To declutter their life, many have turned to the practices of a minimalistic lifestyle. What exactly is minimalism? According to minimalists, Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus, best known for their blogs, podcast, books and documentary, sum minimalism up in a single sentence: “Minimalism is a tool to rid yourself of life’s excess, in favour of focusing on what’s important – so you can find happiness, fulfillment, and freedom.” This ideology focuses on reassessing your priorities and coming to terms with the fact that our physical possessions are not the most important part of our lives. Of course, like any new change, their will be roadblocks along the way. Here are four thoughts to keep in mind while shifting your life to becoming more minimalistic.

  1. Don’t get Derailed by Sunken Costs: Sometimes it’s hard to give up things because of the initial cost incurred to get them. It is important to keep in mind that items purchased begin to depreciate in value as soon as they are purchased, and are only worth as much as someone is willing to pay for them. To move beyond the angst that this idea may cause, it is important to think about the space it costs to keep it, whether mentally or physically. Next, consider donating the item to a worthy cause, or to someone you know who will find value in it. The item can also be recycled, if it no longer serves a purpose. Either way, although no monetary value is regained, the removal of mental and physical clutter will be priceless!
  1. Don’t get Caught up in the ‘Just in Case’ Dilemma: Preparing for possible future events can have the opposite effect of paring down. Not every item should be kept for posterity. Although it’s lovely to save a few of your children’s cherished baby toys, in case they themselves become parents one day, don’t save every single thing they ever touched between the ages of zero and twenty. Pay it forward, and give it to someone with less.
  1. Don’t be Burdened by other People’s Burdens: Older siblings love to pass along items they have outgrown. Psychologically, it’s easier for them to pare down by passing items on to you, rather than throwing things out. Just because you are given something for free doesn’t mean you have to take it. Use your best judgement, and let them know that you would prefer for them to pass the item along to someone who will receive more value from it.
  1. Don’t Rent a Storage Locker: Renting a storage locker is the beginning of the end. It’s somewhere out-of-sight where you can leave items without guilt. If it doesn’t fit in your home, it doesn’t fit in your life. Instead, donate it to someone who sees true value in it.