If your home is free of clutter, you think twice about spending your money on frivolous purchases, and you are constantly attempting to downsize in any way possible, you may be a millennial minimalist.
Who are Millennials?
Millennials are classified as the generation born between the years 1981-1996. Today, millennials make up more than a quarter of the United States population and the majority of the workforce, according to Forbes Magazine.
Millennials, in particular, are seeking out a more minimalistic lifestyle as opposed to generations before. Because most millennials grew up in financial recession within the U.S., many have an alternative outlook on how to save and spend their money.
This generation is also highly influenced by technology and social media; many of their purchases are attributed to what they may see online.
Who or What is a Minimalist?
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo (in addition to her Tidying Up with Marie Kondo Netflix show) brought the minimalist movement to its height of notoriety. While minimalism is not a new concept, it has been increasing in popularity throughout the United States, influencing more millenials to try the lifestyle out for themselves.
The minimalism movement, within recent years, has inspired many to donate unnecessary belongings, move into smaller homes and live as simplistically as possible.
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What Entails a Minimalist Lifestyle?
The minimalist lifestyle is less about bidding farewell to all physical possessions and more about adopting a simplistic mindset. Minimalistic living is about getting rid of things you no longer use, so that you can live in a simple and uncluttered environment. As for the minimalistic mindset, minimalism teaches the importance of not having items and belongings be your sole source of contentment.
What are the Benefits of Becoming a Minimalist?
Becoming a millennial minimalist may seem like a great deal of effort at first. When considering if you should pursue a minimalistic lifestyle, you may question if it’s really worth ridding yourself of many of your possessions, but try to keep in mind that by getting rid of material things you may not need, you are enabling yourself to focus on what you really do need. Here are several benefits of becoming a millennial minimalist:
- Eliminate Discontent. A large part of living a minimalistic lifestyle is reducing the amount of belongings you have accumulated. By getting rid of unneeded possessions, you are not only clearing up space within your home, but also reducing the amount of stress those possessions may be causing you.
- Live in the Moment. You create more room for what is really important in your life by eliminating unwanted belongings in your home. Minimalism is important to many because, more than anything, it is a mindset that reminds us that our possessions do not define us. Minimalism takes the importance out of worldly belongings and places significance on living in the moment with those around you.
- Experience Real Freedom. Without an accumulation of personal belongings, you may feel more free. A lot of the time our possessions can act as a sort of weight on us, but by minimizing your belongings you will feel a sense of freedom that can only be the result of owning and being responsible for less.
- Create More, Consume Less. Another privilege of not being tied down by earthly possessions is the ability to delegate more of your time towards various passion projects of yours. Maintaining a home and all that is stored inside can be time consuming, but minimalism can and will teach you to re-devote your time to what’s really important–like making a difference.
- Focus on Mental Health. Many feel as though they don’t have enough time in the day. Becoming a millennial minimalist ensures that you are devoting less of your time to belongings and more of your time towards your family, work and enjoying your free time.
- Better Sense of Confidence. Minimalism promotes a better sense of confidence and self-reliance. Minimalism is less about focusing on possessions and how they define us and more about spending money on experiences and other people-driven projects.
How Can You Become a Minimalist?
Write Down Your Thoughts
As was mentioned earlier, minimalism is more of a way of thinking than doing. The first step in becoming a minimalist should be to write down your daily contemplations. Whether you’re trying to remember something important or feeling frustrated, this will help you to rid your mind of any unwanted thoughts and help you to obtain the simplistic mindset preferred by many minimalists.
Rid Yourself of Clutter
Besides being somewhat of an eye-sore, clutter can also cause you a great deal of stress. Start slowly decluttering your home by clearing off a cramped countertop, then move onto larger projects. Managing clutter is not something that can likely be done in one afternoon; it is a gradual process that will ultimately prove to be rewarding. A home free of clutter is a sure sign you are becoming a millennial minimalist.
If you find you have an overabundance of duplicates, consider putting them in a box, and later decide if those items are necessary to your day-to-day life. Donate any unwanted duplicates.
Minimize Your Closet
You’d be surprised how much easier life becomes when you have less clothing to choose from in the morning. Consider going through your closet and pulling aside clothing pieces you haven’t worn in a while. After a month, decide whether or not you need them in your wardrobe and donate if you don’t. Also, consider taking part in Project 333 where you are challenged to dress with only 33 items (clothes, shoes, jewelry, accessories) for 3 months.
Make Similar Meals
To save money and time at the store, consider buying ingredients that can be used in a variety of different meals throughout the week. Also, try eating the same breakfast and lunch on a daily basis and rotating dinner options every few days. You’ll find that prepping your own food has become so much simpler, and you’ll be saving yourself some cash.
A minimalistic lifestyle would also encourage not making or ordering excessive portions and would likely be compliant with a more natural and simplistic diet.
Join the Tiny House Movement
Simply put, the tiny house movement is a trend where individuals choose to downsize their living space and move into a smaller home. While this may seem impractical to some, the tiny house movement is a great way for minimalists or aspiring minimalists to go through their belongings and decide what really is necessary. By choosing to downsize your home, you are choosing to downsize any possessions you own as well.
Accept the Process
Change can be overwhelming, especially when you’re considering making a change to the way you live. Becoming a millennial minimalist will require patience and a large amount of acceptance along with way. Altering your lifestyle is not something that can be done overnight; it requires adopting a new mindset and learning how to adapt as a result.
Piece Together Your Reasoning
Why do you want to become a millennial minimalist in the first place?
Identifying why you want to make a change in your life is a great first step in understanding the process and learning how to accept it.
Make it a Habit
It takes 21 days to form a habit. Now that you know why you’re pursuing a minimalist lifestyle, you need to put it into practice. The best way to do that is to make a habit out of it. You’ll find that after a prolonged amount of time, those minimalistic practices and principles that you’ve put to use will become like second nature to you.
Minimalism is a Mindset
The only way to succeed in becoming a millennial minimalist is to adopt a minimalistic mindset. Without thinking like a minimalist, it is likely that you will not get very far in the process of becoming one. Take time out of your day to write down any thoughts and consider the habits you have made in contribution to becoming a minimalist. This will help you to better incorporate them into your everyday life, making the minimalistic lifestyle that much easier for you.
Take Small Steps
It is important to remember when transitioning into a millennial minimalist to start small. Doing too much at once can be overwhelming and could likely influence you to rethink your decision. Consider starting by donating clothes or belongings that are no longer of use to you or cleaning off a counter in your kitchen. Gradually work your way up to larger projects when you know you can handle a larger amount of change.
The most important concept to grasp when becoming a millennial minimalist is to be patient. Minimalism can be difficult. Our culture is often obsessed with the idea of wealth, and it can be difficult not to compare yourself to those you think are prospering in their individual lifestyle. It is important to distinguish your personal goals and to remain patient while waiting for the rewarding feeling of living with less.
Take the Time to Declutter
I said it once and I’m going to say it again, decluttering is such an important part of becoming a minimalist. Once you have grasped a minimalist’s mindset, you can start taking larger steps toward becoming a millennial minimalist. Decluttering is a great way to free up space within your home and can help you to identify the belongings you may not need in your life anymore. Once you have done the foundational work needed to be a minimalist, consider taking this larger step.
Embrace Your New Lifestyle
Now that you’re thinking like a minimalist and acting like one too, the last step is to embrace your new lifestyle. By decluttering your home, you have gotten rid of unnecessary belongings, but keep in mind that minimalism is not just about keeping your home tidy. It is about having the minimalistic lifestyle extend into every aspect of your life. Embracing your new lifestyle should be about creating a life free of the overwhelming feeling of having far too many belongings.
Why Neighbor is a Minimalist’s Best Friend
For those interested in pursuing a minimalistic lifestyle, self-storage is a great place to start. Neighbor is a start-up business with the intent of connecting those with additional space in their homes with those looking for self storage alternatives. Neighbor is a cost-effective choice for millennial minimalists looking to declutter or downsize.
If you are considering adopting a minimalistic lifestyle, consider practicing these steps before going through with this significant lifestyle change.
While becoming a minimalist may seem like a large amount of preparation and work, the payoff is what will make it worth it in the end.