It’s no surprise that the lifestyle trend of minimalism has taken off recently—people all over the world are seeing the benefits of paring down possessions. Owning less reduces the physical possessions that need taking care of and it creates space in your life for more of the right things to come into it as well.
Imagine the following hypothetical: you’re out with friends and happen to pop into one of your favorite stores to take a look. You come across the perfect pair of jeans that you had been searching for. You get home, open your closet, and find it completely overflowing with clothes. There’s literally nowhere to put your new pair of jeans you couldn’t wait to bring home.
While most of us could assuredly find some space to hang a pair of jeans up, think about this type of situation holistically as it may apply to your life. You never know when an opportunity is going to come up and creating space allows you to accept more of those opportunities as they come.
It might be starting a business with a friend, going on a great trip with your family, or helping someone in need through a cause you believe in. If having more space for these kinds of things sounds appealing to you, here’s how you can create it financially and otherwise.
#1 Play The Minimalist Game
If you want to create more physical space in your home and life, The Minimalist Game (or Minsgame for short) is probably one of the best decluttering methods out there. You can start whenever you’d like, but it’s easiest to keep track starting from the beginning of a month.
On the first day of the month, find one thing to get rid of and put it in a bag or box. On the second day, find two things, third day, three things, and so on. It might not seem like much, but by the end of the month you will have cleared out almost 500 things from your home in just one month.
By starting small, you actually build up your decision-making muscles around what you want in your life and what you don’t—allowing you to make better decisions about each thing going forward.
Doing this will literally give you more space for when there’s something you want more of in your life or home. You’ll actually have a place for it to go when the time comes.
#2 Evaluate Online Shopping At A High Level
Creating space isn’t just about having physical space to put new things—it’s about having the financial capacity to take on new and different opportunities as well, in addition to avoiding disaster if an unexpected expense comes up.
In a similar light of Minsgame, lots of very small things quickly add up to something big. Years ago, I found myself clicking the one-click purchase button all too frequently. It never seemed like much, but over time it added up to a huge amount of money.
Most online shopping websites have an account page where you can login and download a spreadsheet of your purchasing history. Once you have the data downloaded, you can organize by price to see all of the things you bought from cheapest to most expensive.
You may be surprised at what you find—the new perspective you gain from looking at this total will help inspire you to cut more of the small unnecessary costs, which aren’t adding to your life in a meaningful way. That way, when you get that opportunity you’d been hoping for, (that trip you’ve been wanting to take?) you’ll be ready to swing for the fences.
#3 Slow Down, Focus On The Essential
While it might seem counter-intuitive, slowing down can actually help you get more of the right things done. When we’re rushing from one thing to the next with a packed schedule, we often get lost in the details throughout the day.
How often do you get all of the things on your to do list done each day? If you’re struggling to keep up with what you set out for yourself to do, only to come up short at the end of each day, it’s not exactly encouraging.
One small change I’ve made over the last year has been surprisingly effective. I only put 3-5 high priority things on my list each day instead of 10 or more items. Once those initial tasks are complete, I find myself feeling accomplished and wanting to see what else I can tackle.
Before, I would always have a longer list than I could manage and always felt like I was coming up short at the end of the day. If the day threw me a curve-ball, it would totally derail my plans for the day because I was already trying to fit in so much. Instead of getting overwhelmed while trying to squeeze something into an already huge list, with less to start with, you’ll likely have the space to make it work.
These are just a few tips on how you can create more space in your life for more of the right kinds of things, but it’s a great place to get started. Remember that any kind of lifestyle changes like these take time to implement and truly see the benefits, but they’re absolutely worth the effort required.