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BlogDorms & LivingLife

Minimize Belongings, Maximize Life

Minimalism isn’t about owning as few items as possible, it is about only owning what you need and what improves the quality of your life. I am living at a friend’s house this summer, so to avoid taking up too much space, I brought as little belongings with me as possible. I’m living with about fifteen percent of my clothes and very few other possessions. And guess what? I’ve barely missed any of my other clothes or belongings!

Benefits to Minimalism:

There are many alleged benefits to minimalism, but here are some of the most notable:

  • Less spending. Once you adjust to living with less, you will save a lot of money!
  • Less stress. Whether you realize it or not, a crowded and messy environment generates a constant but subtle level of stress for most people.
  • Easier cleaning. With less items to clutter your space, cleaning is much faster and easier.
  • More productivity. With less material possessions to deal with and take care of, you will have more time to spend on what is really important to you.

Incorporating Minimalism Into Your Daily Life:

Apply the ideals of minimalism to your schedule:

  • If one of your recurring activities or responsibilities is taking up more time than it is worth to you or to others, let go of it.
  • If you’re a people pleaser and usually take on responsibilities that you don’t actually have time for, find a kind but firm way to tell others you can’t take on any more responsibilities.
  • It’s important to spend some time relaxing, but don't waste all of your free time on activities that aren’t helping you grow as a person, like watching movies or scrolling through social media. Instead, work on your goals or hobbies in your extra time.

Possessions you might think you need but don’t:

  • Dryer sheets. These are nice, but not necessary.
  • Shaving cream. Hair conditioner works well for shaving and is cheaper than shaving cream.
  • Chapstick. Many chapsticks contain alcohol which actually dries out your lips instead of moisturizing them. You can find better quality lip balms, but the best solution is drinking more water.
  • Paper towels. Use fabric towels and wash them.
  • A gym membership. There are advantages to a gym but you can get in good shape just by working out at home.
  • Exercise gadgets. You can look up or make up your own exercises to exercise every muscle in the body.
  • A microwave, or other small appliances. Again, a microwave can be very convenient, but you can accomplish the same tasks with an oven or stove.
  • Multiples. Many people probably own more towels, cups, mugs, etc., than they will ever use at one time.

Additionally, look into minimalist forms of exercise.

Although there are many advantages to minimalism, there is also a toxic side to the movement, including its tendency to promote selfishness. As you decide what possessions, responsibilities, and hobbies to keep, make sure that you consider others in your decision.

  • Every individual is going to feel comfortable with different amounts of possessions.
  • Some people might feel freedom in giving up almost all of their possessions, but someone who enjoys collecting antiques shouldn’t give up their favorite hobby in the name of minimalism!
  • Keep the possessions and activities that truly improve your life and other lives, and let go of the ones that drag you down and don’t provide a significant impact.

Katelyn is an editorial intern at Potential magazine and a senior at Faulkner University where she studies English. She enjoys writing and she is excited to work with Potential to share her experience and research about college life, self-improvement, budgeting, etc.

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