The Minimalist Life Cleanse Stage 1 [De-Cluttering your Home]
The Theme here? Minimalism in the home.
Minimalism is such a broad word for all that it encompasses, the meaning stretching across many different elements of your life and approach to, well, almost everything.
Your lifestyle consists of numerous different habits, routines, behaviours, activities and passions. Some of these become stagnated or so repetitive you sometimes fail to notice that they aren't quite satisfying you any-more, or adding any substantial value to your daily life. That is where stage 1 of the cleanse comes in.
You are going to bring minimalism into your life, beginning with your home.
Why minimalism you ask? Why is everyone so nonsensically obsessed with this movement, what is so appealing about it!
Well, it's kinda like exercise, if you don't ever do it, you can't fully understand how beneficial it is and how good it makes people feel, so naturally you look at it with apathy and scepticism. And minimalism, well you can't understand the sense of clarity and peace that comes with the practice of de-cluttering your life until you yourself try it. And you learn quite quickly once you begin to de-clutter, how you never needed so many types of items, and so many different versions and options!
A good example for myself, is my nail polish collection...since taking off travelling I have had two nail polishes in my collection, a mint one, and a purple one. I am yet to finish either or get bored of them. And then I remember I have about 25 polishes back home, doing nothing, sat in a drawer. And it occurred to me, I definitely have no real need for that amount of choice when I can evidently be more than happy with less! I don't need 25 of anything. I can be happy with 2. And you can apply this same concept to your stuff.
Having lots of things, or lots of options, has a lot to do with our commercial capitalist world.
Of course we end up with numerous things in our homes because shopping is a regular pastime for many people that means we inevitably add things to our collections that we already have, and end up with something in 3 different styles or colours. We pander to fashions and changing likes/dislikes in the culture around us, and yet still keep the old, the things we no longer consider attractive.
That leads to a cluttered mixture of things within the home, some never seeing the light of day. The result can often be a state of indecision within ourselves; what do we even like any more!
We end up seeing our wants, as needs, and this has lead to not simply our cluttered home spaces but a whole host of other issues; overspending and debt, hoarding, being weighed down by too much choice, feeling inadequate in the midst of the commercial world and it's changing fashions vying for our attention and our money.
So, I want to change things. WHERE DO I BEGIN?
TAKE THESE 3 STEPS, AND BEGIN YOUR JOURNEY TO MINIMALISM, SIMPLICITY AND A MORE CONTENT LIFE.
- Start wherever you wish in the home. Choose a space to thoroughly declutter top to bottom.
- Put your merciless boots on, you are taking no prisoners.
- A good way to think is, would I want to save this item in a fire? And go from there...
- Throw away, donate, or sell, all the items that you haven't touched or looked at in the last 6 months (maybe excluding Christmas decorations!).
- Apply the need versus want rule: You might want 10 different styles of sunglasses but do you honestly need them?
- When looking at fashion items, ask yourself, if you saw this in a shop now, would you buy it today?
- You don't need duplicates of items, old worn out items, things you simply ignore the existence of in favour of just never having to actually put the effort into cleaning and tidying!
- Be even more merciless than you have ever been before when you might have tidied your home. You might be holding back a little but you must be committed and positive from the beginning of this journey.
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Now you have less stuff, it's time to organize what you do have.
- Do you need 3 chests of drawers or a giant wardrobe any more?
- Could you get by with less furniture, meaning you can add space to your home?
- If you want a less cluttered look to the home, a shelving unit with spaces for storage bins might be a neat alternative to storing items.
- If you want to create an eclectic aesthetic, consider a shelving unit which shows off your most treasured items, books, keepsakes and photographs. Seeing the things you find meaningful each day reminds you why you don't need to acquire more.
- Minimalism needn't mean no art on the walls or rugs on the floors, in fact I cant imagine anything more inspiring and simultaneously peaceful than having only a few beloved furnishings making the home individual and comfortable.
- Try to order your things in the way that you can recall where everything of daily need is, quite quickly. A sure sign that you have too much stuff is needing to rifle through all your storage in order to locate something.
- Seek inspiration for storage solutions on PINTEREST. This is my favourite source of clever ideas which not only work in a minimalist environment but generally make life easier!
You've done it! Well done!
- You have created a space that is not only calm and ordered, but you have also detached yourself further from the practice of acquiring material things.
- The less you have the less you need; this is a realization you may be experiencing having completed this process.
- Do you feel lighter? Do you feel like it would be easier now to enjoy your space, be creative, or social within it, and if you want to, pack it all up and go somewhere new?
- Enjoy it. Enjoy knowing you are giving yourself and your treasures, the space and the atmosphere to be happy and content.
- Take interest in all those hobbies or interests that might have fell by the wayside in the past. You have far less distractions to split your attention and efforts in your new streamlined space.
- No need to spend half your life tidying! There's hardly anything left to tidy!
- Find pleasure in your new space. Revel in it. Love the things you have kept and use them well.
By the way, before you leave, I recently released my book, Minimalism: Cleanse Your Life, Become A Calmer Person, available NOW! It's a more in-depth guide to de-cluttering your home, organizing your life, refining your spending habits and simplifying your relationship with your technology:
Thanks for reading!
Hannah here, one half of NomaderHowFar. I love reading, the beach, proper fish and chips, and a good cup of tea. But I mostly like to chat about minimalism, simplifying your life, the beauty of travel and sometimes I get a bit deep. Get to know us here!