Decluttering and Minimalism have become somewhat of a movement. Why?
Most of us are tired of all the excess! Take one look into the average American's home and it is likely filled with stuff, much of which isn't even needed. I've come to the conclusion most of the excess is sitting in my house!
Join me today as I provide you with some helpful tips to simplify your life, help you declutter, and potentially start living with the mindset of minimalism.
Decluttering and Minimalism. What's the difference?
Decluttering is simply the process of getting rid of things and unwanted stuff. Minimalism is more of a lifestyle, living with less.
I recently spent a day cleaning out my kids' closets. They are typically responsible for putting away their clothing, so I rarely step inside their closets. But, with the changing of seasons, I wanted to get a better inventory of what items they have outgrown. All of this, so I could make a list of MORE stuff to buy.
Wow! As I went through stack after stack, pile after pile, I was shocked by the accumulated clutter. As much as I would like to blame someone else, it's mainly my fault. I am the primary consumer in our home.
I've written several posts about frugal living and generally speaking, I am frugal. But if I'm being honest, sometimes I see a "good deal" and whether I need it or not, I buy it.
Can you relate?
Sometimes the only motivation for a purchase is because it's a great price. WHY?! We do not need all the things.
If this is something that resonates with you, read on!
5 Tips to Simplify Your Life
This can be daunting. But, I think the reward is worth the effort. Start small, one space at a time. Closets are a great starting point.
What do you need? What have you not worn in ages? If you don't need it, get rid of it.
If the items are still in good condition, put together a clothes donation pile. Freecycle and other local organizations would love good quality clothing. Don't forget to get a donation receipt for tax time. If you need a charitable tax donation worksheet printable for this, I've got you covered here!
Many of you have heard of the Kon Mari Method. She has an interesting approach to getting rid of all of the unnecessary junk in our lives. If it doesn't bring us joy, we are to get rid of it!
A quick side story - A couple of years ago when the Kon Mari book was really popular, a good friend of mine and I were on a purging kick. My friend's husband was convinced he would be kicked to the curb if he didn't bring joy into my friend's life. Thankfully, she kept him around!
Update: Marie Kondo has a new Netflix series "Tidying Up with Marie Kondo". I'll be the first to admit I've done a little binge watching!
Other areas of the home to start a declutter:
- Kitchen: drawers, pantry, dishes, refrigerator
- Bedroom: nightstand, shelves, books
- Bathroom: drawers, items in the shower, old towels / washcloths
- Living Room: book case, table tops, stacks of magazines, drawers
- Laundry Room: purge unnecessary cleaning supplies, drawers, cabinets
You get the idea! As I mentioned, it can be overwhelming. Start with a small area and start purging. It feels good! Plus, it is so helpful to get a better idea of items you do not really use or need to avoid future purchases.
This brings me to the next item...
2. Buy only What is Necessary / Needed:
After you have spent time purging, you will get a much better idea of items your family actually uses. Make a plan to only buy what you need. It sounds simple enough, but I catch myself throwing things in my cart that "look fun". Or, "wow, that is really cheap!'.
Try vowing to only buy what you know you will use.
Not only is this being a more responsible consumer, but it will save you money!
3. Focus on Experiences verses Things:
Our family is trying to make a shift to enjoying life rather than buying things.
A friend of mine chose LIVE for her one word for the year. I love that! Life is too short to focus on accumulating stuff. The experiences with people we care about is what will stay with us for a life time!
Ideas for family experiences:
- Picnics in your own backyard
- Hiking trails near your home
- Biking together as a family
- Look at Trip Advisor for things to do locally. I find SO many interesting things this way!
- Geocaching - It's crazy how many locations you can find near you!
- Volunteer together
- Go camping
- Cook together
This is just a start. Do you have any other ideas? Leave a comment below and share!
4. Keep Surfaces in Your Home Clean / Clear of Clutter:
When we are surrounded by a cluttered space, it's hard to focus. With clean counters, rooms, and living spaces, it is so much easier to put our attention where it should be.
A clean space keeps my mind decluttered. Do you agree?
5. Simplify Your Schedule:
I get it. Life is busy.
We have a pre-teen and teenager in our home and we have sports and other activities that fill up many of our days.
One thing I've had to learn to do is say no. If you are a people pleaser, this is not easy. But, if something doesn't make sense for you and your family, say no and accept it.
Although this is not easy for us people pleasers, I promise this step alone will help to simplify your life.
There you have it! Decluttering and Minimalism.
I hope you feel better already, I know I do. Let's get started decluttering our lives and ultimately, living with less.
Sarah from Pretty Simple Ideas has some wonderful inspiration on going green: 8 Things I No Longer Buy Since Going Green!
Join me in decluttering all the things plus a little inspiration!
- 5 Week Organizing Challenge for Your Entire Home
- Declutter Your Desk and Mind to be More Productive
- Set Goals for the Year, Quarter, Month, and Week