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Embracing Minimalism  

What does it mean to embrace a minimalist lifestyle? Practicing minimalism means prioritizing the items in your living environment that mean the most to you by removing things that bear little meaning or that no longer resonate with you. If you are invigorated by sudden change, you can certainly donate and give away surplus belongings quickly. For many people, however, embracing a new lifestyle is a process that takes time. There is no right or wrong approach, and the rewards to living minimally can be life-changing: fewer items to dust, no more looking through piles trying to find what you’re looking for, and greater financial security. Creating a space that simplifies your life and exemplifies who you are can bring you peace of mind.

Start small

Minimalism can sometimes be associated with the extremes of decluttering. The beauty of a minimalist lifestyle, though, is that you can go to whatever lengths you choose. For many people, slow shifts are more sustainable than radical change. You could begin with evaluating your space and your belongings from an objective perspective. Do you have multiple versions of the same items?  If yes, work with those belongings first. You could declare one room a clutter-free zone, removing items at a pace that’s comfortable to you.

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Thinking of a new purchase? Ask yourself a few questions, then choose quality items that fit your budget

Hard work should be rewarded, and you may feel inclined, even excited, to purchase new things for your home. Part of embracing a minimalist lifestyle is giving thought to what you bring into your home and life. Before you feel the impulse to buy something new, ask yourself why you need it. What is the intended use? Can you rent or borrow the item from a friend for short-term use?

Inevitably, there will be moments when you need to purchase things for your home. When the time comes, make it a point to buy high-quality items that will fit within your budget. It might take a bit of research but investing your time and money into items that last offsets the potential risk for accumulating unused/unusable items in your home.

Asking these questions, doing research, and buying items with longevity in mind, means saving money so that you can say ‘yes’ to other things. Perhaps this means books for your kindle or excursions with friends and family.

It takes more than one try—plan to declutter on a regular basis

Depending on your personality and your lifestyle, you might enjoy going through your belongings once a month or once every season or once per year. Whatever timing works for you, do your best to stick to that schedule. Evaluate what items have become a burden or distraction in your life, if at all. Have you used these items in the past six months? With each successful decision you make, you will build confidence to keep going, and decluttering will become easier when you have fewer items to toss away each season.

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Ask your community and people around you for support

Part of what makes living at Rose Villa so special is the ability to fulfill many of your needs right here on our campus. With access to a gym, art galleries, library, resale shop, community garden, and restaurants, and a robust schedule of activities and events, residents don’t have to go far to find what they need. It also means that you can potentially reduce the number items in your home, such as a treadmill or stacks of books and magazines. Rose Villa resident Zoe Taylor has been living a minimalist life for 47 years. She advocates for minimalism because of the financial freedom and clarity in her mind to see opportunities coming down the pike.

While it may be intimidating to reduce clutter in your life, embracing minimalism can lead to less stress, increased financial freedom, less cleaning responsibility, and more time to enjoy life. As you begin to simplify your space, you open yourself up to a fresh beginning and a new chapter in your life.