So you have heard about the minimalist movement and are ready to tackle your own home. So what now? Where do you begin? The thought of holding everything in your hands and asking if it sparks joy, sounds like a lot of work and stress. So instead you just grab a garbage bag and start shoving stuff into it. What is the right way to minimize and where should you begin?
Today I am going to share some of my favorite tips for getting rid of that clutter for good. Let’s get after it!
- START SMALL Start somewhere that you know you can see progress or even completion on day 1. That may look like a drawer in the kitchen, or maybe your closet. Start somewhere that you know you will get instant gratification. You will need this to keep up the momentum going and tackle more.
- BE HONEST If you are questioning whether to get rid of something in case you might need it later, first ask yourself when the last time was that you used it. Next ask yourself if this item can be replaced in the future. If it is something that you know you can purchase later on the off chance that you find you actually do need it, then get rid of it. If it is not something you feel you can replace easily then maybe place it in a box for some time and decide if it is worth keeping or not.
- DON’T JUST GET RID OF, JUST TO GET RID OF This may sound counter intuitive, but hear me out. Many new minimalists go through their homes getting rid of everything they can. They want to jump in with both feet, but once they get going, they are frantically trying to get to the very minimum of what they can use. They throw things away without thinking it through. Now some may be able to continue on this pace but others will find themselves back in old habits and shopping to replace items now that they are gone.
- ONLY GET RID OF WHAT YOU DON’T USE This is the best way to combat the above actions. Start by only eliminating things from your home that you clearly do not use. Items that have not been used in over a year. Start where you know there will not be a big loss from letting go.
- QUESTION EVERYTHING To keep your home from accumulating more clutter once you have done that hard work of decluttering, ask yourself some questions for why you want to purchase an item. Can you live without it? Is it worth the cost of caring for it once it is in your home? If you can give yourself time to think about it, will you still want it? Will this item end up in the donation pile in a few weeks or months?
- PAIR DOWN When you go through your items you may find you have several items that are the same. I for instance had 5 wooden spoons. While I love a good wooden spoon, I didn’t need 5. I needed 1. The one that I choose to grab every time because it is my favorite. I also had excessive amounts of coffee cups. They all matched and were the set that matched my plates. However, I never used them because they were not big enough for my morning coffee. I grabbed my favorite mug every morning. So instead of keeping them because they match, keep the ones you use.
- BOOKS I can’t say this enough, I love books. I love to read and there is something so special about holding a book in your hands. There is this amazing place though that we visit weekly, the library, It has thousands of books! Borrowing books from your library, saves space in your home, and money in your pockets.
- KNICK KNACKS I was a collector of boyds bears for most of my teen years. I loved browsing the new sets and reading their bottoms to see what they signified. While I loved them for some time, I found myself feeling claustrophobic in the room they lived. So I thanked them for their service and sent them away where they will find a new home and owner that will love them again.
- GAMES We love board games. They are a fun evening activity for our family. Somehow along the way, we became game hoarders and had a closet stuffed full of them. We have about 5 games that we play regularly and the rest get played rarely. So we decided to let go of the ones we never played. Now we have a game shelf that is manageable and organized.
- ANYTHING THAT DOESN’T ADD VALUE This can be anything really. If it isn’t adding value to your life and your home and your end goal, get rid of it.
Now that you have started the tough job of decluttering, what is the reason you feel the need to declutter. Ask yourself why you are doing this to begin with. What is your motivation? In my next post we will discuss how your life might be better with less. In the meantime why not ponder that question. I would love to hear what you have to say.