Sure, you can have a lot of stuff as well as a tidy home… but we can guarantee it’ll take you much more time to keep it looking that way. The minimalist lifestyle reduces visual stress by keeping the clutter out of your life, making your home a calming environment. It also makes cleaning so much simpler as you have less things to clean in the first place, and you don’t have to move many items to clean furniture. Are you sold on minimalism yet? Here’s how to get started:
Start with one room
Going minimalist can seem like a daunting task when you have accumulated a lifetime of things. Pick the room you would most like to be your calm place and start on that one.
Don’t keep more items than you actually need. If a piece of furniture’s only purpose is to store other things, go through everything inside to see what you definitely need, what can be donated, and what is junk. You may find that you need much less storage space than you’ve been using.
Keep surfaces clear
The key to minimalism is space. The tops of tables, dressers, and desks should be as clutter free as possible – perhaps one or two tasteful decorations.
Out of sight, out of mind
Things that aren’t intended for display or that aren’t in use on a daily basis should be stored in a cupboard so they don’t contribute to visual stress. No piles of papers, clunky kitchen gadgets, or handbags hanging from doorknobs.
The 6 month rule
If you haven’t used an item or worn a piece of clothing in 6 months it’s time to get rid of it. This especially goes for things that don’t work properly, you avoid using because they’re a hassle to clean, or clothes that don’t fit you anymore.
Embrace the scanner
All that paperwork that you need to keep, but takes up so much space in your home office? Go digital. Keep originals only when it’s legally necessary. Photos may deteriorate or get lost when stored in boxes and only brought out for a look every few years. Scan them and know your memories are safe.
Instead of filling your walls with lots smaller pieces of art, go for one statement piece. Try going for plain neutrals with curtains, couches, and rugs instead of busy patterns.
Everything in its right place
Everything in your home should have its own home in a practical place near where it will be used. If you’re not sure where to put something, don’t be tempted to put it in a junk drawer – the aim of the game is eliminating piles of miscellaneous stuff. Think about when you’ll use the item – what for? How frequently? If you can’t answer these questions it may actually be junk. Be ruthless and donate or throw it out.
Borrow, don’t buy
If you think you may only use a hardware item once, borrow it from a friend. Join a library instead of accumulating your own. This will save you money and keep your new minimalist aesthetic intact.
One in, one out
If you are going to buy something new try and give away, sell, or throw out an old item with a similar purpose or style. If you don’t stay vigilant, the clutter will return!