Decluttering your house like a minimalist may be a little intimidating. But don’t be scared. It doesn’t mean getting rid of everything you own. A minimalist lifestyle looks a little different for every single person out there, but the main idea is still the same: live with less. Living like a minimalist means making good decisions about what you keep AND learning to not bring more stuff in after you declutter. That is probably the hard part. It is really tempting to fill up empty spaces. You must continue to make choices about what you will allow to enter your home.
The most important thing you should do is realize that the decluttering process is not easy, and for most of us, not fast. And that is totally okay. Because believe it or not, once you get the hang of it, you will probably want to start again and pare down some more. Decluttering is a skill. You will get better at it as you go.
You just have to start the process.
Here is how to declutter your house like a minimalist:
Survey Each Room – Take It One Room at a Time
Whether you have a lot to declutter or a little to declutter, you have to take it one room at a time. If you look at your house as a whole and try to declutter it, you won’t get much done. You have to survey each room and then take it one room at a time. Once you see how much success you’ve had in one room, it will motivate you to continue, until you finish. It’s truly amazing how much clutter you can collect over the years without even trying.
If one room seems too daunting, break it down even more. Start with a corner, a dresser or even just one drawer. If you are the type to get easily over-whelmed and frustrated, start really, really small. Remember, it took you a long time to accumulate this stuff, it is going to take time to get rid of it too. Just don’t quit. Make a commitment to keep going, no matter how slow.
Focus on the Closets in Your Home
While you may not have a lot of clutter in the main living space of your home, you may one of those people that loves to shove things out of sight like me. It’s time to check out those closets. Decluttering like a minimalist means it’s time to turn your focus to all the unnecessary clothing, shoes, and odds and ends that you have. The closets of your home tell an untold story of clutter. Take the time to really focus on what you are ready to get rid of! If you are truly on a minimalist journey, you will be ready to part with a lot of your belongings.
Honestly, you more than likely wear 20% of your clothes, 80% of the time. Think about that for a minute. That means you could throw out almost 4/5’s of your wardrobe and hardly notice at all! Your closets are a huge opportunity to purge like a minimalist. Chances are that if you do own too many clothes, you have trouble creating outfits. You may want to look into creating a capsule wardrobe. You will learn how to put things together like a pro.
Check out this post: A Beginner’s Guide To Decluttering Your Closet
Don’t Be A Storage Locker For Other People’s Stuff
When it comes to decluttering your home, there is one part that needs addressing. It is bad enough that we can’t handle our own clutter but why do we allow of kids to keep their stuff in our homes when they no longer live with us too. School books, sporting equipment, collections. Unless you are getting paid to store their things, it is time to put your foot down and insist they deal with their things or you will. Tell them they have 30 days to pick up or that the things will be donated or go to the dump.
Trust me with this one from personal experience. Most of that stuff you are storing for your children, they don’t really want. They don’t want to clutter up their own homes! But if you are willing to hold on to their things, they are perfectly okay with that. Once you give them the ultimatum, it is amazing how quickly they can make decisions about the things they probably haven’t seen in years. Be prepared to be the one to dispose of their things. And please, don’t get sentimental about it. If they don’t want their yearbooks and school pictures, why would you keep them. What do you think will happen to that stuff when you are gone? You are just delaying the inevitable. Harsh reality but true nonetheless.
Remove Purged Items Out of Your Home Immediately
After you decide what you want to get rid of, it’s important to get those items out of your home. The longer you hold onto them, the less likely you are to really get rid of them. I love the meme about driving around for 3 weeks with bags of donations in your trunk. That totally used to be me.
But until that stuff actually leaves your possession, the decluttering process isn’t done. Actually getting rid of the stuff is the most important step don’t you think? Make it happen. Get those items out of your home as soon as possible. Donate them, take them to the dump, or recycle them, whatever motivates you – do that! And be realistic about things you think you can sell. Sometimes it just isn’t worth the hassle. Passing it on to someone else who could use it or donating the item to a charity feels just as good as a few bucks in your pocket.
Related post: 7 Eco Friendly Recycling Tips For Decluttering
Replace, Don’t Add
Once you have decluttered your home, you have to be able to control what comes in after. When you are bringing new things in, get into the habit of getting rid of something. Whether it is a brand new tv or new artwork, remove the old from your home immediately. Remember why you brought the new thing in: to replace something you already have. Keeping old stuff, like that tv or art, just encourages you to hoard. You don’t need a gallery full of old wall art in your basement. There is a reason why you bought something new. You no longer seen value in the old. If you don’t like it now, you won’t ten years from now either.
Decluttering your house like a minimalist truly comes down to being ready for this long journey of decision making about what you really need as opposed to what you want or may need at some factitious time in the future. Once you make the choice to live with less, you will be amazed how much more room you have in your life for the things that are truly important, like family and experiences. Free yourself of stuff like a minimalist and your life will be full in a whole new way.