My guidelines to minimalism

Read in Finnish

So much guessing, prejudice and negative attitudes are linked to minimalism. When I tell anyone being a minimalist or explain that I lead a minimalist lifestyle, the reactions are usually coated with raised eyebrows and suspicious looks. I would now, officially, like to change these suspicions once and for all and let you all know what minimalism means to me.

There are no strict rules when it comes to minimalism. It is not mandatory that everything a minimalist owns has to fit in one back bag. Neither do minimalism mean that one shouldn’t have carpets, curtains or colors in their house. It doesn’t force anyone to become vegan or to give up a car they need. Minimalism is a lifestyle that makes life easier, lighter, less anxious, less stressful and overall make one feel happier. When living intentionally, surrounded by things and people one loves, it is so much easier to breathe.

IMG_0670Because there are no strict rules when it comes to minimalistic way of life, every minimalist can create their own guidelines for a good life. To me, minimalism means surrounding myself with things that I love and things that are meaningful to me particularly. I don’t fill my home, my closets or my phone with clutter that doesn’t bring me joy. Every item I own, every app that I use and every furniture I have, is being used and appreciated. Minimalism is a part of my routine and choices every single day as it clarifies what I most appreciate in life. I have learned to value people and expreriences more than before and treat stuff as stuff, not a means to make me happy..

I go through my closet regularly and donate the items that no longer make me smile. The amount of kitchen items has cut in half and I have decluttered my bookshelf to only contain a few books I actually love. The rest I collected in heaps of boxes and took to charity. There are no knickknacks in my house, except for a small metal elephant, one my mother gave me before my son was born, and a white, handmade dream catcher which breaks a smile on my face when climbing between the sheets after a long day.

If it sounds to you like an ascetic home, I’m happy to tell you it isn’t. There are beautiful white curtains in my living room, because I love the way they frame the mist on a fall morning. There are also plenty of carpets on my floors, because I appreciate the warm and soft feeling under my bare feet. I have blankets and pillows to keep me warm and make afternoon naps luxury. Candle light helps me calm down so I also have quite a few lanterns to let the soft light of led-candles hit the bare walls.

A75E59A8-CAEC-44A9-9ED2-294EE864C6F2For me, minimalism isn’t just getting rid of excess stuff. Because I want to surround myself with things and people I love, I have let go of things that make me feel negative, sad or not good enough. Minimalism has affected my carreer, friendships, hobbies, smy phone’s apps, social media accounts I follow, my behavior with money, Facebook friends, diet and so on. Leading a minimalist life has encouraged me to eat cleaner food, use natural cosmetics, preserve nature and delete unnecessary projects from my to-do list.

Is it sometimes hard to be a minimalist? With a deep voice of experience, I can solemnly swear that at times I am in big trouble with my minimalism. 😀 I live surrounded by consumerism and thus am used to browse trough H&M’s fall catalogue and keep extra pair of dishes and sheets in the cupboard in case of surprise guests. To change one’s thinking as radically as minimalism requires, isn’t going to happen over night. The process has taken me over a year now and in some ways I’m still on the way. I notice craving new things just to have new things. It takes a lot of discipline to keep my head straight and be consistant with minimalist lifestyle. When I remind myself why I started, it all becomes easier. I don’t want to surround myself with clutter, excess stuff and knickknacks but live a peaceful, minimalist life without added stress and anxiety.

At its best, minimalism is a lifestyle that teaches gratefulness and frees energy and time which in turn help appreciate the world around us. Nowadays my life is happier and way more calm than before and my stress levels have dropped significantly. Minimalism has taught me how to focus on the things that really matter and that is something I would not change for the world.

Don’t be afraid to take the bull by its horns and just start. Minimalism is completely accessible to everyone, whether one has a busy life, kids, pets or every corner full of stuff. If I can do this, so can you, trust me. The important thing is to start and remember why you did. ❤

– Kati

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