About a year ago, I decided to declutter our home. I heard about minimalism on a documentary, and thought how neat it would be to live with the bare minimum, but how extreme and unrealistic for me and my family. That documentary planted the seed for me. I started looking around, and realizing how much clutter we have and how much stuff we have that goes unused and just causes stress. I should also add, that I am by no means an extreme minimalist, and am still at the beginning of my journey, but it already feels so freeing.
Minimalism is the idea of living with minimal material things. This allows us to spend more time doing the things we love rather than fussing around with things that cause us stress. I wanted to share a few things that I did to start my journey of decluttering, because as I have learned - getting started is the hardest step. Being in a place where material items hold so much value, it is so hard to look at an extreme minimalist, and visualize how to get there.
The first step for me, was to commit. Commit the time and energy it is going to take to make any changes that I want to make. Commit to the idea of living with less, and commit to the lifestyle. It's not just a matter of purging once and being done with it - minimalism is a lifestyle that you have to commit to everyday. Once you’ve made the commitment, then you’ll need to get to work!
Tip: Start with a shelf, a corner, a small space. Remove everything from that space, now only put what you need - things that you use daily - back into that space. What should be left, are things that you use sometimes, things that you have an emotional attachment to, and things that you don't need or want.
Frequent Use Items: These are things that you need to use everyday, the necessities and must have items. Keep these somewhere easily accessible.
Seasonal Use Items: Things like Christmas decorations, winter boots, summer hats, etc - items that you only use once a year - these can go in a storage bin and stored until the next season.
Sentimental Items: These are the hardest to part with, but keeping them in a storage bin out of the way doesn't help anybody either. Depending on what the item is, you can display it in your home so you can enjoy it daily. If you are like me and have a filing cabinet full of your kids artwork and school projects, look into a company like Artkive, that will turn their work into a book so you can view everything and display it in your home.
Everything else, will likely fall into a category of either Donate or Toss.
I hope these tips are helpful to you starting a clutter free life. Do you have any decluttering or minimalism tips? I'd love to hear about them in the comments below!