Minimalism Life

In today's fast-paced world, where consumption and excess seem to reign supreme, the concept of minimalism stands out as a refreshing antidote and a journey many of us adopt. Minimalism isn't merely about owning fewer possessions or living in empty spaces; it's a holistic approach to life that prioritizes intentionality, mindfulness, gratitude, and contentment.

To this end, following my Beginner’s guide to minimalism – Part I, I wanted to continue sharing tips about minimalism, all based on my own experience. Keep in mind, we are all living a different experience and our truth belons to us. One’s tips may be too easy or impossible to achieve for another. That’s okay; I find minimalism an individual experience rather than a trend or competition.

  • Catalogs and mailings: These are beautifully crafted invited to spend and consume more. There are those we’ve subscribed to, alongside those that are coming addressed to the previous tenant. You don’t need either, unless you use some for professional and personal growth (and in that case, it’s better to subscribe to online versions). I recommend using, a non-profit working to stop junk mail for good. Their service is free, donations are optional. Once you’re subscribed, it is easy to opt-out of unwanted catalogs and mailings. They do it for you. In case a certain brand is not included, then reach out to that brand's customer service online and request opt-out. Besides avoiding further mailings, you’re also contributing to the environment…less trees cut, less gas used in delivery.

  • Online shopping: Internet is a great, swift, and effective tool, only if used properly. If we are totally familiar and confident about the quality of items or services of a certain brand and know exactly what you need (keyword here is need, not want), online shopping is very convenient. If not, especially when it comes to apparel, equipment, appliances and for much more, retail is still the best. We can touch, feel, try, return if need be. Free returns can be tempting, but again, we are not helping the environment.

  • Bulk shopping: Bulk shopping doesn’t necessarily mean hoarding; it may in fact very well be another way to smart shop. Example? Following the pandemic, the price of my cereal jumped up to a whopping $11. I conducted an online search and found a reliable website where it was sold for $4.5 a box if I were to buy a 12-pack case. I checked the best-by-dates, the return policy and purchased it. Why? I was 500% sure that I wasn’t going to change my brand anytime soon, and I had enough space to store them.

  • Wardrobe: The reason most of us have a billion apparel in our wardrobes is, in my opinion, a thirst for validation. We feel like we will be outed, unfriended, unappreciated, and undervalued if we do not follow a certain trend, a particular brand. If you ever find yourself in such emotion, remember one thing, the only validation you need is your own.

  • Storage: The need for storage, especially in our beautiful US of A, is out of limits. Why? We have a ton of stuff that we don’t need, that we save for that special occasion which may never come or because we are emotionally attached (a.k.a. self-validation, self-esteem). That said, context is important here. If one, like yours faithfully, lives in a small studio apartment with a single closet and absolutely needs some sort of storage for one’s basics, then there are thousands of tools that can help store smartly. A basic online search will yield many amazing tools such as over-the-door storage solutions, smart hangers for hanging multiple apparel, etc. The space you will gain will be your wall of trophies and your freedom!

  • Cleaning supplies: From the smaller apartment to the largest house, it is scary to see how many different cleaning solutions we all have; although, only a few are necessary. A good all-purpose cleaner (made of natural ingredients and housed in a sustainable, recyclable container) is effective for most surfaces. Look at your supplies and guess how much money you could have saved or spent in beautiful experiences that would last.

  • Credit cards: If you’re crediting your purchases from month to month, that means only one thing: You’re spending more than you make, you're living beyond your means. This is the raison d’etre of credit card system to begin with. Banks love us because this is how they make money. If you’re in such a situation, look at your statement and see how much interest you’re paying. There are online calculators that will show you how long it will take you to pay off your credit card, and the result may shock you. Bottom line, if we can’t afford it, we shouldn’t buy it. Period.

  • Gifting: I saved the best (and arguably to most controversial) for last. The current culture of gifting, particularly for Holidays is alarming. We spend billions every year - billions that we do not have – in gifts that the recipients may or may not use, and possibly won’t even remember in a few years. I remember a decade ago when I told my family and friends that I’ve stopped gifting and don’t wish to receive any either. I did receive some push-back, yet I was determined. I came to realize that the best gifts are experiences. I do favor sharing such experiences in major, meaningful milestones and accomplishments, and again, only if we could afford. Those are the ones we all remember.

Regardless of the minimalism we’re experiencing and living, whether we are a beginner or the guy who lives with only 150 items, we’re living your own experience and that’s fabulous! Kudos to us!

This is also an invitation to you all to share your experiences and tips here in this journal. How? Read our guide to find out. An experienced minimalist can learn a lot from a beginner, and I look forward to learning from you.