I’ve walked through my sister’s house plenty of times, and every time I think the same thing, “where on earth is all her stuff?” My head begins to hurt as I think of all of the ‘stuff’ and clutter I have in my home; the things I love to display, the toys, the bits and pieces and where on earth I’d put them if I were to follow her minimalist living tips.
I have difficulty parting with things. I’m one of those people who tell myself that I should keep it because I’ll need it again. I also live in a relatively small house with two young children, and so it’s hard to keep things looking clutter free.
To me, becoming minimalist is not just a decluttering activity, it’s something I want to do for my health. Because I work from home, the space around me that I look at 24/7, has a significant impact on how I feel.
I’d love to give a minimalist lifestyle a shot, but I need help to do it which is why I’ve done some research AND asked a professional organiser to share their tips on moving towards a minimalist lifestyle.
Minimalist living tips to start your minimalist lifestyle
Break the impulse buying habit
Jo Carmichael, a Professional Organiser from All Sorted Out, suggests that a minimalist lifestyle has a lot to do with shopping. If you are partial to regular shopping stints, she says creating a minimalist lifestyle will mean you will have to shop less or only shop for essentials. Jo’s recommendation is to take a shopping list, so you’re not distracted with impulse buys. Looks like no more shopping for Kmart Home Decor for me.
Ditch the duplicates
I’m guilty of being a coffee cup hoarder. I’m the only coffee and tea drinker in the house, yet I own something like 15+ coffee cups. I know we also have way too many towels and sheets, I cannot stuff any more into my linen cupboard. This is a prime example of how not to be minimalist. If you have to buy a second of something, there’s usually a reason, so ditch the original item that you replace. I heard a good rule for towels and sheets once – one on, one off. So, one set of sheets on the bed, and only one set in the linen cupboard.
Say no to paper
I’m your typical old-school note taker, but I’ve come to realise that I’m not doing the environment any good nor am I helping the clutter situation in my office. With the remarkable number of apps available today to take notes, take photographs of receipts and the ability to email invoices; paper should be redundant.
Helpful hint: contact your bank, council, telephone provider etc. and ask them to email your invoices instead of posting it.
Declutter your home
Decluttering is an absolute essential for moving towards living a minimalist lifestyle. If you’re like me and haven’t been the decluttering or minimalist type, it can be tough to know where to start, how to do it and how to let go.
A professional organiser can help you deal with all of these roadblocks and make it doable, or there are heaps of great blog posts to help you along like how to declutter your bathroom, decluttering tips from a professional organiser or tidying up tips for the overwhelmed!
Minimise your wardrobe
Again, you cannot count on me for a minimal wardrobe at the moment. I have what I like to call a ‘floordrobe’. Firstly, my wardrobe is tiny, and secondly, I just chuck it in there. I know for a fact I need a massive wardrobe clean out, particularly getting rid of the clothes I have been saying I’ll fit back into after having my daughter in 2016. My attempt to move from ‘floordrobe to wardrobe has been a work in progress.
Jo says that the first step to dealing with a wardrobe is to get out all of your clothes and place them in a large pile. Hold the garments up, one at a time, and ask yourself, “Does this make me feel great? Do I love it and wear it?” If the answer is no, sell it on Gumtree or donate it.
If you find you’re still left with heaps of clothes that you love and wear, ask yourself, “Have I worn this is the past six months or year?” If the answer is no, get rid of it.
Ditch the books
I have a bit of a thing for books and love the look of a full bookshelf and stacks of books, but the problem is, I have more than what will fit in my bookshelf and I simply can’t (and won’t) read all of them. Jo suggests that 100 books per adult per household is ample. I am going to consider donating many of them and utilising the library instead.
Jo makes an excellent point that a bedroom is where we go to relax and recharge and that it should be minimal and tranquil. A bedroom like mine that often has things like washing baskets and ironing board in it is far from relaxation inducing.
Jo suggests removing all this clutter and creating a relaxing environment with soft lighting and side lamps, soft rugs or comfy cushions and fresh linen on your bed.
When it comes to creating a tranquil bedroom, Pillow Talk has some great pieces. You can shop them here.
Kids toys are the bain of my household, they are everywhere, and I know, we have way too many. My goal is to go through every toy and decide whether or not to donate it, sell it or bin it. Of course, I’m going to have to be quite clever about it; I can’t be found out by my clever kiddies.
I’ll ask myself a few questions when I do it like, have they played with the toy in the last month? Does it have any sentimental value? Does it still work? Is it still age appropriate? Does the toy inspire creativity or imagination? This will be a task while the kids are at school.
As someone who is considering the move to minimalist living, I would be lying if I said it wasn’t overwhelming. I think the key to implementing these minimalist living tips and decluttering my home is to do it slowly. Doing something this significant at a slow pace will feel more achievable.
Do you practice minimalist living?
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