Minimalist Living, Downsizing Homes, Simple Living: Where Do You Even Start?
The concepts of minimalist living and simplicity have been around for centuries. From Buddhist monks to the ancient Desert Fathers, the idea of minimalism has always run deeper than just decluttering your home. Moreover, the minimalist living movement has gained considerable traction in recent years and made its mark on modern culture. Beyond the desire for freedom from material items and financial stress, the modern minimalist movement is also driven by a concern for the planet. The goal is to create change by embracing sustainable living practices—and there isn’t only one right way to reduce your footprint, either. So, where do you start?Source: Shutterstock
Although not an entirely new concept, the tiny house movement has gained popularity since being spotlighted in television series like Tiny House Nation. With increased education on the possibilities of small space living, people are starting to realize that there are alternative ways to deal with the traditional housing market’s economic, social, and environmental issues.
Though consumers have historically gravitated towards upsizing, new generations are questioning the “bigger is better” philosophy. Minimalist living embraces the concept of meeting your needs without breaking the bank or straining the planet.
Smaller living spaces are cheaper to build/buy and have lower maintenance costs. They require fewer construction materials and are better suited for alternative, eco-friendly ones at that. Examples of these include solar heating, natural insulators, and water tanks—all of which provide better service for less money than traditional materials.
You can further lean into Nordifakt's encouraged sustainability practices by adopting the use of self-cleaning, antibacterial linen, towels, and blankets. Doing so will significantly reduce laundry time, water usage, and detergent cost.
Granted, downsizing doesn’t necessarily mean you have to move your entire family into a tiny house. It’s more about integrating a minimalist mindset into your home life in ways that resonate with you and suit your family's needs.
Minimalist Living and Being “Simple” in Life
Minimalist living is about embracing a simple and uncluttered lifestyle. This, of course, will look different for everyone. But most minimalists share the belief that what’s necessary or important stays, while everything else goes. Instead of accumulating more things, minimalism encourages us to focus on meaningful relationships, activities, and our surroundings.
In that same breath, we’d be remised if we didn’t mention who should be striving for this kind of lifestyle. North Americans and Western Europeans account for 12% of the world's population, yet are responsible for 60% of the world's private consumption spending. Conversely, the 33% of the world’s population that live in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa only account for 3.2% of the world’s private consumption spending.
We’re all products of a system that wants us to buy more. Still, we—those of us in that 12%—have to remember that pointing fingers and demanding people clean up a mess they didn’t make isn't helpful.
That being said, being a minimalist doesn’t mean you stop making purchases altogether—you just get a lot more intentional about what you allow into your home. The “why” behind a purchase should outweigh the “what,” generally speaking. You should also consider what it took to get that product you’re eyeing to the shelf—like its supply chain, the treatment of the people (or animals) who made it, and its sustainability score. Being mindful of these factors will help foster an appreciation for what you do decide to bring into your home.
Purpose Over Purchase
To start cultivating the mindset of purpose over purchase, ask yourself these questions:
- Do I really need this? Or am I buying it because it’s on sale?
- Do I already have this item?
- Will I use it enough to validate the purchase?
- Could something else I already have do the same job?
- Do I have space to store this?
- Is this a sustainably responsible purchase, or is there a more eco-friendly version I can invest in?
Adopting a simple lifestyle starts with decluttering your space. This involves getting rid of everything you don’t need or use. You may even realize that without all the clutter, downsizing your home is a very real possibility.
To determine what should stay and what should go, ask yourself the following questions:
- Have I used this in the past six months? (If not, let it go!)
- Am I only keeping this because I think I’ll need it in the future, or do I actually use it regularly?
- Is it something I really love?
- Do I have multiple similar items?
- Is the item worth the storage space it takes up?
- Is this item worth what I spend to maintain it?
Furthermore, if you have kept something to fix but still haven’t, let it go. If you are purely keeping something out of obligation or expectation, let it go!
Decluttering doesn’t just apply to your physical space, but also to your finances, relationships, and pastimes. Don’t try to do it all once—start with one closet, one room, or one area of your life to get the ball rolling.
RV and Van Living
Recreational vehicle (RV) living is one way to downsize while also getting to travel. This lifestyle is comparable to off-the-grid living and will take some careful thought and preparation. However, once you’ve ironed out the details, it can be the much-needed breath of fresh air you’ve been searching for.
RV life requires you to take only the essentials, which is probably a lot less than you think. Having enough space in your RV to move and live comfortably is key to making it a happy place. Avoid cluttering it with items you ‘might need’. Taking one item that serves several purposes is a great way to maximize the use of your space. You can always get more later, but you will most likely realize that it’s just not necessary.
To plan for minimalist living in an RV, make sure you consider the following:
- State laws and requirements for RVs. These vary from state to state.
- RV power, sanitation, and waste disposal.
- Internet connectivity/Wi-Fi
- Heating and cooling
- RV maintenance and repairs
- Emergency services
A significant way to reduce laundry for RV living is by using self-cleaning bedding, blankets, kitchen towels, and bags. These antibacterial textiles require much less washing than regular linen and last longer. Not only do they make life in your home on wheels more hygienic, but they’re also sustainable, too.
Start Your Minimalist Living Journey With Nordifakt
The minimalist living philosophy recognizes that even the smallest actions we take affect the planet. Nordifakt was founded to make sustainable living a part of everyday life—and to so do in a way that fosters social development, benefits the user, and pays respect to the planet. We have developed a range of self-cleaning bedding, blankets, antibacterial linens, and totes by combing 100% organic material with natural and sustainable treatments. The antibacterial treatment eliminates 99.9% of all bacteria and odors to improve hygiene while reducing the amount of washing required.
At Nordifakt, we understand that something as simple as laundry can contribute to our eco-footprint. From water and energy usage to detergent chemical production and the waste created by detergent packaging, reducing washing cycles goes a long way. Longer-lasting linens reduce the consumer cycle and your household’s footprint.
Explore our range of products and join us in our mission to save the world one self-cleaning linen at a time.