January 29, 2015
There's a lot of talk about minimalism these days, and much confusion about what it means. While I'm far from being an authority on the subject (I consider myself a minimalist-in-training) I'm going to throw in my two cents and explain what minimalism means to me.
Minimalism doesn't mean that we have to turn into some sort of Buddhist monk going through life with six or seven worldly possessions. Getting rid of stuff is not the goal here, but rather the consequence of choosing to live in a more deliberate way.
Minimalism starts by understanding that everything we surround ourselves with either adds value to our life or is just taking space. Things add value by being useful or by bringing us joy. Everything we let into our lives has to earn it's place.
A good way to make minimalism a daily practice is to get into the habit of constantly asking ourselves this question: "What is this doing here?" If it's not adding value or bringing us joy, get rid of it. Throw it away or give it to someone who may need it/like it/want it. Here's the key, though: whatever we decide to do we must decide quickly, or the resistance (laziness, procrastination, the just-in-case syndrome) will take over.
Keep it up until this daily practice becomes a habit, and you'll be surprised by how eliminating physical clutter contributes to getting rid of mental clutter too. I've noticed that since I'm doing this I'm able to think more clearly, and have an easier time getting organized and getting things done.