then you may think it can happen all at once. You get a big skip and start chucking things into it and, hey presto, you’re a minimalist. It’s not quite as simple as that, though; it’s more of a journey than a leap and so you have to start somewhere.
Identify your goal and make a plan
People are minimalist in different ways. For some, it’s just doing away with the old books that have followed them around since college; for others, it’s a long-term goal to lead as simple and non-consumerist a life as possible. There’s no right or wrong, only what suits you.
To get to your goal you need to set a schedule. Decide what you want to do without and set down a time frame – Wednesday nights are for listing 10 old books on an auction site, for example. Keep check of your progress.
Ask how your home lends itself to minimalism
If you have a big house or flat, you can feel tempted to fill it with things you don’t need, or at least, not be so hasty to throw them out. Is it time to downsize? Do you need that third bedroom? How much less electricity will you use in a smaller place? How much money will you save and what will you do with it?
Buy quality, not quantity
Many of us think that more = happier, when in actual fact it’s the quality of the things we buy that makes us happier long-term. This applies to shoes, furniture, clothes and appliances. Buy what you love, not what you covet for a few seconds.
This is the big barrier. People dream of living light, but when it comes to jettisoning possessions and habits, they freeze. Fortunately, you only have to ditch what you want to. If you have 63 cookie cutters, many of which are duplicates, why are they taking up an entire drawer? Just start small and see how you feel. A good rule of thumb is that if you haven’t used something in a year, it could probably go (seasonal items aside, of course).
Just…start living with less
You’ve got a serious candle habit and you can’t return from a shopping trip without two or three new ones. So, come home with just one. When you go to the cinema, do you need the ice cream and the popcorn? No-one’s asking you to live in a cave, just to trim off your excesses. It’s a start. If you really miss something, then bring it back as it’s obviously essential to your happiness.