Everyone glances through the glossy pictures of the interior design magazines and wishes they had a bedroom like the ones in the images. For some of us, it can seem like a monumental task to even think about getting our home looking even slightly similar. We get envious of the vast amount of space these rooms have when we should be focusing on the lack of clutter they have. There are many benefits to being a minimalist. Still, it can be a struggle to know how to start living a minimalist lifestyle, in this post, we will talk you through some quick tips to help you get the minimalist decluttering bug!
What is a minimalist?
Being a minimalist may mean different things to different people. To me, minimalism means living with only the things you need and not keeping :
- Six pairs of nail clippers.
- Thousands of paper clips
- Three spatulas
- Six jugs
- Four mascaras
- Jeans that are too small
- Three rolls of sticky tape
- Three hammers
- Four broken phones
- Five pairs of unworn spectacles
- 300 books
The space in which we live should be for the person we are becoming now, not for the person we were in the past.Marie Kondo the life changing magic of tidying up
What is the difference between decluttering and minimalism?
You’ve read the book about de-cluttering and followed the minimalist decluttering tips to the letter, but your house keeps getting cluttered again, and you can’t understand why right?
It’s a common belief that people expect to do a huge minimalist decluttering session without really thinking about what happens afterwards, or putting steps into place to change their lifestyle and habits.
To read about how you can give more of the things that matter to people in need, read this post!
How to become minimalist
If you’re wondering how to start living a minimalist lifestyle, you should perhaps think about what minimalism means to you.
- What is your goal?
- Is your goal to reduce the number of items you own?
- Is it to be able to see and treasure the items you love?
- Is your goal to be able to live a simple life and spend more time with your kids?
- Is it to live in a peaceful environment, or is it a mix of all of the above?
Becoming a minimalist is about not buying or keeping stuff you don’t need or use, it’s about getting rid of the extra stuff and not buying anymore!
Let’s be known for the lives we live, not the things we can buy.Joshua Becker clutter free with kids
Minimalist lifestyle tips.
- Do you keep extra wrapping paper and sticky tape just in case you’ve got thousands of presents to wrap?
- Do you keep six pairs of nail clippers just in case you want to cut the toenails of all the people in the village at the same time?
- Do you keep three spatulas just in case the other two break?
See how crazy it all sounds when we put it like that?
My favorite Bloggers The Minimalists, talk about how you can replace most things within a few hours for less than a few quid in an emergency, so you don’t need to keep things just in case!
I can vouch for this, as I’ve often had to ask one of the neighbors to open a can of beans for me when my can opener has broken, so we can be resourceful in an emergency if we have to!
How to start a minimalist decluttering session
Steps to decluttering a home
- Start with a particular group of items.
We will use candles as an example in this case. Search through the entire house and find every single candle you own .
- Put them all together in a pile.
Group them all in one spot. It’s not until you’ve gathered every single one you own into one place, that you can see the extent of how much you are hanging onto something just in case you need it.
It’s also useful to see how much stuff you buy in bulk and hoard, such as cleaning products and beauty products.
When you see your hoard all in one place, you’ll start to wonder why you’ve got so much stuff.
- Discard, donate, minimalise.
Get rid of any items you do not use, like or need. Get rid of any duplicates too.
- Find a permanent home for the items you decide to keep.
Time spent finding a place for everything will ensure that all the members of the family know where to find them and where to return them to, this leads to less mess on surfaces and countertops. Knowing where everything lives will help to reduce the number of duplicate items you purchase when you can’t find stuff!
- Keep only the items that you use or love, nothing else!
Do not be tempted to keep just in case items or unwanted gifts. Do not feel guilty about getting rid of stuff other people have gifted to you. They’ll never know you’ve got rid of it and now it’s yours to do whatever you choose to do with it. Someone somewhere will love your brand new, unused, unwanted gift!
- Stop buying more stuff.
The key to successful minimalism decluttering is to stop bringing more stuff into your home. Stop buying and try to have a no-spend month!
- Try not to keep things just in case you need them.
You’ve never needed them yet and probably won’t any time soon!
- Refuse to take in anyone else’s unwanted items.
Say a big fat no to other peoples stuff, especially kids clothes and toys.
Once people think you will take all their old clutter, you’ll soon find that they offload onto you at an alarming rate and it soon gets out of control! For tips on how to declutter the kid’s rooms click here.
- Don’t fall for a bargain!
Be extra careful you’re not just buying things you don’t need because they’re on sale or they seem like a bargain! It’s only a bargain if you specifically went out shopping for it and found it reduced!Remember that sales are full of things that no-one else wanted to buy! That gaudy jumper you just picked up out of the bargain bin will be going to the charity shop unworn in a year!
- Keep up the minimalist decluttering.
Once you have got the minimalist
declutterbug, you should try to declutter at least one item per day. It’s pretty easy to find at least one item to discard in the plethora of stuff we have in our homes, even if it’s just an empty shampoo bottle!
- Don’t go mad at Christmas and birthdays.
It’s easy to succumb to consumer pressure and to start buying unnecessary gifts. Try to think of
clutter-free gifts to give such as agift card to a favourite activity, a yearly pass to the cinema or a trip to see a favourite theatre show or musical.
If your spouse is a clutter bug and you need to help them get the minimalist decluttering bug, read this post!
Finding the motivation to start a big minimalist decluttering session can be hard, especially when you are overwhelmed by a messy house.If you need extra motivation to declutter your messy home click, here!
inimalist decluttering methods to try.
The box method: This is an extreme way to start minimalism and to start to declutter your life. The principal is that you put everything away in a box and over time, you only remove things from the box that you use.
I haven’t tried this method, but I think it sounds like a great way to weed out the items you never use!
An easy way to start to declutter with this method would be to try it with your kitchen gadgets and drawers first.
So, pack up all your utensils and gadgets in a box and put it in the garage or basement. Every time you genuinely need an item, remove it from the box. After six months anything left unused in the box gets donated.
The Minimalist Game: The Minimalists initially invented the Mins Game, and it is now an Instagram phenomenon. It’s an uncomplicated, easy to follow minimalist approach.
The rules are quite simple:
- On the first day of the month, you discard one thing,
- On the second day of the month, you get rid of two things
- On the third day of the month, you throw away or donate three things
And so forth and so on. There are no strict rules about what you can get rid of; it is up to you what you get rid of each day!
As the month progresses, the number of items you need to declutter increases.
This is one of the best ways to declutter if you have lots of stuff to simplify. It is also a great way to continue minimalism after decluttering.
The Kon Mari declutter method: This extreme minimalism method has changed the way I view my possessions and changed the way I shop forever.
It is quite an extreme decluttering method but one, according to the founder Marie Kondo, which has a low failure rate.
The Kon Mari declutter method involves working through the many categories in your home and decluttering anything which doesn’t spark joy. Having categories to work through certainly made it easier for me to declutter.
Marie Kondo also touches upon the many complex reasons we hang onto stuff and gives us reasons why we should change our habits.
You are encouraged to work through the Konmari declutter categories at your speed. Kondo advises you to work through the categories in the order they are presented in the book.
Clothes are the first category, as this is the easiest one, and you finish with all your sentimental things. The theory behind this minimalist decluttering checklist is that by the time you have worked through all the other more straightforward categories, you will find it easier to declutter your sentimental items and minimize your life.
In my opinion, this is the best way to declutter if you like to be methodical and don’t want to rebound into old habits.
Frequently asked questions
We don’t need any products to be minimalist. There are no unique minimalism clothes, no select furniture, the whole point of being a minimalist is to make do with what you have and to stop buying more stuff, which is much better for the environment and reduces waste. After a minimalist decluttering session, you should be looking to reduce the number of unnecessary items you bring into your home.
If you suffer from depression, it is wise first to seek help from your doctor before you start a minimalist decluttering session. Being among a vast amount of clutter can make us feel overwhelmed, and it can be challenging to stay on top of things. However, it is vital to seek help and practice some self-care before making any big decisions about minimalist living.
I find that having a minimalist wardrobe helps with clothing clutter.
Creating a daily uniform where everything is cohesive is the key.
It makes getting dressed easier in the mornings and creating stylish outfits a breeze.
for more information on creating the perfect capsule wardrobe without spending a fortune read this post.
If you need an ideal stay at home mum capsule wardrobe read this post
Minimalism and decluttering are similar but not the same. It’s fairly easy to define decluttering; when getting rid of stuff, minimalist people are doing it as a way of life rather than a quick fix to reduce clutter.
Some professionals can help you declutter your stuff. If you think you may have hoarding tendencies, it is always better to seek help from someone who specializes in hoarding before you decide to get someone to do any extreme decluttering for
If you feel you do not suffer from hoarding tendencies but are instead overwhelmed by mess and clutter, then a professional organizer can help you with that. If you’re just wondering where to start decluttering your messy house and need a bit of help, try reading this post.
1. Simplify your calendar and make yourself un-busy. Start saying no to the things you don’t enjoy doing.
2. Start living with less stuff and decluttering. Start with just one thing like the junk drawer
3. Turn off notifications on your phone
4. Stop buying more stuff
5. Start a capsule wardrobe
6. Search on Pinterest for some organizing ideas so you can quickly put away the things you decide to keep.
7. Watch some minimalist decluttering Youtube videos for inspiration motivation.
8. Keep photos of spaces you have decluttered so you don’t slip back to your old ways.
Joshua Fields Millburn, from The Minimalists, has a simple answer to this, he says if you can replace it within 20 minutes and for less than $20 then get rid of it!
Knowing how to declutter and live minimally can seem overwhelming, decluttering your digital life is a great place to start, read my post here for some fabulous tips on how to start a digital detox and unplug from social media!
Try reading this post which explains how to start the decluttering process and gives you some fabulous declutter help.
I’ve written a post about the connection between mental health and visual clutter you can read it here.
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