Becoming a minimalist can seem daunting to most people, especially when we seem to think that we need everything in the world crowding each room. However, it is relatively easy to become a minimalist and live a healthier, simpler, Zen lifestyle without making it seem overtly daunting; and I will help make it easy for you with a simple guideline.
1. Get rid of things you haven’t used in a year – Overall this is a relatively easy one to follow. If you have not worn a specific article of clothing or your child has not played with a toy in over a year, then you can get rid of it. However, I do the six months rule. If I haven’t worn it in six months, then I get rid of it.
2. Donate – This correlates with the first one, if you have not used any clothing then take them to a nearby donation center, almost every town has a place where you can donate clothing or toys to those who are unfortunate and do not have them.
3. Get creative with storage – When it comes to storage, you need to get creative. For an example, even though you will not have a lot of things, it is always good to have some sort of storage unit to store things that you do not need at the moment, under the bed storage containers are perfect for this. You can store your winter coats there during the spring and summer months, then pull them out when you do need them. Built in storage will also do wonders, if you need any inspiration, head on over to Pinterest or look at magazines for inspiration.
4. Evaluate your spending habits – When it comes to your budgeting, think about what you truly need and what you do not need. Do you really need that coffee from Starbucks, when you can just make a cup at home? Do you need to go out to eat every night of the week, when in fact you can make it a cooking adventure in the kitchen? Do you really need those boots right now, when you already have a dozen of pairs in your closet? If you honestly do not need those things, then don’t spend money on them. Save that money for something that is more fun and can do with other people.
5. Get rid of duplicates – If you have duplicates of anything ( clothes, toys, etc.), then get rid of them. For the most part, you do not need duplicates of anything, unless, and I truly mean unless, you have a set of twins, then that is a whole other ballpark. But duplicates of things that you have and are not using is just taking up space that could be used for something else.
6. Do not keep things because of guilt – Look we all get things from friends and relatives such as postcards that are just piling up in a drawer somewhere in the house, things like that is taking up a lot of space. We tend to hold onto things because we feel that if we get rid of it, they will think that we do not love them or the thing that they had given us. However there is a solution to this, all the while of getting rid of it. If you have post cards that are piling up from relatives and friends, and you thoroughly enjoy them, then digitize them. Scan them onto your computer. You can still keep them, just in a different format, and you can get rid of the hard copy. Great thing about digitizing things like that, you can always save it onto a flash drive, so you can look at it later.
7. Reorganize – Go room by room, taking your time with each one and organize everything. If you have a ton of shoes, place them in a rack that hangs onto the door. If your refrigerator needs some cleaning out, then this is the best time to do it. Go through each shelf and toss out the week old food, replace it with fresh produce; and organize it into bins, containers, etc. If you need some ideas, I would suggest going over to Pinterest, that site has everything imaginable.
8. Electronics – Now, for all of you tech geeks, this may seem a little daunting but I will try to make it less daunting. If you have any extra electronics (i.e. old mobile phones, laptops, monitors, scanners, etc), get rid of them. You can always take them to pawn shops, electronic stores to get repurposed, or give it to someone for parts. Having a lot of electronics is not a good thing anyways, minimizing your space with less electronics will help you from getting distracted constantly by it.
Minimizing your clutter will help you in the long run, you will be able to have a better energy around the house and have less things to worry about when cleaning. Don’t stress out about it, if you feel as though you need some help, then get your significant other, parent, kids, a friend, whoever to help you out. Turn on some music and have fun with it while you are going through things.