The hardest part about leaving a life of hyper consumerism to a “minimalist” lifestyle is maintaining it. It’s easy to fall back into old ways when it comes to filling your life with meaningless possessions when things get a little stressful — instead of coping with newly formed habits, we inherently run back to familiar behaviors.
To avoid this, I have systems in place when it comes to making purchases. They have served me well since I first began my journey a year and a half ago and I would like to share those tips with anyone who’s looking to maintain their newly simplified life.
The 90/90 rule was first introduced to me by The Minimalists. With this system, you evaluate your clothing or any other possessions you’re looking to declutter and ask yourself two questions: Have I used this item in the last 90 days? Will l use it in the next 90 days? If not, you’re probably best without that item in your space and can sell or donate it.
One In, One Out
This is pretty straight forward; for every new item you decide to purchase and bring into your space, you get rid of an item. This has worked well for me and is probably one of my favorite systems because it keeps my space simple and clutter free.
30 Day Wait
If I see an item I like online or at a store, I have to wait 30 days until I make the purchase. Why? Because it gets me past the “impulse” period, giving me time to think about whether I actually need the item in my life. More often than not, I usually forget I even want it.
End of Day Clean Up
At the end of every day, I spend about 10 minutes putting things back into the places they belong. Nothing is left on my desk, clothes and shoes are put away, dishes are washed, and work is put away. This guarantees I start every day with a clean space which frees me with time to focus on things that matter.
With anything in life, things shift and evolve. How minimalism looks like now in my life may not be how it looks in a year or even 6 months from now.
Re-evaluating my goals is necessary for me to do frequently because it helps me notice things that are no longer serving me and/or things I need to welcome into my life.
If you struggle with maintaining a simplified space, try out these systems for a few months and see if you notice any significant changes. I would love to hear the results.
For more on minimalism, visit my minimalism page.