Beginner's guide to adopting minimalism: Myths, Benefits and tips

We accumulate possessions thinking they will help us live our lives better, in one way or the other. But, does it ease our life or add to the many burdens we carry?

Possessions have been shaping people, their identity, and their definitions of success and happiness, from years before we were even born. For many, the quench to be able to treat themselves with what they want, without having to give it a second thought becomes the touchstone to success. While to some others, the fear of insecurity in life, not having things at their reach, serves as their reason to run behind possessions. In this manner, most of us have become dependent on possessions and let this dependency to weave our personality and our lives.

Sparing oneself from this dependency and leading a life free from these desires and insecurities has become a lifestyle today, that one calls ‘minimalist lifestyle.’

A minimalist room
Photo by: pexels


Now lets into the actual topic, what is a minimalist lifestyle? How do we define minimalism?

The beauty of minimalism itself is that there is no clear definition of it. In reality, the definition of minimalism differs from person to person.

The basic idea of minimalism is to be able to differentiate between needs and wants, let go of one’s wants, and adapt to simple living. It is a mindset and a form of mindfulness, that requires one to become more introspective about their values and possessions, compelling clarity, intentionality and purpose in life.


  • Decluttering and minimalism are the same: Decluttering and minimalism have the same concept of getting rid of anything that doesn’t serve a purpose, but they are not the same. While decluttering is a major part of minimalism, it is not the only thing done. Minimalism is stepping-off consumerism where decluttering is done regularly. It is thus a never-ending process.
  • Minimalism happens overnight: One needs to understand that minimalism is a way of life, that takes time to adapt to. With a little bit of motivation, one might manage to declutter in a short period, but what about consuming less? Are you planning to buy all your necessities right after decluttering and never buy anything again? It is neither throwing out everything nor not buying new things at all. It is consuming things that are necessary for a minimalistic way.
Photo by : pexels
  • Minimalists must own just 15-30 things on the whole: If you can lead a life with just about 20 items, well then, more power to you! Yes, minimalism does encourage to live with less. But it doesn’t mean depriving oneself of their happiness. It means being content with what you have.
  • Minimalism is a rulebook in the name of a lifestyle: There is no such thing as rules in minimalism. It is an ideology, which can be used as a guideline to switch to simple living, where letting go of the unnecessary things needs to be done regularly.
  • It is all about aesthetics: While aesthetics is a form of minimalism, it is not what minimalism is all about. A minimalist doesn’t have to necessarily have a liking towards the minimalist art and design. With decluttering and consuming less, one enjoys the blank and white spaces that give peace of mind and a sense of satisfaction, he/she doesn’t have to like the plain lines presented as art. As the definition of minimalism varies, so does their style and interests.
Photo by : unsplash
  • Every member of the family must follow minimalism for it to show its benefits: Minimalism is a way of life, that is purely left to each individual to choose to, adapt to, or not. Its benefits are felt at a personal level as it is letting go of the emotional clutter as well. One can set an example to their friends and family by being a minimalist and thereby encourage them to redesign themselves to it. 


  • Minimalism reduces the amount of time and money spent on possessions: When one owns less, he/she doesn’t just save the money spent for it, but also saves the time he would have spent on it. In this way, it gives the person more time to work on his hobbies, passion, and himself.
  • Freedom: As one adapts to the art of letting go, he/she invites to the doors of his mind a sense of freedom from consumerism, worry and guilt.
Photo by : pexels
  • Personal growth: People who accumulate possessions just to have a feeling of security and balance in life, will understand that life’s beauty lies in its uncertainty when they decide to consume only what is necessary at that point in life. Whilst some others step off the ladders of materialism and disconnect from possessions.
  • It is a reliable and consistent lifestyle: A minimalist lifestyle pushes us towards honesty. It encourages a united and consistent way of life.
  • Quality over quantity: Living with just what one needs, with the freedom to disengage from the wants, one doesn’t have to compromise on the quality of their needs.


Photo by : unsplash

Think about it. Don’t you go to the store to buy necessities that amount to about a few hundred bucks but end up billing for a thousand? Isn’t telling a no to your family difficult when they ask you for something that they want but isn’t a need? Don’t you buy things just because you found it cute at the store, but return home to find that it doesn’t fit in anywhere and keep it in your junk-drawer? 

At the same time, do you aspire to be a minimalist? Now, for that, you must be willing to let go of such habits. Here’s a list of things you need to remember as a beginner:

  • To undergo the transition, one must be prepared to be uncomfortable in the beginning.
  • Make sure you research well about it and discuss it with people before deciding to step into it.
  • Give yourself a strong reason to do it.
  • Once you have decided to adopt minimalism, decide in which aspect you want to be minimal. Remember that it is not an all or nothing approach. Remember, minimalism is just a philosophy, the idea is yours.
  • While decluttering, have a fresh eye to the items to be able to let go of them. Do not do it just for the sake of it.
  • Decluttering certain items to which you have a sentimental attachment is not necessary. Ask yourself if the item serves you a purpose or sparks the same joy as it once did.
  • Don’t be hard on yourself. Take your time. Work on one aspect after another if you want to be minimal in several aspects. There is no deadline for it.

Minimalism is a matter of the heart. With the learning that ‘less is more’, it is just a way of finding content in what one has by appreciating it and expressing gratitude. As Tom Robbins once said,

Any half-awake materialist well knows – that which you hold, holds you.

Learn the art of letting go of what demands your peace of mind, and hold on to what makes you bloom with happiness. Simplify life and embrace its beauty.

Just a girl with a curious mind and an excited heart, living with an enthusiasm to explore herself and the world.

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