You can only read so much about minimalism, simplicity, and living with less. At some point, you just have to jump in and try it.
I’m guilty of being an over thinker sometimes. When I’m faced with something new I like to examine it from every angle. The problem with this approach is that it’s too easy to talk myself out of trying before I even have a chance to get started.
For Toe-Dippers and Jumpers
The new approach I’ve adopted works well for people who like to take things a little bit at a time and for those that like to jump into something new with full force.
Experiment. Just try it and see how it goes. It’s up to you to decide how big or little of a change you experiment with.
If you’re dying to minimize your clutter or take back your over scheduled life, try some experiments and see how they go.
The great thing about experimenting is that you don’t have to have everything figured out at the start. You don’t have to commit to a life change or convince anyone about anything. It’s just taking baby steps and seeing where they can take you.
Experiments in Simplicity
Some of my own experiments include:
- Get rid of the dresser in my bedroom – I now keep most of my clothes in the bottom half of a bookcase with doors.
- Giving up caffeine – I didn’t stick with removing it completely but I’ve cut back a lot and I’m happy with seeing how I felt differently.
- Eliminate video games – this experiment is still ongoing and it’s making a huge change in our family.
- Sell most of our library – we don’t miss it.
Experiment by Eliminating the Extras
One of the easiest ways to test living with less is to pack up the extras and the duplicates in your home. Pack them away temporarily, hide them from sight, or take the plunge and get rid of them. There are very few things that can’t be replaced if you really need them. Here are some ideas of where to find extras:
- Clothes. Pack up the clothes you don’t typically wear and see if you really miss them after a month. Visit Project 333 for inspiration.
- Dishes. How many extra sets of dishes are clogging up your cabinets?
- Toys. Most of the toys in your house probably aren’t played with anyway.
- Linens. How many pairs of sheets and towels do you really need?
- Books. Yes, books. As a recovering book-a-holic I promise it’s possible.
- Video games. If you can’t stand the idea of eliminating all of them, keep out only the favorites.
- Furniture. Try clearing out a room and see how you enjoy the extra space.
Beyond the physical extras, you can also try eliminating the extra indulgences taking a toll on your budget. Try experimenting with eliminating:
- Cable/Satellite TV
- Magazine subscriptions
- Starbucks coffee
- Car washes
- Dry cleaning
- Online subscriptions
I’m sure there are things you’ve considered eliminating but you just weren’t too sure about it. Give it a try. Experiment with a change. You just might like it.
Article originally published on 10/24/2011