How to Ease Into Minimalism: 5 Tips for Decluttering Your Life
Is less truly more? Minimalists say so! Declutter your life and live simply through these easy tips
Starting out as a minimalist can be difficult, especially for people who have grown up with the idea that more is more. But what is minimalism? The answer can vary from person to person, but in general, minimalism is a way of life in which a person strips down to only what is necessary. It can have incredible benefits that include more financial security and a more mindful way of living. Some people also feel freer living a minimalist lifestyle. If you're interested in starting out, here are some quick and useful tips to try:
Dump the duplicates
It's not surprising to realise that we often have multiple copies of things we don't need. This could be an oversupply of notebooks, one too many DVDs, perhaps even the same pair of shoes that we've never even worn. If you find yourself with a double of anything, consider throwing it out, donating it to charity, selling it, or sharing it with a loved one. Not only are you benefitting yourself by decluttering your space, you're also giving someone else an item that could possibly help them or make them happy.
If you're not ready to throw it out or give it away just yet, consider storing these duplicate items in a box out of sight for a month or so. Return to it after a few weeks and once you've realised that you don't need these duplicates, it will be much, much easier to give them away.
Shop for quality
Some people may have this misconception that quantity trumps quality, but this is rarely the case. With minimalism, people are encouraged to shop with more intention and purchasing for quality over quantity is a great way to start.
When shopping for clothing, for example, consider the quality of the items rather than the number of pieces you can get for a certain amount of money. This encourages thoughtfulness and sustainability and is a great way to avoid fast fashion faux pas. When shopping for food, cut down on unnecessary snacking and focus on finding quality ingredients that can make your meals more delicious and filling. It's always a good idea to shop consciously, especially for the budding minimalist.
Give everything a place
All too often, we find ourselves throwing things into cabinets or storage bins and forgetting all about them. With minimalism, we try to reduce the number of items we have and live only with what we need.
Consider the most important items necessary in your day-to-day routine and give these things an assigned place at home. This will help solidify a minimalist rhythm for your new lifestyle; if some items don't seem to fit into your space, consider if these things are truly necessary for you.
Invest in experiences
Because material objects are often reduced, most minimalists find joy in focusing on experience. By cutting down on major, though perhaps unnecessary expenses (such as a new electronic gadget you may not necessarily need), people find that they have more room to invest in a weekend getaway, a concert ticket, or a vacation to that exotic place at the top of their bucket list.
Adjusting your mindset to what is, and what isn't, important in life can help you appreciate and understand your life and priorities better.
Evaluate and eliminate
Those starting out on their minimalist journey may find it useful to have regular self check-ups every few months. Evaluate all aspects of your life and determine what can be eliminated. Of course, this includes material possessions—what expenses can be done without? What "treats" are counterproductive to the minimalist lifestyle?—but this aspect also includes your personal life. Which relationships, practices, or habits are no longer serving you well? Consider letting them go.