Extreme minimalism: could you take Japan’s new lifestyle craze?

minimalist living in Scotland

Cut the clutter while building up your zest for life with the minimalist lifestyle

Four pairs of socks. Three shirts, three pairs of trousers. One pair of shoes. These are the numbers we’re talking when we mention the extreme Japanese minimalist lifestyle. Watch the video below to see how it works!

5 good reasons to try an extreme declutter

Okay, maybe culling your possessions to such a degree is a step too far. There isn’t a strong tradition of Zen philosophy for most Scots, and if you have kids, you might feel you are depriving them. But there are plenty of reasons to at least have a good clear out and start to live with less. Here are our suggestions:

Clutter versus mental health

It has been said that too much clutter can cause issues for our mental wellbeing with a kind of sensory overload, among other things. According to Psychology Today, getting rid of clutter can be “an essential process for maintaining your happiness in your home environment”.

Safety at home

Clutter can build up to the point where it is also bad for your physical health. Trip hazards, homes for vermin, and an accumulation of dust and other particles can make a messy home dangerous.

Tenant advantages

If you rent your home, a clutter-free home helps your landlord see areas of their property that they might need to repair, and generally feel like you’re a good tenant. It will be easier to keep clean, and this can really help if you’re moving out – no nasty surprises!

The power of boredom

With fewer possessions to snag your attention, you might just find you have more time to yourself! You could take part in more social activities, fitness and exercise, and spending quality time with your family. When you put it like this, that shelf of knickknacks suddenly seems a lot less important!

Save the pennies!

The less you spend buying stuff you don’t really need, the more you can save up for the big purchases, like buying a house, a new car, or a luxury holiday.

How to do minimalist living in Scotland

The philosophy that your possessions eventually begin own you is not a new one, however with smaller homes becoming the norm, perhaps it’s time for Scottish people to take note.

Be ruthless – if an item doesn’t have a use, pack it up for storage in the loft if it is sentimental, or bin it if it isn’t. If you have two of something, lose one. Try not to hedge. If something isn’t likely to wear out in six months, why keep a spare?

Be seasonal – In Scotland, you do need items like duvets and fleece jackets for winter warmth, but for summer, get them stored away. Consider vacuum pack bags to save space. And do the reverse for the sunscreen and swimmers!

Be strong – retail therapy or shopping for items “just in case” can be a bad habit, leading to the problem getting worse. Force yourself to justify every purchase’s place in your life.

Be methodical – get the recycling out and the laundry done like clockwork to prevent stealth clutter.

Be on brand – have a personal uniform. A lot of us express ourselves through clothing, but unless you’re a fashionista, bite the bullet and sort your clothes down to a regular set for the week. You’ll be surprised how much easier your life becomes when you already know what you’re going to wear.

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