Making Minimalism Your Own

I'm so thrilled to have a fellow minimalist guest blogging for us today.  Please welcome Sasha Ayad to the Mindi Zone community. Here's Sasha...

A friend invited me over recently to spend some time together while she was home-bound with her new twins. As we both surveyed the mountainous valley of pink and blue baby toys in the living room, she brought up the topic of my blog. Sighing with exasperation, she said, “I like idea of having less stuff, but how can we be  minimalists with all this around.”

I know a lot of people feel this way about other things in their life - it could be shoes, electronics, or furniture. They’ve looked at someone else’s version of minimalism: giving away five pairs of jeans so you only have one? They've thought, "that’s too extreme and maybe I can't do this."

But before you get discouraged by a lifestyle that seems so restrictive, think of minimalism as a process, and not a set goal. It’s a way of approaching your life, which is constantly changing. So minimalism has to be a fluid and adaptable philosophy.

I don’t have to emulate anyone else. As a minimalist, I consume thoughtfully and strive to live with less waste, excess, and clutter. I also make room for the things which bring me fulfillment and joy.

So you want to create a minimalist life that’s realistic, flexible, and most importantly, individualized for you? Consider this:

1. Do your possessions reflect how you actually spend your time?

Several months ago, I bought a ton of seamstress paraphernalia, thinking I could devote hours a day to creating a new wardrobe. As it turns out, I only use my sewing machine and a few colors of thread to make alterations every now and then. I could have done without most of these sewing gadgets. On the other hand, dancing is the highlight of my week. Being in a dance troupe, I own glittery makeup, hair extensions, and several costumes. And that’s ok.

2. Double the trouble, or double the joy?

Do you alternate between two pairs of gym shoes? If that works for you, don’t rush to get rid of a pair. This is the double function dilemma. Here’s a personal example: I love to cook, and of course, have more kitchen appliances than some minimalists probably do. When I was paring down, I got rid of my food processor, even though I had used it several times a week for at least 6 years. I thought that having a Blendtec would be an adequate substitute. Well, it’s not. There have been several meals I’ve tried to cook since pitching my food processor: I’ve wasted time and energy fumbling with my blender when my old food processor would have done a better job in half the time. If you use it often, just keep it.

3. Variety and options make life interesting.

I don't know about you, but I don’t like to wear the exact same thing every day. And I avoid the one-pair-of-jeans conundrum by being creative and experimenting with different styles. However, I did get rid of at least 60% of my clothes. It’s a lot easier to put together fun outfits when my closet isn’t overflowing with millions of options. This is true for every aspect of your life: find a balance between variety and simplicity.

4. Think outside the box. Literally.

Being a minimalist isn’t limited to your material possessions. You can change the way you eat, unwind, and spend time with others. While chatting with friends at dinner, do you glance down at your iPhone’s Facebook feed every few minutes? Are you in a relationship, devoting your time to someone who drains your emotional energy? What about your schedule? Have you said yes to more commitments than you care to make?

“I got rid of so many baby clothes the other day!,” my once-exasperated friend proclaimed over lunch last Wednesday. She had gone through drawers full of mini-people clothes that the twins had outgrown in a matter of weeks. She cleaned out most of her house and organized several neat piles: for donation, selling, and recycling. Now that babies are bigger and can walk, they were able to “help” by destroying the piles as they saw fit. While she may not feel ready to stake claim and call herself a “minimalist,” she’s found ways to make minimalism work for her and her family. And they're enjoying the process along the way. Perfect.

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Sasha Ayad
Sasha Ayad

Sasha is a blogger, minimalist, therapist, dancer, fitness enthusiast, and aspiring vegan. On her blog, loveminimalist, she writes about her own adventures in minimalism: sometimes successful, often difficult, and always enriching.

A practicing therapist with a Master’s in Counseling Psychology, Sasha offers a nuanced perspective on minimalism and its impact on people’s emotional and psychological health. She explores how relationships, culture and gender influence our pursuit of a simpler life, highlighting topics often overlooked in the simplicity blogosphere. Sasha believes we can all make room for the best things in life, offering practical advice and encouraging everyone to embrace a flexible approach to minimalism.