Courtney wrote a very influential article titled 7 Tiny Steps for the Beginner Minimalist in which she sets out 7 steps to get going with Minimalism. I have read her article a number of times so thought I would give some of my answers here. Maybe it will inspire you in some way.
1. Write it down. My why – which will help keep me going when things get tough:
- I want to improve my financial stability
- I want to learn more about myself, rather than spending to deal with anxiety, boredom and frustration
- I want to create a good, memorable life for my children
- I want to keep my life focus on what matters to me – my family
- I want to be active in creating my life, not only reacting to external circumstance
- I want to live in a beautiful simple space
- I believe in eating and feeding my family healthy, simple meals
- I enjoy planning and to do lists
- I want to live with quality, not quantity
2. Discard the duplicates. I have done this
3. Declare a clutter-free zone. This was first my dining table, and now also the kitchen counters, lounge window sills, the bathroom, my desk and my bedside table.
4. Travel lightly. I always have (ever since I backpacked in Indonesia with a pack so heavy I fell over into a gutter and needed help to get up!)
5. Dress with Less. I did a 1 month Project 333 when I did Joshua Becker’s Uncluttered course. At the moment it is Spring here and I am doing the full 3 month version. I am dressing with 33 items for 3 months. So far it is going smoothly.
6. Eat similar meals. I have recently decided that we need to focus on a simple Mediterranean diet – for health reasons for budgeting purposes and to simplify my food-focused thinking. I do almost all the cooking for our family. While I used to love cooking it is now more of a never-ending strain. Courtney suggests “eating the same breakfast and lunch all week and having 2 or 3 dinner choices that rotate throughout the week”. She suggests “If your family complains, let them know it’s an experiment and then talk about it at the end of the week.” I will be trying this next.
7. Save $1000. (R15000) I need this so much. I have read about and written this down. But I have not ever DONE it! Currently I have some credit card debt to pay off. I will take Courtney’s advice and pay off minimum payments and at the same time save towards a R15000 emergency fund.
She also mentions the 52 week money challenge. It would be a very good idea for me to undertake to do this in 2020. I will convert the amounts to local ZAR and I will firm up on my financial priorities.