Lots of aspiring minimalists wonder where to begin their journey to living intentionally. In this context, many fear the magnitude of this supposed “lifestyle shift”. Before going all in, testing the waters is a good way to start. On this basis, here are 4 minimalist experiments to try at home.
I love the idea of essentialism but I don’t know whether it would work for me.
I’ve heard this statement time and time again. And there is nothing wrong with it.
Minimalism sounds radical and many people see it as a behemoth of lifestyle changes and self-restraint.
If you follow this blog, you know that I don’t believe in bare-bone essentialism.
I believe that minimalism can work wonders if you make a few tweaks in your everyday life. But this is not my point.
The point is that experience is the best teacher.
For those of you who ponder the idea of living with less, it may be time to try out a few minimalist tricks instead of ruminating.
The following minimalist experiments will give you a taste of what essentialist decisions look like without committing to any sort of lifestyle. You’ll have the opportunity to observe the beast without unchaining it.
Your minimalist challenge: 4 minimalist experiments to try at home
You might be intrigued by the concept of minimalism. You might feel overwhelmed by the clutter in your home. Or you might simply be bored.
Whatever your motives, here are some fun and uncomplicated minimalist experiments to try at home.
The suitcase experiment
The suitcase challenge is an excellent way to measure your tolerance for minimalism in terms of fashion.
In addition to that, you’ll learn a few minimalist packing hacks. If you plan on traveling the world for long periods, this will be an invaluable skill.
Here’s how it works: take your preferred suitcase, backpack, or duffle – whatever you would use on the road – and fill it with clothes, toiletries, and other stuff you see as essential.
For the next 2 weeks, only use those items.
Lock up your wardrobe if you have to. Hide your useless shoes in the basement. Give your superfluous clothes to your parents.
In a nutshell, find a way to immobilize all the clothes that aren’t in your suitcase.
This 2-week minimalist challenge will help you define how many clothes you truly need. It will separate the stuff you wear from the stuff you simply own.
This experiment is a must for aspiring world travelers. As a constant planet roamer, I’ve had my fair share of over- and underpacking.
In that same vein, fellow travelers often lament similar packing fails.
Most of these mistakes result from a lack of experience. By testing your minimalist travel style in the living room, you’ll be one step ahead.
The kitchen appliances test
The next minimalist challenge concerns your kitchen utensils.
Open your cabinets and ask yourself: do I really need all of these kitchen gadgets?
A couple of years ago, I made this test and discovered that I used about half of my kitchen items regularly. A decluttering session was in order.
To simplify your act of kitchen prioritizing, try out the following experiment.
Cook a different meal every day for 2 weeks. Experience 14 new cuisines. Open that cookbook your parents gifted you 5 years ago. Let your foodie imagination run wild.
During your 2-week cooking spell, find out how many kitchen utensils you truly need and use.
Better still, this culinary challenge will kill two birds with one stone. You’ll sharpen your cooking skills and examine the value of your kitchen gadgets.
The digital prioritization experiment
Digital minimalism is on the rise. Adopting a minimalist attitude to social media is becoming more and more popular and lots of people start to question their infinite use of time-consuming apps.
This is where the digital prioritization experiment comes to fruition. If you, like me, relish monthly challenges, here’s a 30-day digital minimalism challenge for you.
The experiment has two stages: a tracking phase and a refraining spell.
First, Track your app usage for a couple of weeks.
Find out what your most time-consuming apps are. Once you’ve identified them, delete them for two weeks. This launches the refraining spell.
Combined, both phases will take up one month.
Throughout those weeks, try to determine which apps add genuine value to your everyday life. I am sure you won’t re-install all of them after this 30-day minimalist challenge.
In my case, I uninstalled Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, and Twitter. I lived without social media for 2 entire weeks.
It was a fully-fledged digital detox. In case you’re wondering, only Messenger and Instagram survived the experiment.
Why? Because I use Instagram and Messenger daily. They are necessary in my personal and professional life.
Facebook and Twitter, on the other hand, turned out to be more of a distraction than a valuable help in everyday situations.
Aside from purging apps on my phone, my digital minimalism challenge took an unexpected turn.
It helped me rediscover the joy of board games.
During my 2-week social media detox, I started to play chess again and I also came across minimalist board games like Terraforming Mars for the first time.
The furniture test
Finally, a fourth recommendable sneak-peek into minimalism is the “furniture test”.
For 1-2 weeks, try out all of your furniture.
If you have lots of chairs and couches, sit on a different one every night.
If you have doubts about the joy and value of your tables, eat or work on all of them throughout the experiment.
You’ll be surprised to see how many pieces of furniture are nothing more than dust collectors.
When it comes to minimalist experiments, this one might have the most far-reaching consequences. Furniture is expensive, bulky, and often completely useless.
By learning how to separate the joyful and necessary from the expendable, you could potentially save thousands of dollars and free up a lot of space in your home.
Ergo, the furniture test is the best way to determine whether that Italian sofa would look better in the form of 1,000 dollars on your bank account.
Useful links on Minimalist Experiments to Try at Home
- more in the category “Life”
- more under the topic “Decluttering”
- read The 5 Stages of Minimalism
- read Keep or Sell – 7 Ways to Decide