Have you ever heard of the concept of minimalism?

Well, it’s the crazy idea that you don’t need more stuff. We live in such a materialistic society where stuff is supposed to make us happier and more fulfilled, but it rarely does.

We’re constantly chasing what’s next. Minimalism challenges this.

Take an inventory of all the stuff you own, does it really have a purpose? Is it really bring you joy?

Minimalism challenges you to only own whatever you actually need to live. A majority of the items we own we hardly ever use and just end up taking up more space.

You know that feeling you get when you wear your favorite shirt?

What if every item you owned was your favorite?

That’s the beauty of having less stuff. The things you have suddenly become so much more valuable.

There are many different ways to embrace minimalism:

  • Minimal thoughts – being mindful of the thoughts you allow to occupy your mental space and knowing how to cut them off when needed.
  • Minimal possessions – only owning items that serve a direct purpose, thus eliminating clutter.
  • Minimal spending – only purchasing new items when needed, or when they add significant value.

I am somewhat of a recovering hoarder myself. I used to own shirts from high school, old worn out shoes, and drawers of random trinkets. I always had this feeling of “what if I need this later” or “I can use this in case X gets broken.”

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Most of these scenarios never happened and I ended up with loads of stuff I didn’t need or use.

After making this realization, I started small. It wasn’t an easy process and I am far from living in a tiny house with white walls, but I have made some significant progress.

The most important step is just understanding the philosophy behind the concept and accepting that things will not bring you more joy.

If I can do this, I’m sure you can too.

Here are five beginner steps for starting a minimalistic life:

1. The 1-in-2-out method.

Every time you buy a new item, throw two out of the same type.

For example, if you buy a new shirt then you need to get rid of two shirts you already own. This will make you rethink your purchases and decrease the amount of stuff you own over time.

2. Create a budget.

It may sound really basic, but this is step one to making sure you adopt a minimalist attitude about spending. I know this can be hard if you have had trouble budgeting in the past but this is a huge first step.

Related: How To Create a Budget That Works With Your Spending Habits

3. Practice mindful meditation.

Your mind is the most important space for you to clean out. Being able to take control of your thoughts will bring you an unmatched inner peace and improve your health.

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Related: This is Why Meditation is Good For You

4. Declutter physical spaces.

Cleaning up your physical space can lead to a huge change in your mood. Try designating one area in your home to be completely clutter-free. Notice how that small change feels and add new clutter-free areas as time goes on until you have an entire clutter-free home.

5. Think quality over quantity.

You may think that by owning a few things you would end up wearing them out quicker, but if you focus on having better quality items rather than having more, then you can save space and money.

For example, you can justify buying a $100 dress if you know you plan on wearing it every few days and it will hold up for years to come. That beats buying four $25 dresses and having to replace them every year.

[clickToTweet tweet=”Minimalism isn’t about going without. It’s about finding a new found appreciation for all the items you do own.” quote=”Minimalism isn’t about going without. It’s about finding a new appreciation for all the items you do own.”]

Minimalism isn’t about going without. It’s about finding a new appreciation for all the items you do own. The root of gratitude is being thankful for the things that you have right now and acknowledging the beauty in them. Having less can actually bring you more happiness, freedom, and sense of purpose in life.

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Do you practice minimalism in any area of your life?

By Jennifer Jackson

Jennifer is the creator ADLT101.com: the stuff they didn’t teach you in school, which helps young people make the transition into the world of adulting. Jennifer is passionate about sharing her experiences and providing resources to her fellow millennials just trying to figure life out. She is also a digital marketing consultant, yogi, world traveler and an aspiring vegan. Connect with her here on Twitter.