Hands up who loves cleaning and tidying their home! Anyone? No?
No I’m not a fan of cleaning either, but I also don’t like having a dirty, messy or untidy house and above all else I can’t stand things being cluttered. Unfortunately that means that a little cleaning and tidying is necessary sometimes.
That’s why I am a minimalist…
Well that and a few other reasons. But seriously, minimalism is a great way of life and once you try it you really won’t miss all that extra “stuff” you used to have. The aim is to rid yourself of the unnecessary and free up space for living (physical space and mental space).
Too much stuff makes the stuff you have harder to use! (image credit)
This post is about how to make your life a little simpler by doing away with things you don’t really need (often the things you think you do need!) Here’s how:
The First Step Is To Be Ruthless
Minimalism isn’t necessarily about clutter per se, it’s about not having what you don’t need and before you can do that you have to get rid of all of your junk. Essentially, you need to have the clear-out of a lifetime.
If you have been living in your home for a while you probably have an enormous amount of stuff to go through and the task can be quite daunting, so let’s start with something easy shall we? Clothes:
You can start slowly if you like, but being ruthless right from the start will save you a lot of time, so get out all of your clothes and start making piles:
- Stuff to keep
- Stuff to give away
- Stuff to throw away
In that first pile resolve to only put things that you truly honestly wear and that you can’t do without. Anything you haven’t worn for a while or that doesn’t fit any more can go straight in the other two piles.
The funny thing is, by getting rid of the clothes you don’t really wear you make choosing outfits easier and you quickly find that you actually get more out of the items you do have. It’s a big time saver!
Next Step: More De-Cluttering
After the clothes you can tackle other areas, start with the kitchen cupboards and get rid of all but your best items (how many mugs do you really need?). You can also sort out your junk draw and get rid of those old leads for items you no longer own.
As you get going and get into the right mind-set you’ll start to realize how much stuff you have actually been keeping “just in case” you need them, and in most cases you don’t. Okay, so occasionally you will end up needing something you threw out, but that doesn’t happen often enough that it’s worth keeping the clutter.
The hardest step for many people is getting rid of ornaments; but again try to be ruthless and only keep the ones you truly love. That way, you will actually appreciate the nicer ornaments all the more.
Some minimalists get rid of furniture all together, personally I think that’s a step too far, I appreciate having a comfortable sofa and a nice footstool and I like having a decent dressing table.
But now that you have de-cluttered your home you will find that a lot of your furniture is empty. You can condense what remains into your nicest items of furniture and get rid of the rest. Why not sell the furniture items you don’t need and invest in a new comfy chair for your living room?
Try to get rid of non-functional furniture items too:
- Swap your spare bed for a sofa bed (how often do you have guests really?)
- Swap your TV cabinet for a wall mounted stand (and tidy those cables)
- Get rid of furniture you don’t use (like that old rocking chair in the corner)
Enjoying The Benefits
One of the more tangible benefits of going minimalist is that your home is much easier to clean and tidy. It can’t get cluttered and messy because you don’t own enough stuff to clutter it with!
And in terms of cleaning: Vacuuming is easy because you have less furniture to go around. Dusting and polishing is easier when you have less ornaments too.
By freeing up space that was previously filled with stuff you don’t need you can re-utilise that space with stuff that adds value to your life. One great option is getting rid of your spare bed (as suggested above) and turning your spare room into a reading room or home cinema.
The best benefit of all though, is the mental space it clears up. Having less stuff really does lift a weight, try and see for yourself!
About The Author
This post was written by Loren. Loren is a house-proud minimalist who works for www.SofaSofa.co.uk, when she’s not as home she likes walking and enjoying nature.