My Minimalist Living Experience

Categories: Life

Minimalism is about having just the right amount of things

Just want to casually talk about minimalism with everyone. I quite like this lifestyle, but that doesn’t mean everyone needs to be a minimalist. Some people enjoy collecting things, some love shopping and buying lots of stuff. I think any lifestyle that makes you comfortable is good. But if you also like a simple way of living, or maybe you’re a bit of a perfectionist, then these little tips might suit you.

First of all, minimalism isn’t about throwing away most of your possessions and living in an empty space. It’s about choosing what’s important to you, not about having a lot, and it’s not necessary to be minimalist in every aspect of your life. For example, if you like reading and certain collections, you can definitely be selective and thoughtful in your acquisitions. Minimalist living is more about reducing unnecessary elements in your life, allowing you to focus more on what truly matters.

Regular Organization

The first step should be regular organization, which generally involves throwing things away, selling second-hand items, or storing them. Don’t always think that you’ll need something later on, if you haven’t used it in the past year, you probably won’t use it in the future.

Throwing things away: You can start with the fridge and kitchen, throw away expired items, or things that have been sitting unused for a long time. Many people can get rid of a lot here; then tidy up various drawers and cabinets, such as broken items, useless accessories, cheap charging cables and heads, unused manuals, old receipts, delivery boxes, shopping bags, etc. In general, these are things you put away thinking you might use them later, but after a long time, they’re actually unused.

Selling second-hand: Then you’ll find that some things are a pity to throw away, but you don’t really use them anymore. For things that aren’t very valuable but still somewhat useful, such as books you’ll never read again, or clothes you haven’t worn in 2 years, you can check Alipay or other apps for door-to-door recycling and donation services. Compared to throwing them away directly, this might make you feel better. Next, for things that are still worth some money, which you bought on impulse but don’t really use, clean them up, take photos, and sell them on platforms like Idle Fish to the next person who’s about to make an impulsive purchase. This can help you recover some of your investment. It’s also easy to decide here, for example, if you hardly use headphones, second-hand computers, watches, small appliances, etc., these are easy to sell. Just keep the one you’re always using and that works well, and only keep one item for repeated functions.

Storing away: If storage space is limited, you can buy some storage boxes and vacuum storage bags to reduce the volume of your stored items by half, and place them out of sight, such as clothes and quilts that are not for the current season. They can be stored away using vacuum storage bags, and for items that are not convenient to put in bags, you can use boxes to organize them neatly in the cabinet, making sure each item has its specific space and is easy to find when you need it again.

The organization step mentioned above will take up some of your weekend time, but once it’s done and the area is cleaned up, it generally makes you feel good and refreshed.

Cultivate Your Own Consumption Philosophy

The second step is to gradually cultivate your own consumption philosophy. Here, the general advice is to only buy good quality items, not to be swayed by consumerism, to make purposeful purchases, and not to hoard things.

Only buy good quality: Often, one of the reasons for having too many things is buying a lot of stuff that you think you’ll use, or items you were hesitant about but ended up buying anyway. These usually end up in the cabinet unused and regretted. For essentials, it’s generally recommended to buy the better one within your means, such as phones, computers, clothes, shoes, headphones, etc. They are of good quality and slightly more expensive, but they will prevent you from feeling the need to replace them with something better for a long time, and they will actually improve your quality of life. Here, you can also quickly organize the previous item using the method from the first step.

Don’t be swayed by consumerism: More and more, I feel that most of the essentials in life are already very satisfying. Often, consumption is a part of the ritual, such as seeing recommendations on Little Red Book, good things on TikTok, trendy items on Dewu, which can easily mislead you into making a purchase. Those who work in e-commerce development should know that each small feature is actually iterated by a large product business team every day to improve conversion rates and persuade you to buy.

Make purposeful purchases: It’s easy to end up buying hundreds of dollars worth of things when you just think of wandering around a supermarket or Sam’s Club. Upon reflection, many of these purchases are optional. You can think about what you need before you leave, make a simple list, and avoid impulse buying things you think you need. This purposeful selection method will make you more comfortable. This also applies when going shopping; think about what you want to buy and which brand beforehand.

Don’t hoard things: The original intention of hoarding is to save money and hassle, but often buying boxes of paper, laundry detergent, and shower gel to use for a year or two can be annoying. You might even end up using them double just to finish them quickly, which is actually wasteful and takes up a lot of space in your home. Most of the time, these items are not that urgent, and it’s quick to order them for home delivery. Another item that is easy to hoard is physical books. You can read the e-book first, then buy the paper book. These are very heavy when moving.

Reducing Passive Messages Online

We’ve controlled the physical items in your life with two steps, in and out, but there’s also a part of your virtual life that can be simplified. Here, I’m talking about receiving information through your phone, computer, and knowledge channels. Information overload often makes life less smooth, so try to minimize the reception of passive information and actively seek out the information you need.

App Management: My usual practice is to delete any app that I haven’t used in 3 months. I’ll reinstall it when needed and then uninstall it again or use a mini-program instead. This way, the apps on my phone are basically limited to two screens, which is completely sufficient for my daily needs. Secondly, I control the notifications from all apps. I generally only enable notifications for bank transactions, Alipay transactions, WeChat, and work-related software. I disable notifications for all other apps in the settings, so there are no red dots on my screen, and many apps also allow you to disable marketing notifications. Thirdly, I don’t install news apps or short video platforms like TikTok. It’s been over a year since I last installed them, and I don’t feel the need for this kind of seemingly useful news and information. The same principle applies to software on my computer.

Data Organization: Delete useless text messages, as most of them are not necessary. Usually, I delete all messages regularly except for those from family members. The second step is to delete unnecessary photos and videos, which can clear a lot of space. The third step is to delete useless WeChat messages and contacts that were added without knowing how or why, keeping your frequently used tools clean and tidy. The same applies to files on your computer.

Actively Receiving Messages: The above steps are for dealing with passive reception of messages, trying to minimize the content algorithms push to you. You can subscribe to RSS feeds to receive information more actively, follow your favorite bloggers for updates, and directly block or mute those you dislike. Additionally, activating the do-not-disturb mode when you need to focus can also reduce unwanted messages. There are many things you can do to control the information you see.

That’s about all I have to ramble on about. In essence, the most important aspects are regular tidying, buying quality over quantity, and actively seeking information. This minimalist lifestyle can often influence a person’s worldview, including their product creation, lifestyle, and personal preferences and character. Lastly, I also wish you happiness and a fulfilling life.

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