“You cannot change your destination overnight, but you can change your direction overnight.” — Jim Rohn
Before I started pursuing minimalism, I had just graduated from college and was moving into a new apartment. Excited about settling in, I quickly filled the apartment with all the new “adult” things my family and friends told me I needed now that I was living on my own.
After a few months of curating, I had a muffin pan I never used, a drawer full of decorations I never put up, and five too many hand towels. When the physical clutter started to turn into mental clutter, I knew something had to change.
With the support of my mastermind group and an extra push of motivation from my good friend Anthony, I blocked off the following weekend to de-clutter my apartment. I started by getting rid of anything I didn’t touch on a somewhat regular basis.
I went through my entire wardrobe, separating clothes into piles labeled donate, keep, and throw. I emptied all of the knick-knacks from my junk drawers. I was on a roll.
Even though I had done more organizing in this one sitting than I had done in months, I still felt deflated. It didn’t help that I still had to clean out my fridge, create a new filing system, organize my toiletries … The list was never-ending. Then I remembered why I started this journey.
Minimalism isn’t about quick fixes or drastic, overnight change. It’s about taking small steps to lead you to a more fulfilling life at a pace that feels right for you.
Each day looks different. One day it might be donating jeans I haven’t worn in two years or organizing the pile of pen pal letters sitting on my nightstand. All I know is that it’s an evolving process, but one that excites and challenges me.
Here are some ways you too can practice minimalism in your everyday life:
1. Pick one task each day.
Sure, it would be great to do it all, but we all have only 24 hours in a day and only two hands to juggle our daily responsibilities so commit to one task each day. It doesn’t have to be in relation to physical clutter either! You can practice a new set of yoga poses or do 10 minutes of meditation in the morning. Whatever it is, you’ll quickly see that prioritizing one task a day will help you build toward a more simplified life.
2. Physically cross each task off of your to-do list.
Is there any better feeling than literally crossing a task off of your to-do list? If so, I haven’t found it. Striking tasks from your to-do list will help you stay accountable to your goals and preserve your daily momentum, all while feeling massively productive.
3. Set your intentions.
It’s important to always stay rooted in the “why” behind every action you take. Each time you go through your pots and pans set, you’re not just organizing your kitchen. You’re clearing physical and mental space to make room for what you find value in. When you feel your motivation start to slip, refer back to your intentions.
4. Celebrate the small victories.
Small victories can look like organizing all of your receipts on a Monday evening or throwing ou the expired food in your pantry on a Saturday afternoon. Sure, there might still be a pile of dishes in the sink and a bookshelf that’s in disarray, but you tackled one task and for today, that’s enough.
5. Take it one day at a time.
Minimalism isn’t a sprint; it’s a marathon. It’s a series of small daily actions that bring you closer to your long term vision. It will look different for you than it does for me, but that’s something to celebrate. Practicing minimalism on your own terms everyday will help you cherish what you deem most valuable.