So a lot of people think that minimalism automatically means that you have to get rid of all or most of your belongings and you can’t really have too much in your home. Honestly, that’s what I thought too when I first came across it too. But I’m telling you that is not the case, at all!
The Minimalists do a great job at describing the value in minimalism below.
Minimalism is a took that can assist you in finding freedom. Freedom from fear. Freedom from worry. Freedom from overwhelm. Freedom from guilt. Freedom from depression. Freedom from the trappings of the consumer culture we’ve built our lives around. Real freedom.What Is Minimalism?
While a lot of people say that it does offer freedom, the practice itself really varies by the person. Each person defines what it means to them and how they want to practice it that puts the focus on value and less on just having things.
So if you are new to this whole minimalism thingy, then you have come to the right place my friend. I’m going to give you 5 steps to start practicing minimalism in your home. By moving through these 5 steps, you will start to find more peace and solace with your home and ultimately with who you are.
Define Minimalism For Yourself
Like I said before, many people think of minimalism as a way to just get rid of their belongings and just live with a lot less, but it doesn’t have to be that extreme for you to start practicing minimalism today.
Minimalism is a lifestyle, in which you focus less on consuming and having things and focus more on the value that things provide. By making this distinction, you will start to put more importance on finding out what you need and what you don’t.
Because at the end of the day, possessions come and go they shouldn’t and do not define who you are as a person.
So start by outlining what minimalism looks like to you in 3 stages: in 30 days, in 90 days and in 365 days
How do you want your house to look after each stage? How do you want to feel about your space that you call home? What will this help you accomplish?
Those are just some of the questions you should ask yourself before you get started. By thinking of what you want to accomplish first, you can then work towards that goal and make sure you are doing what aligns best with your vision.
Use Some Time to Take Stock
This is such an important step! This gives you the time you need to sit with what you have in your home. Spend a few hours in different rooms of your house and get a feel for what you like and what you don’t quite like as much.
Think of what you need and why you need it. Do you need that old raggedy notebook from high school….10 years later? I doubt it. Ask yourself, is it going to help you achieve a short or long-term goal that you have? Probably not.
By doing this step, you force your mind to identify the value in what’s around you instead of simply focusing on how things make you feel inside.
And it’s not to say that you cannot keep things in your home that simply make you feel good. I kept and still keep things that honestly just make me feel good. I have old items of my mom that don’t provide value day to day, but they have value to me emotionally.
The point is to transform how you think about your possessions and how you can really start practicing minimalism at home.
Now that you have taken stock of what you have at home and started thinking of what provides value and what simply doesn’t, you can start to declutter! I love this step to be honest. It’s tedious but it really helps to put things into perspective.
This step can be a small or big task, depending on how big your home is, but that’s fine, just take it one room at a time! For me, I start with my bedroom because it’s the peaceful place in my house…So I want to make sure I don’t have a bunch of crap taking up space in what should be a solace space.
If you are unsure of where to start, try starting in one corner of the room and work your way around the room. Find things that can be moved or stored a little better that may be taking up a lot of space. (ex: putting your clothes hamper in the closet where there is space and creates more room in the actual bedroom)
BUT before you move everything to storage, think of what you currently have stored. You don’t want to overload your storage areas so try using this 1-year rule when you decide what to store and what to get rid of:
If you haven’t used or touched the item in over a year, you most likely don’t need it.
I hate to say it, but this is usually true 90% of the time. If you have went a year LONGER without using something…I highly doubt you need it! If you forgot you had it, then definitely toss it!
Reorganize For Function
Okay, so now that you have started going through your stuff, think of how you can reorganize your home that better suits your day to day needs.
You don’t have to do, but honestly, sometimes reorganizing will make your home feel brand new! Reorganizing the space also helps you realize how to achieve the most function in your home.
When I moved in with my boyfriend, we reorganized and flipped the entire bedroom around. So the bed was now against the window instead of the wall. It instantly made the room feel different but in a way that we both liked AND it became more functional.
We were able to fit in what will be my new desk and open the space up, so it just flows better from one part of the room to the other.
Think of reorganizing your home but in a way that still makes sense in how you live your life day to day.
Rewire How You Think About Possessions
Like I mentioned, minimalism will look different for each person. But I do think the practice offers insight in how we attach ourselves to our possessions.
After you go through the 5 steps to practicing minimalism at home, hopefully you will feel better about the space in your home. Try to continue these steps and incorporate them into practice. This will help you rewire how you think about possessions
There is 2 ways to think about this:
Pre-Purchase Thinking: Before you purchase anything new, think of why you want it and what value it provides. Like does it help you complete a task in the house? Does it simply make you feel good to look at? And yes, it is fine to have things that just make you feel good. But this forces you to really think of what you need versus simply just what you want.
Post-Purchase Thinking: Use that same logic with what you already have in your home. You’ve already purchased what you have so now it’s time to give it some thought. Continue to find ways to improve your space every day! It may not happen naturally but the more mindful you are, the better off you’ll be!
I love to hear how other people have de-cluttered their home and started practicing minimalism. What are some things you got rid of?