We have too much stuff. Our homes are filled with it. Not only are we spending our money on things we don’t’ really need, but we’re creating more unnecessary waste, most of which can’t be recycled.
Minimalism is becoming more popular every day. There are many reasons people are adopting a minimalist lifestyle, whether it is for environmental, financial, or even psychological reasons. Videos showing the minimalist lifestyle have millions of views on YouTube.
Some have taken to minimalism in an extreme way, which is why many people don’t consider it as a new way of living. But it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. You can make still make a difference in your life and the environment with just a few changes that work for you and your lifestyle.
1Start With The Easiest Room
The whole move to minimalist living can seem daunting, and well, hard work. Most of us don’t have the time to do the entire house all in one go, so we never really get started.
Break everything down into bite-sized pieces. Start in the least cluttered room of the house, whether that’s a closet or spare room. Then, move on to the next.
Before you know it, you’ll be tackling the kitchen or even that garage you haven’t seen the other side of in years to come.
2Declutter, And Then Declutter Some More
A good clear-out paves the way for your new, uncluttered way of living. If you’re anything like most people, your home is full of paperwork, clothes, books, extra bedding, half-used toiletries, and Tupperware.
If you’ve ever going to achieve those well-organized, clear tables and counter tops, then you’re going to need to be ruthless.
This is where a lot of people end their quest for an uncluttered life. The space created is soon filled back up again with more stuff.
When you’re sorting through your items, take the time to really think about what you need. For instance, do you have three almost identical pairs of shoes or five kinds of shampoo in the bathroom?
3Realize That It Affects Your Mental And Physical Health
People who follow an organised, minimalist lifestyle can realise so many benefits from it. A reduction in stress and anxiety and increased levels of productivity and contentment. What could be better than that?
4Create A Capsule Wardrobe
Did you know that most people wear only 20% of the items in their closet? For some reason, we keep clothes that don’t fit us (in the hopes of one day they will), clothes that don’t suit us and we’ll probably never wear.
Building a capsule wardrobe of good quality, well-fitting, coordinating items can provide you with many outfit options, rather than wading through rack fulls of clothes.
Fast fashion should be avoided wherever possible. It tends not to last and is often supplied from areas with poor labor laws.
5Operate A One In, One Out System
Once you have your capsule wardrobe in place, you will need to add items to it on occasion, especially season changes such as coats, jumper and boots etc. This is fine, but when buying other items, operate a one in on out policy to prevent your closets from bursting at the seams in no time.
6It’s All About The Storage
Even when you’ve reduced the number of items in your home, you need to put it somewhere. Use draw organizers, storage baskets, and other clever ways to keep everything organized and out of the way.
7Give Your Color Scheme An Update
Minimalist homes often embrace a clean and neutral colour palette. It gives the illusion of space and cleanness.
8Reuse And Upcycled Items
When you’re going to throw something away, ask yourself if it can be used again. Clothes, jewelry, and books can all be sold, donated, or recycled in some other way. If you’re throwing away furniture, why not upcycle it instead and put it to another use.
9Create A Process To Keep On Top Of Things
Every home has bottlenecks of clutter. Often it is things like mail, magazines and packaging that pile up and become unsightly. Rather than waiting for things to reach critical mass, create a system for dealing with it as you go. Place a waste bin in the hallway, so that you can dispose of junk mail and letters as they arrive.
Don’t let trash or recycling pile up around the house, dispose of it as you go or weekly at the most.
10Scan In Paperwork
There are a few documents that we need actual physical copies of these days. Shred old bank statements and other documentation and for those things you do need a record of, scan them in with your mobile phone and keep them on a secure drive or cloud storage.
It’s amazing the pace you free up by throwing out all of the paperwork you’ve accumulated over the years.
11Choose Products With Less Packaging
Everything we buy seems to be wrapped in so much packaging.
Cosmetics often come in boxes, wrapped in plastic. The fruit is placed in plastic boxes and wrapped in cellophane. Some product manufacturers are starting to take steps to reduce the amount of packaging or use recycled products.
Others have gone even further and started producing new products such as shampoo bars or toothbrushes made of shampoo. These use next to no plastic packaging and are made from sustainable materials.
12Practice Mindful Buying
Before you buy anything, ask yourself whether you really need it. How often have you wandered through a supermarket or department store and just started putting things in your shopping basket without really noticing? You need to start being mindful about what you buy.
Minimalism is a scale. Some people practice it intensely and it is fundamental to their way of life. That’s why some are reluctant to try it because they see it as an all or nothing approach. It doesn’t have to be. You can start rather conservatively and adopt minimalist behaviors that fit in with their lifestyle.