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You are hearing it everywhere, minimalist this and minimalism that, it is no doubt a floating buzzword these days. But did you know it actually promotes an economical, and more importantly, debt-free lifestyle? 

We believe this change is one worth making and we will show you just how to do it. Check out our guide on clearing the path in your home to save more money.

Why Minimalism?

Being a minimalist at home helps you to stop spending unnecessarily. It empowers you to break the cycle of wastefulness and keep your home from becoming a money pit.  You work so hard to earn a living, why waste it on the nonessentials?

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Adapt these practical money-saving habits to enhance your home life, here’s how:  

1. Gutter your Clutter

Survey your home and pick out the most cluttered spot. It may be a cabinet, perhaps an entire kitchen, or even just a shoe rack. Let go of what you don’t or will not need in the next month, but do keep your festive decorations even if it’s a long time away, so that you won’t have to repurchase.

Items that you don’t intend to throw out should be kept organized. Put everything in its place as this will help you to stop buying things that you cannot find. Many of us are guilty of this and it is a wasteful habit to say the least. Things that usually gets misplaced and are repurchased easily: Batteries, cello tape and stationary.

Now, this may take some time to complete, possibly a few weekends worth, depending on the state of your house. But when you are finished, it will be worth the trouble because your home will look tidy, clean, and spacious and you are on your way to becoming a minimalist at home.

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2. Repurpose

Before ditching your possessions as mentioned above, consider if it can be used in another way. Learning to use everything in your home to its fullest potential will help you avoid spending to purchase the same item in the future or at the very least delay the purchase.

Here’s a tip, if you have old vases just sitting in storage, you can easily dust them off, make little holes on the bottom, fill it with earth and use it as a garden flower pot. Get creative, especially with the items you don’t want to throw out.

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3. Don’t Buy into Marketing Gimmicks

It is too tempting to resist these four alphabets: F-R-E-E, but don’t be swayed into buy something just because of the free gift. These ‘gifts’ may not only cause your purchase to cost more, but will unnecessarily take up space in the home as well. These freebies may also be part of novelty collections, urging you to continue buying. Unfortunately, such items usually have zero utility with the exception of gathering dust. 

Repeat this ground rule as often as needed, “If I don’t need it, I won’t buy it”. In the long run, you will save space and money at home. Keep in mind that you do not need to buy a lot of cheap things in an effort to save, rather, skip the small stuff and choose quality over quantity.

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4. DIY

Do more for yourself by doing-it-yourself, wherever and whenever possible. Try to refrain from hiring a cleaner too often; it is a lesser known money sucker. If you are able, take on some of the household chores and save more in the process. Cleaning services can run from RM60 - RM100 per week and this adds up over the course of a month.

The possibilities are limitless; look into resourceful ways to upkeep and maintain your home by yourself, as not every leaky faucet requires professional services. In fact, if you have friends or family members who are handy with tools, get them to assist you. They don’t cost as much as contractors and usually accept payment in the form of dinner.

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5. ONE.PERFECT.SPACE

Remember that while minimalism is mostly about necessity, it’s also about quality. So don’t completely deprive yourself of getting some satisfaction. What do we mean?  You’ll need to draw the line on what you can and cannot live without.

Depending on what is most important to you, splurge on creating the one area that you need to be, well, perfect. If you work from home, construct the most conducive home-office environment to bring out the best in you. Or turn your bedroom into a cosy, comfy haven to rejuvenate and get a perfect night’s rest. Whatever you decide to do, don’t be afraid to spend a little more in this department. 

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6. Hoarders Anonymous 

Humans have the ability to stockpile possessions for years on end until it reaches the celling. We exaggerate (or do we? Have you seen the reality-TV show, ‘Hoarders’?), but most of us do have trouble throwing away the stuff we have accumulated over the years. And while certain pieces may hold sentimental or practical value, it just does not make sense to hold on to everything.

We have a got quick fix – if you can’t seem to trash your redundant belongings, why not sell it? There are so many websites and online tools to help you get rid of such items and earn money at the same time. If you are more old-fashioned, try setting up shop at flea-markets and garage sales. It can cost less than RM100 to start selling; you might not make a fortune but every form of income counts.

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How to See Your Savings

You may be sceptical or unsure if all your cost-cutting practices are yielding any profits or simply being a pain your neck to carry out. To easily see what you have earned, keep a jar and put every extra cent in it. You will quickly notice that it all adds up, and much sooner than you would have imagined. Think of it this way, every Ringgit not spent is a Ringgit earned, and it could not be truer in the case of minimizing waste and maximizing savings at home.

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(Written by: Desiree Nair, 4th September 2015)
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Avoid keeping or buying things as spare. Spare mattress, spare furniture, spare car, spare gas cylinder, spare fridge ... just imagine!

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