Judging by the international popularity of decluttering guru Marie Kondo over the last couple of years, it’s not too far off to say that people are now more drawn to living minimally. Even when it comes to home design, homeowners and designers have been largely eschewing the gaudy, maximal styles popular from decades past. It makes sense, too, since the minimalist lifestyle does relieve one of the burdens of clutter and having too many things. Of course, it’s not an easy path to get on so if you’re looking on tips on how to declutter and live minimally, this article can be a great start.
Why does the minimalist lifestyle make sense?
Philosophically, you’ll be freeing yourself from the trappings of consumerism. This doesn’t mean that you can’t own things, but instead of accumulating piles of items, you’ll only keep objects that you need or truly find value in. If you’re living minimally, that broken food processor won’t take up space on your cabinets in the off-chance that you’re able to have it repaired (even if you’ve been saying that for a decade now).
Having too many things can be overwhelming and stressful at times and downsizing your lifestyle frees you from the worries tied with consumer culture.
So, what are some tips on decluttering your home?
Know your values and priorities
There’s a level of commitment involved in switching to a minimalist lifestyle. You really must be intentional or purposeful if you want to do this because you’ll have to change behaviours and part with a number of belongings.
In order to simplify your life, you’ll need to be objective when judging the things you own – what are your criteria for the things that you’re keeping? Do you still have space for these items?
Reflect on why you’re doing this in the first place. Are you doing it to save money? Maybe you’re starting to feel beholden to things instead of enjoying other things in life like family and friends? Whatever your reasons may be, keeping them mind all the time will help you along this journey. Living minimally isn’t just about getting rid of stuff, but to create a more meaningful, intentional life with what you surround yourself with.
Constantly take stock of the things you’re buying or taking home
Shoppipng for new items is fun, but this can mean bringing more stuff you don’t need home.
Before you swipe your card, think twice or thrice. You probably don’t need it, you might already have it, or maybe there are some things you can take out of the house first before adding something in. Developing habits where you’re more aware of what you own can help you simplify your life.
Bonus Tip: You probably don’t need all the kitchen unitasker items you’ve got your eye on if your storage isn’t so big. Survey your space and if you can’t imagine where you’d put something, you should probably put off that purchase.
Take your time with it
Okay, you’re convinced that you want to live the minimalist lifestyle and you’re making some changes, but it doesn’t feel like it’s enough. Don’t stress out too much because you’re likely trying to adjust behaviour and thinking that you’ve been accustomed to for most of your life. Do it room by room. Focus on the simplest room first, and then you’ll find a groove that will help you declutter the other ones.
And start with the big picture: the floor, shelves, furniture, and the like, before homing in on the more specific, hidden areas like drawers and closets. It’s a good strategy to survey your progress and avoid being overwhelmed as though nothing is happening.
RELATED: Feng shui basics for your home
Sell or donate items you’re already done with
Everyone has a few (or a lot) of things at home, waiting for 1/1,000,000,000th chance that they’re ever going to be used again. Instead of having these gather dust, why not consider selling or giving away the items that are still in decent shape? If you think you can still get some money for your items, you can stage a garage sale (mind COVID-19 restrictions in your area) or post on eBay. But if you’d rather give them away to those who might need them, there are organisations like Friends with Dignity, St Vincent De Paul Society, and the many listed in Charity Bins AU who can connect your items to someone who can use them.
Now that you’ve decided what’s going, make sure you’re always decluttering and tidying up
One of the biggest speedbumps on the road to living minimally is making sure your house stays that way. It really involves forming habits and controlling impulses (like if you like to shop far too frequently). And besides, when a house is being lived in, things will get moved around or get messed up inevitably. Developing a cleaning schedule that is based on what spaces need clean-up and when is a good way to ensure that messes are kept at a minimum.
Oh. And purge your home of items you don’t need regularly. Life pretty much assures us that “objects” will find their way into the house every so often, so you should always be on top of that.
We hope our minimalist lifestyle tips can give you the confidence to start living minimally and meaningfully. We wish you luck on your endeavour!
Did you know that living simply also makes putting your house on the market easier?
One of the cardinal rules of staging your house for potential buyers is to ensure that it’s free of clutter and virtually depersonalised. A minimalist lifestyle means you’re practically there, give or take a perhaps a few framed family photos you can hide during inspections.
Want to know what else you’ll need to make your property more presentable to house hunters? Consult our real estate agents at Upside and we’ll give you the nitty-gritty – we have years of experience and we’re always attuned to the real estate market in communities all over Australia.
Click below to book your free home appraisal today.