You might be wondering what living a minimalist life means? Well, basically, it is living with what you only absolutely need and intentionally freeing yourself of unnecessary items. Switching to a more minimalist lifestyle will mean you have more energy to put into the things that really matter in life and will stop you from accumulating meaningless things that take up space and cause clutter.
Living a minimalist life has a lot of benefits. Life has been very intense and crazy for us all over the past two years, so if you’re looking to get some control over your life, becoming minimalist may be for you. As a student, it’s important to be able to set aside time for studying and creating room for what’s important. The age-old saying, ‘less is more’ is something to live by! Learning tips on decluttering and downsizing will not only leave you feeling fresh but can even help you save money.
The key is simplicity, with these small changes easily slotting into your everyday life. They may seem like small tasks that might not make a difference, but you’ll notice them starting to have a major impact.
Everyone knows saving money when you’re a student can sometimes not be an easy task. Among juggling trying to work, attending university, and completing exams and assignments, it can sometimes be difficult to save money.
Living a more minimalistic life actually coincides with saving money, actually, it is a benefit of minimalist living. Once you start to accumulate less, you will start to spend less! Here are some simple but effective tips on how to start saving money.
- Make a Budget
Making and committing to a budget will work wonders. It’s important to ensure the budget you create is realistic, and obviously allows for some leeway for some fun things! Seriously though, creating a budget is a very practical and easy thing to do to get your spending on track. It can even be as simple as mapping out what you spend on each week on an Excel spreadsheet and going from there. Be sure to include your regular spendings such as bills, petrol or transport costs and other things you definitely need to spend on every week first and then go from there.
- Quality Over Quantity
Switching your mindset to spending on quality rather than quantity will change your life! This means when you need to go shopping, you buy things with more purpose and intent. Now it is worth noting that this may seem like you are spending more money upfront, however, spending on quality does pay off in the long run, as continuing to pay small amounts on meaningless and unnecessary items definitely does add up. Spending more on an item of quality means it will last longer and you won’t need to replace it.
- Get Around Discounts
Yep, discounts are your best friend! Being smart and savvy with money means taking advantage of discounts on things you need. It’s a great way to save money on necessary items like groceries and toiletries plus it’s fun to keep your eye out on great discounts for clothing or other types of online shopping when you’re in need of something.
- Start to Recycle and Reuse Items
Reusing and recycling pre-loved items will actually start to save you a ton of money. Being a re-user is also environmentally friendly! It is a great habit to get into. It can be as simple as saving packing to use for other things, using eco-friendly food wrapping, and using old clothes for fabric for other things. Get creative with it!
Decluttering is underrated – it seriously is a great way to de-stress and will allow you to become more in control of your space. It’s also a step towards living your best minimalist life. It is time to ask yourself, do you really need all that stuff in your apartment, in your closet, in your car even? The truth is, clutter can really be anything that is not being used, it is just wasted space and can ultimately be more of a distraction. Here are some super easy tips to start decluttering your space.
- Seasonal Throw-out/Donation of Clothing
Going through your wardrobe at the start of every season is a great way to keep on top of your belongings and will help you to clean out things that you know you won’t wear that season. It also gives you a chance to see what you might actually need. It’ll also mean you’re consistently cleaning this space regularly. Remember the rule, if you didn’t wear it last season, time for it to go. Consider donating your clothes or even thrifting them at markets and reselling them online. There are plenty of platforms and avenues you can go through.
- Tackle One Space At A Time
Take it space by space, and day by day. Trying to declutter everything all at once is not productive. It also means you’ll be able to give one space all of your attention and focus on it solely, instead of trying to cram everything in one go. This may be your whole apartment or just your bedroom. Start from whatever you think will be the easiest for you, like starting with the biggest space and working your way to the smallest space or vice versa. It could even mean decluttering one drawer at a time, whatever method works and won’t overwhelm you.
- Take Before and After Photos
This might sound ridiculous but it is seriously a great motivation and it is evidence of all of your hard work. It is so good to see how far you’ve come and by comparing the before and after and it’ll hopefully inspire you to not revert back to your old ways!
- Buy Some Fun Storage Boxes
Who said decluttering had to be boring?! Why not spruce up your space with some funky and cute storage boxes or cupboards that give your necessary items a nice home. There are so many nice storage units that don’t take up much room on websites like IKEA or Kmart, and they won’t cost you too much.
- Reorganise Your Space
Now that you’ve committed to decluttering, you will essentially be starting with a clean slate. You will only be left with the items that you need in your life. It’s then time to reorganise everything and transform your space for the better. Organising by category is probably the easiest way to go about it, and choose where the appropriate home is for everything. This way everything will stay where it is supposed to be. It’ll also ensure you don’t fall back into a cluttered space, as everything will be in its own area and organised that way for a reason!
Focus on Study
By creating a better work and study space for yourself, with less clutter, you will no doubt have more motivation to focus on your studies. Living a minimalist lifestyle will leave you with more energy, time, and space to get into your study. Procrastination and loss of motivation are a part of life, however, by following some of these simple steps, it may make a difference and help you to do less procrastinating and more studying.
- Comfortable Environment
A comfortable and suitable environment is key to studying. You don’t want to feel claustrophobic or overwhelmed (which is why we decluttered in the first place, right?!). Set up a nice area with a nice desk, an ergonomic chair (of course), and incorporate some nice lighting, whether it be natural or you get a nice lamp. Feel free to add some artwork or plants to this space, anything that’ll keep you calm and motivated! Your space also needs to be practical though – a sturdy surface and plenty of PowerPoint outlets nearby.
If you’re not someone that likes studying at home and prefers to be in a bustling environment why not opt for a cute cafe with WiFi. Or you might be the opposite and need complete silence, then the library might be your choice of space. Wherever it is that you thrive, make sure you’re comfortable!
- Create a To-do List
Before you start your study session, creating a to-do list is a really good way to keep you motivated and accountable. What’s more is that it can be less daunting, writing everything down that you need to accomplish in that sitting will make it easier to focus. It’s also a good way to de-stress before starting.
- Eliminate Distractions
Put in your earphones and play your favourite studying playlists and begin! Try to put your phone on Do Not Disturb or a Study Mode so your phone isn’t a distraction to you. Turn your TV off or anything else that may cause disruption and study away!
- Time Management
Breaking up your study day and managing your time is a good way to be productive and you can also set aside time for yourself. Make sure you give yourself sufficient breaks and time in the day for coffee or exercise. Make your study chunks manageable periods of time, whether it be 30-minute increments followed by a 10-minute break or maybe an hour increment with a longer break to follow. You do what works best for you.
Committing to changing to try and live a more minimalist lifestyle has a multitude of benefits, especially for students. Of course saving money, reorganising and decluttering your possessions, and having more time to focus on study are the main advantages, however, there are so many other beneficial factors that will definitely bring positivity to your life.
- More Freedom
Believe it or not but living a more minimalist lifestyle actually gives you more freedom for things you want to spend time doing. It gives you a chance to rid yourself of unnecessary things or items that are taking up way too much time in your life.
- Staying Clean
Having reorganised and decluttered your life, makes it much easier to stay clean and fresh! This can really enhance how you are feeling, knowing that your space is fresh and is a good environment to be in.
Overall happiness is a serious benefit. Spending less time and energy worrying about minor things in your life will no doubt enhance your happiness and bring you some positive vibes!
- Focus on Activities of Interest
This is a true benefit of minimalist living! We’ve mentioned how much spare time you’ll have on your hands and why not utilise that time by trying something you’ve always wanted to do. This may be something creative like an art class or even having more time to read books or listen to new podcasts! The activity doesn’t have to be extravagant, just something that you enjoy.
Changing to living a minimalist life doesn’t happen overnight, and it is important to continue to remind yourself why you’ve decided you want to be a bit more minimalist. It’s also vital to remember to forgive yourself if you fall back into your old habits, it is only natural – but you’ll definitely get more used to it as you start to integrate little things into your daily life. Our tips on saving money, decluttering, and focusing on study are only the beginning of starting to live like a minimalist, but it’s a great way to start!