Starving For Simplicity? Try These Easy Methods To Minimalism
The concept of a tiny home has begun to dominate HGTV shows. Decluttering challenges flood your Facebook feed. Space-saving gadgets fill home decor shops. The trend toward smaller, simpler living is practically everywhere, and it seems that it’s here to stay. That’s great news, because living simpler overall offers a ton of benefits, both on a personal and societal level.
But transitioning to a minimalist lifestyle is easier said than done. In a world where many people still tend to prize things over experiences, it’s easy to accumulate stuff — and sometimes difficult to let go of it.
If you’re considering going minimalist, here are a few simple steps you can take to start!
If you’re not sure you’re ready to totally dive into minimalism, but you'd like to begin making some simple and sustainable changes, start small. Scour your home for doubles of anything, and donate the duplicates.
Do you have a lamp that's been sitting in your closet without a home? Get rid of it. How about a spare veggie peeler or extra pizza slicer? Take them to the thrift store. Whether the objects are large or small, ousting duplicates from your home will free up a surprising amount of space quickly and painlessly.
Once you have all your extra odds and ends out of your abode, take the next step. Designate one room in your home as a clutter-free zone — a room that only includes the essentials. You can make it your bedroom, the home office, the kitchen, whatever.
Wherever you feel like you can pare down your belongings, this is likely the room that would most benefit from being clutter-free. Donate any gadgets or pieces of furniture you rarely use in this room and commit to keeping it functional and sparse.
One of the places people tend to hold onto a lot of clutter is in their wardrobe. As a good rule of thumb, if you haven’t worn something in the past year, you aren’t going to wear it. Time to say goodbye.
If you’re really committed, consider trying Project333. This challenge encourages folks to pick 33 items of clothing, accessories and shoes to wear for three months — not including loungewear, underwear and workout apparel. You may be surprised by how little you miss the excess at the end of the challenge.
It’s not just your home that can use some paring down. When you pack for a trip, chances are you’re overdoing it there, too. You probably end up with three or four outfits you never touch. The next time you go out of town, pack enough outfits for half your trip, instead of two times more than you need.
Enlist multi-functional pieces you can mix and match to make this possible. You’ll spend less time packing and more time enjoying your vacay, and you won’t have to drag your heavy luggage all over the place.
Now, for those who are ready to do something drastic, this approach is for you: Pack up everything in your home. Like, everything. Pretend you’re moving out and only have eight hours to get all your belongings in boxes. Cover all your large pieces of furniture with sheets.
Then, unpack items only as you need them. After a week, look at what’s still sitting in boxes. Do you really need these items? Can you donate some of them? The answers are probably no and yes, respectively.
This one’s not necessarily an option for everyone, but if your lease is running out soon or you’re just looking to move, you can quickly shift to a minimalist lifestyle by downsizing the size of the space you reside in. A smaller living space encourages living more modestly because there simply isn’t space for excess stuff.
Consider renting or buying a smaller space than you currently occupy. For example, if you’re living in a one-person apartment with two floors, consider downsizing to a studio-style apartment instead. There’s also the new trend of renting or buying a tiny home. Downsizing to a smaller space is a popular new trend for good reason. Doing so boasts endless perks, from reducing your impact on the environment to avoiding significant utility bills, since the energy efficiency of your lifestyle will naturally improve in a smaller space.
Whether you want to move toward minimalism to decrease stress, create more time for travel and exploration, or decrease your carbon footprint, these methods should help. You can start small or go big right out of the gate. Either way, you’ll likely find that the less you have, the more comfortable you will be in your living space, and the less overwhelming your life will feel in general.
What are your favorite ways to incorporate minimalism? Share with us in the comments!