“A style or technique (as in music, literature, or design) that is characterised by extreme spareness and simplicity.”
From schedules to relationships, the stress and clutter that cloud our lives can be trimmed in many ways. But the chief dedication of minimalism is removing belongings we don’t need.
The goal is to coach an intentional choice about what items we allow to occupy our time, focus, energy, and money. Our essential items — be they a car, item of furniture, or designer handbag — will differ from person to person. But at its core, minimalism is centring your life around what you value most and removing the rest.
By removing unnecessary items, we can find greater happiness in relationships, experiences, and personal care instead of at a department store.
History of minimalism
Minimalism has undoubtedly gained popularity in recent years, but the philosophy is nothing new. Most sources date minimalism back to the 1960s when artists were drawn to using simple geometric shapes and lines. Since then, minimalism has morphed into a way of life that promotes living with fewer possessions.
However, It’s difficult to pinpoint this as the true emergence of minimalism. Indeed, the concept has been around for some time. For example, Buddhists dismiss material possessions and have long taught that a life led by materialism will never make us happy.
What it means to live a simple life
From a young age, we’re taught less is more — and this mantra is tied closely to minimalism.
By letting go of unnecessary items and distractions, you uncover time to dedicate to areas which bring out your most authentic self. This lifestyle should leave you feeling de-stressed and energised!
Living more simply challenges your mind to prioritise what matters. Once you find a way to adjust to this way of thinking, the mindset will flow into other areas of your life! Your newfound mental filter will make you just as adept at clearing your closets as it does at streamlining your schedule and relationships.
The practice might sound like a walk in the park, but when it’s impossible to go a day without being bombarded with advertisements and messages about the latest products, it’s more difficult than you’d think. Modern society has bought into the idea that accumulating things is the key to a good life, so detaching from this idea and finding happiness away from the shops is challenging.
If you’re overwhelmed by clutter, looking for fewer distractions, or simply want to cut spending, living with less might be the right choice. Studies have long proven that it isn’t our things that make us happy, but relationships and experiences.
Going against society’s thirst for the latest trends in fashion, technology, and goods can take a lot of restraint, but there’s plenty of joy in a minimalist lifestyle. If you’re toying with the idea of embracing minimalism in your home and life, here are some of the benefits you can look forward to by living with less:
With fewer items, you’ll have more time on your hands. Think about it: less time spent cleaning, organising, and shopping will allow you time to engage in what matters most.
You’ll be surprised how many frivolous items eat into our bank accounts. By buying less and maintaining fewer items, you’ll find that you alleviate financial stress and have more money in your pocket for the important things — like experiences and time with loved ones.
Your possessions might be stressing you out more than you think. An overabundance of items can create a chaotic and unorganised living space linked to life dissatisfaction. Studies have long proven that organising and minimising clutter can boost mental well-being.
Good for the environment
The overproduction and consumption of goods add to pollution contributing to global warming. By embracing minimalism, you become a conscious consumer and reduce the amount of waste in the world.
Our household possessions consume a lot of our time. By eliminating distractions, we can make a conscious effort to dedicate time to the things that matter.
Tips for living a minimalist lifestyle
A mixture of financial turmoil, environmental concern, and overconsumption have a growing community rejecting the belief that an abundance of possessions equals happiness. Rather than buying and consuming without thought, there’s a noticeable shift to simpler lifestyles with less stress and more freedom.
Whatever your reason for being attracted to minimalism, you’re no doubt keen to get started. Follow these minimalist lifestyle tips to live a more intentional life:
Sort your belongings
Decluttering your home is the obvious starting point for your minimalist journey. Before you start aimlessly tackling your entire home, we suggest starting with a single room or even one cupboard. There’s no need to do it all at once!
Begin by making a box of duplicates. Are two blenders in your cupboard, two copies of the same book on your shelf, and two identical shirts hanging in your wardrobe? Keep your preferred one and discard the rest.
When you come to take on your other possessions, the goal is to keep items with meaning and purpose. Repeat the questions “do I use it,” “do I need it,” and “does it make me happy?” If the answers are no, it probably doesn’t warrant a place in your life. Sort your items into four piles: keep, donate, recycle, and bin.
Cut time spent grocery shopping
Minimalism is as much about shrinking your schedule as it is about your closet. So, what’s one recurring event we dread in our schedule? We’re not talking about visiting your in-laws but about grocery shopping!
On weekdays, when you’re already strapped for time, it’s important to plan some simple, go-to meals. That way, you can limit your time at the store, shrink cooking time, and cut food expenses. It’s a win-win!
If you want to save even more time, get groceries delivered to your doorstep in as little as 20–30 minutes with Bolt Market. Online grocery shopping lets you squeeze more interesting and productive things into your schedule. There are so many things you can do while waiting for your grocery order — 102 things, in fact.
Turn off phone notifications
Mobile phones are as much of a blessing as they are a curse. The ability to do almost anything we want through a device leads to an insane amount of time looking at screens. On average, we spend 3 hours and 15 minutes on the phone each day.
Remember, minimalism is choosing what items we allow to occupy our time. Turning off phone notifications — at least unimportant ones — is a great way of taking back control of your time, attention, and energy. Having fewer pings light up your phone can be oddly freeing.
Avoid low-quality purchases
Cutting down on purchasing new items is the primary principle of minimalism. You can’t say you lead a minimalist lifestyle if your shelves fill up just as quickly as you clear them out!
If the shopping itch is too difficult to ignore, prioritise quality over quantity.
Minimalism doesn’t mean you can’t step foot in a shop, but you must be more considerate and ethical with purchases. For example, if you need a new winter jacket, invest in a quality piece that will last many years rather than one that’s cheaply made. This way, you’ll make less frequent purchases, save money in the long run, and reduce waste.
Experiences over possessions
With less stuff and more money, you can make room for more fun experiences.
Rather than splashy purchases, minimalists enrich their lives with experiences. Whether trying out new restaurants in your area, learning a new skill, or going on a trip, experiences are the number one way to enrich your life as a minimalist.
Reassess the need for a car
Modern culture has created the notion that we need cars. Cars are the symbol of freedom when we reach young adulthood. Still, with financial restraints, environmental concerns, and improved public transport and ride-hailing services, the car ownership era is reaching the end of the road.
Going car-free after so long with a personal vehicle can seem a little drastic. But when was the last time you tried to complete your daily routine using other transport methods?
Begin by not using your car for a week. Run local errands on foot/bike or ride with Bolt for longer journeys. You’ll be surprised how switching your transport habits can make you happier, healthier, and richer.
Order groceries, transport, and food delivery with Bolt
The Bolt app is the ultimate minimalist companion.
Through the app, you can order a ride in minutes and get restaurant meals and groceries delivered to your door. This means you can fit more important things into your schedule and achieve your car-free commitment! Download the Bolt app now.