days more thoughtfully through a journal of some sort can be a huge help; creating your intentions and goals for the forthcoming days and weeks. Always ensure you're leaving some time solely for you to relax, clear your mind, and do the things you enjoy. Slow down and breathe. 

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