Recently I’ve been thinking about ‘Stuffitis’ and what role does it play in my life. Makes me think of “The Little Mermaid” song…” look at this stuff, isn’t it neat, how many collections can one hold.” I have always been nonmaterialistic, but how much stuff do I possess that I really need and what is clutter that is unnecessary in my home. But the thought of reducing all those items in my home seems overwhelming, where to start and with what. So, I thought I would share what I’ve decided are my steps on the journey to minimalism. I hope you’ll join me.
Word to the wise – start slow, clear out one room at a time. Make this journey to minimalism, not a dash, but a habit.
One room at a time
The goal of minimalism is to have fewer possessions and not create unneeded clutter in your home. Less clutter allows you to really focus on the things that make you happy in life, the things you really need. It also helps you focus on family and the time you spend with them, rather than looking for that lost item amongst all your stuff. The stress of needing to organize. There are businesses that have been created to allow you to store your stuff, meaning it is not even in your home to use, but you have placed it in a safe place for future use.
Pick one room, and focus on decluttering that one space before moving on to another. This is the best way to avoid overwhelming yourself. Believe me, I’ve been there.
Create a system and stick to it
Don’t create a mess trying to declutter, this will just create more stress. I recommend labeling four large piles calling them to keep, donate, recycle, and landfill. For most of us clearing out our wardrobe is the hardest, saying just let me keep this when I weigh 10lbs less. If you haven’t worn it in 12 months, you will not wear it again.
Do you have a Capsule Closet?
You know what we are talking about, you say that this one piece of clothing isn’t going to go out of fashion and they go with other items in your wardrobe. Believe me, it goes out of fashion. I recommend creating a closet based on these rules:
- Don’t keep anything you feel uncomfortable in.
- If you haven’t worn it in 12 months, donate it.
- Stick with a similar color palette to make sure all your clothes coordinate.
Go paperless as much as possible
Paperless is the way to go and I love it. I carry all my files around with me wherever I go and I can access them with a moment’s notice. Go through your papers and shred the unimportant letters, don’t put them in a drawer to be forgotten. Going paperless not only declutters the house, but it reduces your carbon footprint.
Spend on creating memories, not gathering materials
Each time you create an experience with those you love, you are receiving so much more than any material item can bring you. For holidays and birthdays give experiences over material gifts. Buy the family an activity they can do together or a trip you can all enjoy with each other.
Replace, recycle – don’t add
It will be hard, but resist adding more possession to your stockpile. When things need to be replaced, replace them, but don’t accumulate more. When my husband and I shop we think about what we are replacing when we purchase something, not what we are adding to our already accumulated possessions. Think about all those items you have in your wardrobe that are worn on average once a year and what you could have done with that money spent. Resist as many new purchases as you can by waiting until you have something that needs replacing. You’ll thank me on the coin in your wallet and the decluttered space you have.
Plan your meals
The average person wastes more food per year then you’d like me to share. This typically happens because you purchase food planning to cook and then you don’t or you just don’t use what you purchased. This is not only wasteful, but it is a shame that so many go hungry and we waste so much food. Planning what you’ll eat will take a little time in advance, but you’ll be happy when you have a shorter grocery bill, you use all that you buy, and your family has good meals thoughtfully planned out to get through the week.
Even though I’ve started my own journey to minimalism I feel like I’ve only scratched the surface and I know I’ll keep learning more about my family and our habits, how we live, and how we can be more minimal, but effective. Would love for you to share your minimalism tips with me. Happy travels!