Minimalism + 3 tips

Minimalism has become more of a trend recently, but at its heart is a beautiful concept. It stems from applications in art, architecture, and music, but it can be applied to anything, most importantly, your life. 

It ties in very well with zuhd (Arabic for detachment)in Islam. We live in a very materialistic world driven by consumerism and resulting in absurd amounts of waste. Not to mention it’s a little silly to put so much value on material objects when they don't hold substantial value. They don’t have any importance or lasting impact, and won’t come along after we have passed away.

It’s important to note everyone’s journey within minimalism is different. There are minimalists who have only 10 articles of clothing, and minimalists with 20 pairs of pants. Keeping that in mind, my view of minimalism may not match yours. There aren't set rules to become a minimalist, it is simply a tool to help you make decisions purposefully and find freedom. Freedom from being trapped into consumerism and a constant desire for all things new. Freedom from making possessions a priority and forsaking what is truly important. Freedom from being owned by the things you own.

In the same vein, I’m sure we’ve all heard of how leaders such as Jobs, Obama, Zuckerberg, etc, tend to wear variations of the same outfit. This wasn’t to create an iconic style, but because it is a waste of brainpower trying to decide what to wear when they could be solving problems, creating new inventions, and be much more productive in the process. Although we think we want more options, it is in fact true that more options overwhelm us and making a decision becomes much more tiring and difficult. 

A simpler lifestyle with purpose behind our actions and possessions will lead to less stress and an overall increase in happiness. Here are three tips to start your way to minimalism; and if I haven’t convinced you to become a minimalist yet, don’t worry, these tips are applicable to everyone.

1. Stop accepting free paraphernalia

The free things they hand out at booths and events like sunglasses, water bottles, t-shirts, etc. If you already have what you need, and its only going to end up in the trash or be given away after a few months, DON'T take it. 

2. Cancel subscriptions

You can sit down and do this all at once or as you receive them, either way once you're done this will definitely boost happiness and also reward you with more time. Unsubscribe from emails that clutter your inbox, and cancel any magazine or other subscriptions you aren't utilizing to the fullest extent. Bonus: this will save you money too!

3. Digital Declutter

Most people forget about digital clutter; from desktops where things pile up and inboxes with unread emails, to apps that go unused. Put on your favorite show and organize files; whether its photos that need be deleted, old documents to be put in certain folders, whatever. Bonus: a clear desktop actually means a faster computer!

Share your thoughts on minimalism below, and if you use these tips I’d love to hear how it goes!

Fatima Seyma