Beginners Guide To Minimalism | 9 Simple Steps | Gabe Bult | Skillshare

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Beginners Guide To Minimalism | 9 Simple Steps

teacher avatar Gabe Bult, Do Less

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Finding Your Why


    • 3.

      Consuming Less


    • 4.

      Saying NO


    • 5.



    • 6.

      Finding A Home


    • 7.

      Decluttering Your Finances


    • 8.

      Digital Minimalism


    • 9.

      Enjoying Life


    • 10.

      Simplify Your Goals


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About This Class

Minimalism is a journey that starts with a few small steps. Each of these steps will start to free up time energy and money in your life so you can spend your life how you want to. You can have mental clarity and space to design a life that excites you and gives you freedom. Do Less so you can Be More

Meet Your Teacher

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Gabe Bult

Do Less


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Level: Beginner

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1. introduction : In minimalism is really about simplifying your life so that you can have more time, money, and energy to spend on the things that matter most I've been on kind of like my minimalist journey for about the past three years now. And I've used these principles and ideas of minimalism, not only in my personal life, but also in my professional life as a YouTuber and a creator, it's really about less but better. What are the 10% of things that are going to lead to 90% of the results. What are the 10% of things that lead to 90% of the problems? And then focusing on those very few things, making one decision that will make a 1000 decisions for your future, simplifying your life. In this course, I'm gonna be sharing the ten steps, if you will, towards becoming a minimalist. How to say no, to think, how to start changing your life, not only your physical clutter, but also your mental clutter. How to start spending money intentionally so that you can have more money, which in turn will give you more freedom to spend on the things that matter most. And I am so excited for you guys to be joining me on this journey. 2. Finding Your Why: Much like with anything in your life, if you don't have a strong reasoning behind it, you're most likely going to fail. You see people all the time who go to the gym on New Year's and they stay for a month where they started diet on New Year's and they keep that going for a couple of weeks or maybe a month. But eventually because they didn't have a mindset shift and are really strong reason behind it, they inevitably fail. I don't want that to happen with you guys. You're here because you want to simplify your life. You want to have some changes in reduced stress and have more freedom. So the first step really is to find your why. When I was just starting, my house was constantly a wreck. I would be worried when people would come over because there just be crap everywhere. I shopped kind of like impulsively and just went I was bored and just having like a stuffed closet that I couldn't fit anymore hangers into and clothes strewn all over the place and just junk and knick-knacks around my house was really stressful for me. I was also working a full-time job and 2.5 part-time jobs. So I just had a ton of stuff going on in my life and I realized that I cannot sustain this. It's continually stressing me out more and more. And I'm sure a lot of you guys relate with this, but if I don't do anything, nothing's going to change. And if anything, it's probably going to get more busy. So I started with taking some time and asking myself a couple of questions. And it wasn't like specific questions, it's gonna be different for everybody. For me, it was like literally going out for long walks and thinking about my life and what I wanted it to look like in a couple of years. And I realized that I didn't want to be working days, nights, weekends, just constantly doing a bunch of stuff. I didn't want my house to be a wreck. I didn't want my stuff to start owning me instead of the other way around and be a burden. And after a couple of days or a week of thinking about this, I really started to understand my y, which was reduced stress because I was stressed constantly. It was eventually when I have a family, I want to have time to spend with my family and not constantly be working to an, a ton of different things. For me remembering how easily stress turns into depression or anxiety and really wanting to avoid that has been a great motivator for me when things get tough because they're going to get tough, you're going to want to quit. You're gonna do it for maybe a week or two. And then you will realize that this is actually not a onetime thing. It's a bit of a journey and it'll probably be discouraging. People might not understand what you're doing if you don't have that reason of I'm doing what is right for me and I don't care what my friends and family think this is what's right for me in my life and my family. So before we get into the nitty-gritty, It's really important to have an overarching y and kind of like a direction that you want your life to go. 3. Consuming Less: Consuming less. This might seem obvious or it might seem backwards to some people. But before we get into decluttering, both mentally, financially and just with our physical junk, it's important to stop the floodgates of junk coming into our live for me, I realized that I could survive quite awhile with just the stuff that I had. So I did a bit of a one-month shopping bandwidth. I'd highly recommend 30 days, 90 days, six months, whatever you want to do, and just stop buying things uninstalled, Amazon off your phone, maybe even block it on your computer, stopped going to the mall and try to limit even go to the grocery store to once a week. We're all kind of ingrained with this upgrade culture that we have to have the newest thing and instant gratification, we can click a button and food shows up at our door or anything we want within a couple hours or a couple of days. But this can be not only stressful financially, but actually take some of the happiness out of us because we don't really enjoy things that we have. It's always chasing the next one and the next one. Even like when you buy a new car, you're going to have a lot of excitement and joy about that car for maybe a day, maybe a week if you're lucky and then it will return to baseline. Your happiness will return to what it would be if you had any other car. We need to get out of this mindset that watch that phone, that car, those shirts will make me happy. They won't at least not for very long. It's just stuff like you don't need it. Move on. So we need to take some aggressive steps to get out of this consumer mindset. And I would recommend just starting with a 30 day ban of buying anything but like food and see what happens. See if you actually enjoy that month more than the monk before. 4. Saying NO : Say no. I think it was also known as decluttering near life. When I first started on YouTube a couple of years ago, I was trying to do three videos a week because I saw other people doing that and it just seemed like what I should do. But as I started getting into minimalism in this idea of less but better, I decided to take all of that energy that I was trying to pour into three videos a week and pour it all into one video a week. And literally within the first month I had my first video that went well, partially viral for just being a random video. Since then I was hooked. I applied minimalism to everything I do with my work. And I tried to say no to as many things as possible, which sounds kind of counterproductive when you're trying to grow in your career. But you have to realize when you say yes to one thing, you're saying no to something else. If I say yes to doing three videos every single week, then I can't spend a lot of time on those videos that I can't say yes to other opportunities. When someone asks you to go to an event, when someone asks you to go out late When you say yes to a part-time job, every decision that you make, every time you say yes, you're saying no to something else. So I've tried to adapt this mindset of if it's not in 90% or above something that I'm super excited about like a Heck yes type of thing, then I'm gonna say no to that thing so that everything that I do, everything that I buy, everything that I spend my time on as much as possible. Obviously, we all gotta do self, we don't want to do. But for the most part, if it's not that exciting, happy to do it thing, then I'm going to say no, if it's not something that's going to make a huge impact getting towards my goals, then I'm going to try to say no. And there's so much freedom in that you can even look at your clothes this way. What are the 10% of clothes that you love to where everybody has their favorite outfit. For me, I wear pretty much the same thing every single day and I love wearing it every single day, But before I had a ton of different shirts and I didn't like any of them. I had the same five that I wore all the time. What if I can just get rid of all that stuff? That's not a heck yes, a 90 or above. What if I never buy anything that I'm not excited about and know I'm going to wear all the time. What if, for the most part, everything that I owned is my favorite thing. I get to use my favorite stuff all the time. It's actually kind of exciting and you realize you have so much power over your life, over your time, over your money. When you start to say no. 5. Decluttering: Decluttering, this was honestly the most therapeutic and addicting part of this process for me, once you start getting rid of random junk that you don't even care about at all, but that you're hanging onto because you have this need inside of you to have more. You have just in case stuff, you have all this random stuff. When you start to get rid of it, you realize that each thing that you own has a tiny bit of space in your mind that it owns as you free your house in your life of more and more stuff, you start to have more mental clarity. Your stress levels start to go down a little bit. You start to get excited about being able to see your kitchen countertop and they don't have stuff on them all the time always. In fact, I recommend starting with either a living room or your kitchen before you just dive into your whole house, pick one room that you spend a lot of time in that you can really focus on. You can bang out in a day or on a weekend going through things and maybe if you haven't used it in the last 90 days and you don't expect to use it in the next 90 days. Just getting rid of it, really simplifying and decluttering just one room and letting nappy motivation and then really building habits and focusing on keeping that room clean for at least a week and then trying to keep it clean for a month. And really building habits around it in that room will be Motivation. You'll realize you're less stressed in the living room because it doesn't have a bunch of crap all over the place. Then you are in other rooms and you'll start to want that for the rest of your house. Something that I like to do and I've had for the past couple of years is just a box next to my front door that is for donations. And as I'm going through my house, as I see stuff that I don't use anymore, I can take it and put it that box and then once a week or once a day, depending on how much stuff you have, you can take it to be donated. This makes decluttering and getting rid of things that you don't actually need a habit because you're reminded of that every time you walk past that box, obviously when you're getting started, it's probably going to actually take awhile. You might want to enlist a friend to help you that it doesn't have the same sentimental attachments that you have, but especially after just the first day and you realize that all that stuff that you owned and you've been hanging onto for so long, makes 0 impact in your happiness. You'll start to get excited about getting rid of more and more stuffs so that you can have a less stressful cleaner, more enjoyable for the class project for this course, I would love if you guys a before and after picture of one room in your house, the first room that you're gonna do and do a before and after picture and then do another picture in a week and another picture in a month because I've done a onetime declutter and then within a month it was right back to where I started. This is a process and this is a long-term habit, a lifestyle change. You can't do it once and expect it to stay perfect forever. This is a journey I can't wait to see your before and afters down in the class projects section. Well, this is a high-level view of decluttering. I think it's a really good place to start. 6. Finding A Home: As your decluttering, find a home for everything as you're going through and decluttering things, it's super important to start to find a home for everything that you own. This will make keeping your house clutter-free and organized and stressful, effortless, or at least simpler if you're anything like me, your countertops and tables, regular tables all collect random junk. And why is that? When you ask yourself, why is that? Why is my house always messy? It's because your stuff doesn't have a home. If you pick and think about a place that your keys in your wallet belongs, you're much less likely to lose them. You're much less likely to just throw them on the table. If you have a designated place for your coat in your shoes, you're not just going to chuck them once you walk in the front door as your decluttering and you don't want to sell or donate this item, ask if it has a home and if you can't find a home for this thing, maybe you should reconsider if it's something that you need, but try to find a home for everything in your house and it'll probably take awhile, but it also makes cleaning up a lot easier when you actually know where things belong and you don't just shove them under your bed or in a closet for on a shelf or move over the pile of junk on your table, find everything at home. 7. Decluttering Your Finances: Decluttering your finances. For most people, finances are something that is stressful, something that they avoid. But actually one of my favorite benefits of minimalism is the financial aspects. So not only do we start to save money as we cut out a lot of unnecessary stuff in our lives. But we can also simplify our finances and make them as streamlined and simple as possible. So how do we do that? I would recommend starting with the most simple thing you can possibly do. And that is to take an app like true bill or mentor NerdWallet. There's a ton of different free apps out there. And you put in your credit cards and bank accounts and everything into these apps and then you start to simply track, you don't start budgeting, you start simply tracking and observing where your money is going, how much is coming in, how much is going out, and where is it going to take five minutes at the end of each month and look through all of your bills. As you do this, you start to realize how much of the stuff went to wants and needs. And if you didn't spend that money on a bunch of different things in the past month, it would have 0 impact in your life. But if you had all that extra money, that would give you some freedom that would allow you to start traveling, that would allow you to maybe leave your job sooner? When I started to really cut down everything is that I spent in my monthly expenses got a lot lower if that was what let me save up enough money to start investing and eventually leave my day job when I was 24 and just do YouTube full-time even though I was making like $500 a month, that's that time. But because my expenses were so low, I was able to save up a lot of money without really all that much effort. One of the simplest things you can start decluttering in your finances are going through your subscriptions. We live in a subscription world where everybody is trying to get us to pay monthly for things and some things like Skillshare, I think, are totally worth it. I've had that subscription myself for a while because it actually makes me money. It better is me as a person. But having Netflix, Hulu, peacock, Disney Plus cable, plus the random mystery boxes that I get, whatever it is for you. You probably don't need most of those things if you want to have more time in your life and you want to watch less TV as well. It might help do that if you cancel four of the subscriptions that you have, you don't have the option of watching those. It's kind of like the idea of you lose weight while you're at the grocery store because if you don't have ice cream in your house, you're not going to have ice cream at 11 o'clock at night. You're also not going to binge watch something on Netflix if you don't have Netflix now, don't get me wrong. Some of those streaming services are good, but I personally have just picked one or two that I use. And I don't have cable and I don't have the other ones. I've tried to just keep the amount of those that I have as low as possible so that I don't have too many options to watch TV and really waste time. There's also all the other things that aren't subscriptions, like maybe your daily coffee or your daily lunch or drinks are going out to dinner five nights a week. All those things that when you add them all together, add up to extra thousands or tens of thousands of dollars at the end of the year. And the difference between having that in an emergency fund and living paycheck to paycheck with all this stuff mentally, it is an insane difference. It's simplifies everything in your life. It gives you so many more options when your expenses are lower. 8. Digital Minimalism: Digital minimalism. The average person spends between 56 hours a day on our phones. That's life-changing time right there. Most people, when you ask them how they're doing, they're gonna say, I'm busy, works good, but it's busy, man, it's been crazy recently. It's been it's been a rough week, It's been a rough month, It's been a crazy year. So much stuff going on. I don't have time to play sports, to hang out with my family, to go to the gym, to start a side hustle to start my passion project and finally do that thing that I've always wanted to do. I just don't have time for it. And yet we have time to spend a quarter of our days. The phone. Here's a couple of things that I've done to really try to limit my screen time, which has given me a lot of freedom to do other stuff that I otherwise probably wouldn't have thought I had time for first. And this might be a big step, but you might need to detox from social media maybe for a month, maybe for a week, maybe for a day. But going through and deleting Instagram, Facebook, Tiktok, maybe even YouTube. And then just observing how many times you take your phone out of your pocket when you're bored, when you're in line, when you're in the bathroom and seeing that it's a mindless reaction, you know, consciously that you don't have Instagram on your phone yet. You might pull out your phone 25 times in a day to just check Instagram when you're bored, you'll notice probably after a couple of days, maybe a week, how much differently your mind acts when you have social media on your phone and when you don't realize how much more time you have in the day if you cut out TV and being on your phone at night, what do you do? Well, maybe, maybe you start reading, maybe start painting, maybe you start playing guitar. Maybe start doing all those things that you wanted to do someday. But you never seem to have time for. This can be a bit extreme. And you don't need to do that forever, but doing it for a week or a month will make a huge mental impact on you. You will have a lot more mental clarity. I also put my phone on grayscale mode or I download a couple minimalist apps and it takes away all the icons on my phone. So it makes my phone a lot more boring. It's black and white. I don't get notifications. It really cuts down on that desire to just whip out my phone constantly when it's a lot more boring, honestly. 9. Enjoying Life: Learn to enjoy what you have. Most people upgrade their phone every year or two. They buy new clothes, new shoes, and new car all before they're old ones are worn out. In fact, it's extremely uncommon for us to wear clothes until they get holes in them. Do you use any electronic until it actually stops working? Instead, we always get caught up into the grass is greener. On the other side, that new thing will make me happy. But as you've started to get rid of more and more stuff in your life, in your home, you start to realize the value of the things that you do have. I think this is the mindset shift that has brought a lot of happiness into my life and can bring it into yours. It's this idea of being grateful for everything that you do have as Americans or wherever you're from. But you have at least a computer or a phone where you can watch. You probably have clothes on right now that you actually bought and you've got them because you liked them, not just because they kept you safe from the elements. You probably own a couple of pairs of shoes. You probably have a roof over your head and aren't starving right now. Like, we don't take time to be grateful for all the things that we do have. Instead, we're always chasing more stuff. We're always looking to the future, but the future never comes. Life is always. Now. If you look at right now in the things that you have, you realize you don't need anything else to be happy. Everything we have right now is enough. Happiness is a choice. You can have two people in the same exact situation with the same stuff and one of them is miserable and the other person has a grateful mindset for all of that stuff, that exact same things but totally different mindset. One can be happy, one can be not. It is completely your choice. 10. Simplify Your Goals: Simplify your goals. There is power in narrowness of focus, while most people either have no goals or just a ton of goals, I have found that narrowing down and simplifying my goals has made achieving them actually happen for the first time ever. And then sticking with them happen as well. So here is how I approach this as minimalists. First of all, I set 123 short-term goal. Well, I might have longer-term goals. I tried to break those down into 90 day segments and then only focus on that short-term 90 day segment and not the big long-term one. Because if I have a goal to do something within the next year, it's most likely that I won't get started and I definitely won't finish before 11 months and 29 days maybe you're not like that and you just get it done right at the beginning of the year. But for me, that doesn't really happen with 90 day goals. I don't really have that same option. I have to do it. I can't kick the can that far down the road because it needs to happen in the next three months. This is short enough that I can't procrastinate and long enough that I can actually make some significant progress. And then I really tried to break these down into what is the one thing I can do today that will get me closer to my goal and only focusing on one thing for that goal each day, not ten, not 20, not sprinting and trying to get it all done at once. But what one thing can I do every day for the next 90 days for the next year that will get me closer to that goal. For me, reading is something that has really improved my life. So that's something that I want to do every single day. So instead of having this big lofty goal of 52 books or even a book a month. I've committed to one page every day. This is attainable. It can take thirty-seconds. I can keep making progress. Most likely I'll get past it and read ten pages. But it ensures that I make progress towards my goal every single day. And I do the same thing with YouTube and my investments and other goals that I have, where I make one step closer to it. Every day, most people would try to sprint and they burn out and they lose focus and they forget what goals they even set. So write down, make them specific, makes him attainable, make them short-term, and see what happens. Simplify it from ten down to the 12 or three that will make the most impact in your life.