Here at YOTEL, we’ve mastered the art of making the most of a small space. The design of our hotel cabins has taught us that you don’t need a room full of furniture and clutter for it to feel like home. So it got us thinking - how many belongings do we need to have before our minds become cluttered too?
The simplest way to describe minimalism is that it’s a lifestyle choice whereby an individual removes any excess material from their lives in order to become more mindful in other aspects of their life. Minimalism has often been bashed for being ‘too hippy’ or too ‘unrealistic’ but we disagree. Even practising just one element of a minimalistic lifestyle can be a great step to decluttering your lifestyle. Here are some easy steps to ease you into the minimalist life you’ve been destined for.
FOLLOW THE SIX MONTH RULE
Simply put – if it’s not been used for six months, consider letting it go. Now, remember this is just a guideline. Everyone functions differently and will have different perceptions of how long something needs to be left for it to be neglected. You can always start small; the wardrobe is often a good place to start! Turn your clothes hangers backwards on the rail and turn them around when that item has been worn. After a month or so you will have built up a clear picture of what isn’t being used. Unless an item of clothing holds some extreme sentimental value… Get rid.
"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication." - Leonardo Da Vinci
Studies have shown that different colour palettes can have a huge influence on our consumer behaviour. It’s an age-old trick used by retailers to encourage you to buy their products, whether you are aware of it or not. Ever wondered why nearly all sale signs are red? It’s thought that the colour red is associated with anger and urgency, directing the attention of the customer to that area of the store, making you more likely to make an unplanned purchase. Keep an eye out for these warning signs if you want to reduce your spending!
The colour of our surroundings can also have a huge effect on our mood and wellbeing. Colours associated with mindfulness are often white and muted earth tones. Try to incorporate these into your home décor to feel more centred and relaxed. We have equipped our cabins with colour-changing mood lighting so you can find a setting that suits your mood - we recommend purple to create for the ultimate chill-out zone before sleep.
TURN OFF YOUR TECH
This is a big one. The number of hours we use various gadgets each day is rapidly increasing as we depend more and more on the convenience of technology. While technology is a huge part of our lives, there are a couple of mindful steps that can be taken to minimalize the way we use it. First, take a look at the apps on your phone – if you’re a self-proclaimed app junky like many of us are, delete any which you don’t use or can probably live without (we’re looking at you, meme generator!) Make sure only your essential apps are on the first screen and avoid keeping social media platforms here, this is an easy way to avoid mindlessly scrolling through Instagram when you’re feeling bored.
Now your home screen is looking a little tidier, be honest with yourself and evaluate how much time you're actually spending on your tech. If your job requires a lot of screen time, be extra cautious not to do the same outside of the office. By reducing your daily screen time, your brain can switch off and relax a little - a key part to enjoying a minimalistic lifestyle. Read a book, go outside or even learn a new skill - take the time to nurture yourself!
“You have succeeded in life when all you really want is only what you really need.” -Vernon Howard
MINIMALISM IS INTERNAL
Possibly the most important step - knowing that minimalism is an internal state as well as external. What minimalism teaches you is that you can stay centred around simple things in amongst a world fuelled by excess and time restraints. It isn’t all about getting rid of your belongings until there’s nothing left, that 'minimalism sweet spot' will hit different people at different points. But by evaluating what things you can live with and without, it will start to reflect in the way you evaluate other parts of your life - from everyday situations to the people around you. Give it a go and learn to put your wellness first.