5 challenging things about Minimalism

Simple living is not always so simple. Especially when you’re right at the beginning and it seems like the world is against you for following something that makes you feel so happy.

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Never ending clutter

When you start de-cluttering your life and especially your house you can feel quite overwhelmed realising all the things you own and you don’t need. You will also feel like you keep getting rid of things but other things keep coming back and it’s a never-ending circle. Keep in mind that after a period of time you’ll be able to look back and see a difference. This might not happened straight away because it takes time for us to change a habit, but once it’s done you’ll be able to see the results.

Being judgemental while listening to compulsive buyers

This is something I struggle with and I tend to not express my opinion too much, so I don’t end up offending anyone. But the truth is, people who keep saying “I need to buy this” when they clearly don’t, people who spend their lives scrolling on online stores and people that complain because they spend too much time organising and cleaning the house but they don’t look for a solution to the problem… those people need help. Keep in mind that just because we live in a society where buying “stuff” is the main goal and doing it constantly is considered normal for a lot of people, that doesn’t make it okay.

People that think Minimalism is just a phase

I wish your compulsive buying behaviour was just a phase. Just like being Vegan, being a minimalist or follow a minimalist lifestyle is seen as something very hipster that millennials do and after a while it will just vanished. Keep in mind that the world and the planet as they are, aren’t in very good conditions and if there are lifestyles that help making it better, even though you don’t follow them, respecting it would be appreciated.

Receiving gifts

This is a big struggle for me. I love receiving gifts, especially the well thought ones, but I hate receiving clutter and sometimes people buy you stuff just because it’s your birthday and they have to. Then you end up having things you don’t need, but at the same time you don’t want to give them away because the person that offered it means something to you. Keep in mind that sometimes letting your friends and family know what you like and need is a great way to save them the trouble of searching for a gift and saves you the trouble of not liking it. There are ways to say it that won’t offend anyone.

You’re not as Minimalist as you should be

Minimalism is a lifestyle just like any other lifestyle. There aren’t rules, only inspiration, tips, advices and then you get to pick what’s most suitable for you. Don’t let anyone tell you that you own too many books for example, therefore you’re not a minimalist. If books are your passion you can have as many as you want. Just like my house is an urban jungle and I have plants everywhere! No way I’m getting rid of them to fit a specific rule of minimalism. There’s no such a thing. Keep in mind that Minimalism is a lifestyle you can adapt to your daily basis in ways that make you avoid stress, make you more organised and with more extra time to do the things you love. As long as you’ve obtained this you’re on the right path and you should be proud!

If you struggle with anything else that is not on the list, please leave it in a comment below. You can also read my Minimalism Series to get a bit more inspired.

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The Low Impact Movement

I’ve joined the Low Impact Movement for the duration of the month of May. This movement is all about lowering your impact with a focus on waste reduction.

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I believe that the only way to create real change is to move in unity towards a brighter future. So I’ve pledged to take part in this challenge, where I’ve been attempting to learn how to reduce my waste and overall impact on the planet for 30 days.

I’ve been sharing tips and examples of what I do on a daily basis. What plastic products I’ve replaced for eco-friendly ones, what activities I apply to my life that have a lower impact on the planet and so on.

If you’re curious about it, please visit my Instagram profile where I’ve been saving all my stories since the 1st of May. Follow here.

If you’re looking at joining this movement, even though the month of May is almost finished, you can still be part of this amazing challenge. All you need to do is use the hashtag #lowimpact30 or #lowimpactmovement when sharing a photo or video on Instagram and Facebook. You can also visit these two hashtags for excellent tips!

Don’t forget to use your voice.

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Follow me on:

Instagram: @melissadesousanunes

Twitter: @melisssadesousa

Facebook: Tiger On Gold Leash

De-clutter your work desk| Minimalism Series

If you’d search for my desk in the office, it will be easy to find. I’m the one who only keeps her phone, notebook and bottle of water on top of the desk.

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Keeping your desk de-cluttered is a way of keeping your thoughts organised without having objects that might distract you from what you need to be focusing on at that specific moment.

When you work with deadlines like I do, any minute is precious and I can’t waste time trying to find a specific pen or trying to look for that post-it that, “I know for sure it’s here, but takes me half an hour to find it”.

Half of the stress tends to come from our environment and not always from the things that our bosses or co-workers throw at us to do during the day. Stress will always be there, but it’s important to find ways of avoiding it.

Here are a few tips to keep a tidy desk:

  • Use Sticky notes on your computer instead of using paper Post-its.
  • You can scan all documents and keep them on your computer drive. Then you can take those hard copy documents and throw them away, if you’re not able to do so because they’re too important, keep them on a folder in your drawers. Just make sure it’s not on top of your desk.
  • If you made yourself a cup of coffee, before you decide to make another one, just pay a quick visit to the kitchen, wash your cup and re-use it. You might think you don’t have time to do this, but you actually do and getting away from your computer once in a while is very important in order to be able to focus.
  • Business cards don’t need to be lying around on top of your desk. Here’s a useful tip – If you’ve kept your mobile phone box, these boxes are great to store business cards if you don’t have one of those specific folders for them.
  • Magazines – Do you really want your boss to see those kind of distractions on your desk? That doesn’t show a lot of professionalism and I’m sure you’ll have the opportunity to read these on your free time. Keep distractions away!
  • Plastic bottles everywhere. People looove to keep those around. Get yourself a nice steel water bottle like the one they have at Zephyr Eco Market and you’ll be able to save money and the planet by not using all those plastic bottles.
  • Another thing that seems to grow on your desks are pens. We only need one at a time, maybe two if you’re on the phone and you just run out of ink, but more than that is too much and means clutter all the way!

I hope these tips were useful or at least made you aware of what you can get rid of straight away, and I hope you have a less stressful work experience from now on.

I’ve been writing separate posts about my minimalism challenge experiences, so make sure you’re following the blog or any of my social media channels to not miss out on these!

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Follow me on:

Instagram: @melissadesousanunes

Twitter: @melisssadesousa

Facebook: Tiger On Gold Leash