The idea of making your home “minimalist”, a simplified, uncluttered life with less stuff, is becoming increasingly popular. Some people take this lifestyle to the extreme, buying “tiny houses” and really eliminating the baggage. Watch our tiny house video with Teakwood Enterprises below and then keep reading to start your decluttering journey.
Ready to Become a Minimalist?
The benefits to owning less possessions are many: less to clean, less debt, less to organize, less stress, leaving you with more money and energy for the things you really do care about in life. Many people are ready to declutter but get quickly tripped up by the most basic question; where to start?
Try not to get overwhelmed! The decluttering journey doesn’t need to be as painful as some make it out to be.
From the experts, here are 10 simple methods of decluttering:
- You’ve Got 5 Minutes. Divide household cleanup tasks into 20 categories. For example: clearing kitchen counter surfaces, organizing the area under sinks, or sorting through the junk drawer (we all have one.) Pick one a day that sounds appealing. Or better yet, pick a random number 1-20, read the specific tip, and commit 5 minutes to completing it.
- Let It Go. Commit to giving away or donating one item each day. Over time you will experience quite a transformation simply reducing your possessions slowly. Imagine how your home will look in a year with 365 less things!
- Trash It. On the path towards simplicity, one of the easiest decluttering techniques is to see how quickly you can fill just one trash bag. While much of what you collect will be trash, you could also use this technique for donations. If you do this periodically, you’ll see a noticeable difference in no time!
- The Closet Hanger Experiment. Minimalism doesn’t have to start at your closet door. To identify clothing to donate, hang all your clothes with the hangers in the reverse direction. After you wear an item, return it to the closet with the hanger facing the correct direction. After six months, discard anything that still has a hanger facing the opposite direction.
- Work Your Way Up. Create a list of places and areas in your home to declutter beginning with the easiest. When you’re done with one area, STOP. This list could be made as easy or difficult as you desire based upon what areas of your home make up the list (drawers/closets/rooms). And could easily fit into any schedule.
- The 12-12-12 Challenge. A simple task of locating 12 items to throw away, 12 items to donate, and 12 items to be returned to their proper home can be a really fun and exciting way to quickly organize 36 things in your house. You can even make it a challenge for the whole family!
- Put It Into Perspective. This one takes a little creativity. Try to step back from your home and see it how a guest would. Take photos of your house, invite over a toddler, or imagine you’re having your boss over. The hope is it’ll cause you to see your home in a new light and help you find objects to eliminate.
- Try A Capsule Wardrobe. Back to the closet we go! A capsule wardrobe is a collection of clothing that is made up of interchangeable, staple, items only, to maximize the number of outfits that can be created. The aim is to have an outfit suitable for any occasion without owning excessive items of clothing. Try to force yourself to own only 35 items of clothing, including shoes, that can all be interchanged and worn together in different combinations. If 35 articles of clothing seems too little, adjust the rules as you need by picking a new number. The important thing is to challenge yourself to live with less and see what you learn from the experiment.
- How Does It Make You Feel? Psychology Today recommends using your imagination to help declutter objects that may have personal value or seem difficult to remove. Try asking yourself unique questions like, “If I was just buying this now, how much would I pay?” or, while holding the item for a while, ask “Does this bring me joy?” If the answer is no, or seems off, it’s probably time to let it go.
- Box It Up. This is the most common technique used to transfer your house into a minimalist home. Buy four boxes for each area and label them: trash, donate, keep, or relocate. In each room place every item in that room into one of the four boxes. Leave no item untouched. Depending on the size of area in question, this could take an hour or it could take days… Either way the technique and principles remained the same.
No matter which technique helps you get started, the goal is to take your first step with excitement and purpose behind it. How you remove the clutter is up to you.