8 Tips on how to become a minimalist
A hot buzzword in home organization right now is minimalism.
So, what exactly is it? Minimalism is intentionally living with only the things you absolutely need. It means being surrounded by fewer material items so you can have more time to get out there and enjoy your life. A minimalist home takes less time to clean and its organization will make you feel good about spending time there, especially in the colder winter months.
There are varying degrees of minimalism. One thing is for sure, most of us can live with less stuff.
- Start with a plan: What are your objectives? It’s different for everyone. Take a look at your life, job, how many in you family, your lifestyle, needs and desires. Do you simply want less clutter or would you prefer to have to take care of less living space overall? Are you downsizing? Decide for yourself what it means and begin your journey.
- Start clean – Everyone has “trash.” We’re not talking about the kitchen garbage. We mean those broken items you were going to fix someday but never do, clothes you no longer can wear for whatever reason, boxes you’ve never opened since you moved, empty CD cases and so on. Gather it all up and get rid of it. It will make your minimalist journey easier!
- Get rid of duplicates – Do you have two spatulas? Five pairs of sunglasses? We won’t even count the shoes! Using something called the KonMari method, you organize items by category not location. That will help you see exactly how many duplicates you have and make it easier to decide what you keep and what you toss. Remember, bins and organizers are our friends.
- Make tough decisions – How attached to things are you? Having two blenders won’t bring you joy, but those old family photographs may be irreplaceable. If you need to keep the photos, scan and store them digitally. Ask yourself if items are useful, if it’s the only one you have and whether it makes you happy. If it does, keep it.
- Be a space miser - Only give so much space for certain items. This can be especially helpful in the kitchen. There’s only, for example, so much space for coffee cups and utensils. If they start migrating from their allotted space, there’s a pretty good chance you have too much.
- Clean your files – Paper has a habit of multiplying. Is it in a pile on the floor in your office? Are your folders overflowing with out-of-date items and all over the house? Keep only the most recent or necessary copies of important documents: insurance policies, banking information, bills etc. File away as much as you can on your computer in organized folders. (Oh, and those old magazines? Recycle them.)
- Bring less into your home – A great rule of thumb for the minimalist is for everything you bring in, something has to go. This is especially helpful with the closet. If you buy a new sweater, it’s time to get rid of that one you don’t wear.
- Donate what don’t need – Help an organization or someone in need out. It will have the added bonus of making you feel good about what you’re doing.
As you embark on your minimalist lifestyle, don’t forget to update your insurance company if you’ve gotten rid of anything you covered with a special rider. It may even save you money!