Minimalism is not about depriving yourself of owning things – it is more about appreciating what you already have and get only what you need.
By clearing the clutter from our lives, we are able to enjoy our lives to the fullest.
If you are a beginner or somewhere in your journey to simplify your life and are looking for help, you’ve come to the right place!
Here are seven essential steps I did to get started:
1. IDENTIFY YOUR GOALS AND PRIORITIES.
Write down all the reasons why you want to start a minimalist lifestyle.
What made you decide to simplify your life? What are the things that matter to you most? What makes you happy?
Your list of goals and priorities should inspire you to keep going and make that big change in your life.
2. EVALUATE YOUR POSSESSIONS.
Now that you’ve set your priorities, it’s time to address your material possessions. Think about everything you own and make a list.
Now ask yourself: do these things make your life any better? Do these things help you reach your goals and priorities, or do they just weigh you down? Do they make you happy, or do they cause you unnecessary financial burden?
3. DECLUTTER ONE SPACE AT A TIME.
Start clearing out clutter one place at a time. The best way to do this is to start with the smallest area of your house.
You can begin with a small drawer in your bedroom, the bookshelf in the living room or the kitchen pantry. Then in the next few weeks, you can start working on your closet, your shoes and accessories collection, the bedroom, the kitchen, the garage, and then other areas of your home.
Avoid decluttering multiple spaces at the same time. It can be very overwhelming and stressful and may discourage you from doing it again. Start small and take your time.
4. JUST LET GO.
Like most people, we feel that there’s always something in our life that’s holding us back – the old toys we had kept since we were kids; a basement full of old, broken items we refuse to recycle; a big shelf of sentimental items collecting dusts; a crappy friendship that we can’t seem to get rid of; or a nasty spending habit that we can’t shake off.
Why are we holding on to these things? What if letting go of these things means having a cleaner home, a clearer mind, a less stressful life?
There is no better time to let go than now. Just. Let. Go.
5. STOP BUYING UNNECESSARY THINGS.
Minimalism was a key component in my own journey towards financial freedom. One of the things that I have gained through this journey is finally being able to improve my spending habit.
We tend to buy more of less important stuff than of things that we truly need. We tend to spend more than what we actually have. We tend to have more clothes than space to accommodate them. We tend to have more time browsing Facebook than spending quality time with our kids.
Why not try living with less and be truly happy, instead of living with stress and plenty of regrets?
6. LIVE WITHIN YOUR MEANS.
Most of the people I know who own big houses, several cars, expensive clothing and jewelries unfortunately live paycheck to paycheck. I used to be like that too.
According to Ipsos’ poll back in 2017, the average Canadian owes $8,539.50 in consumer debt. This amount does not include mortgage debt. The report also states that “the generation that appears to have the most consumer debt is that of the Gen Xers, or people aged 35-54, who report an average debt above $10,000”.
This is a very sad reality of the world we live in and unfortunately, this is very common in the Filipino communities across Canada.
If you are in a big financial trouble, seek help. There are several credit and debt counselling services available in your city – all you need to do is pick up your phone and book your appointment.
7. STAY MOTIVATED.
If you have done steps 1 to 6, congratulations! Take a break and celebrate your victory! Embracing a minimalist lifestyle is definitely not an easy road to take, but I assure you it is a worthwhile adventure.
Now that you have come this far, it is important to stay motivated.
Remember, a lot of people have done all sorts of declutter and minimalism challenge, however, most of them fell right back into their old bad habits because of lack of determination and discipline.
So if you want to change your life, stick to your plan and keep going. Be consistent and focus on your goals. Do not stop until you’ve achieved the change that you have desired for so long.
What I learned from the past five years is that change will come only if you want it so bad. Your “why” should be greater than your excuses, not the other way around.
Minimalism is a journey. Take the first steps, enjoy each moment and learn from it. Be happy knowing that your journey to living with less lets you do more of what you truly love.
Jomay Amora-Dueck is the creator of theecoistcollective.com. She is the author of Becoming Ecoist: A Beginner’s Guide to Minimalist and Sustainable Living. Download your FREE copy at