Save money, reduce waste, and maximize your time when you only keep the things that matter most to you. Here’s how to live with only the things we truly need and love. Minimalism can help you reach the goals you have for the other parts of your life.
How much time do we spend every day simply dealing with our stuff? Cleaning stuff, buying stuff, trashing stuff, moving stuff, searching for stuff, stuff takes time!
When you start to really focus on what matters most to you, chances are you don’t need a lot of the stuff you have hanging around. Minimalism is living with only the things you need and love. Everything else can go, which is incredibly freeing!
Everybody’s life is different, which means everybody needs different stuff. What is minimalist to one person may feel overwhelming to another. What is just right for me may feel spartan to you.
How To Get Started With Minimalism
What’s the best way to get started with minimalism? Some people like to jump right in and start decluttering. I love to declutter, but if you don’t take some time to think things through you’ll end up bringing more items into your life and just having to declutter again.
I like to evaluate my life. How do I spend my time each day? What items do I use daily? Weekly? Monthly? Yearly? What do I WISH I was doing that I’m not? How can I make room to add the things I’d like to?
Take clothes for example. Once you know which clothes you actually wear it becomes easier to let go of the ones you don’t. Or kitchen supplies. If you never make waffles, why do you need a waffle iron? If you make waffles for dinner regularly like we do it’s definitely important to keep!
How to Declutter
There are many tips and tricks for helping you realize what you are using. A great, easy one is to turn all your clothes hangers backwards, then turn them forward after wearing each item. After an allotted amount of time, simply see which ones have been turned around to see what you actually wear.
The Minimalists have instructions on what’s called a packing party. Pack everything in boxes as if you are moving. When you need an item, retrieve it from the box and put it away.
I like to ask myself, if I was moving next week, would I take this with me? Often the answer is no. I also have a box or bag sitting in my laundry room. I’ll add items to give away into it as I go throughout my week. Once it’s full I double check it’s contents with my husband and then we drop it off at the thrift store.
The first time you sort through your things it may be easy to find excess items you never use. But don’t stop there. Re-vist places you’ve decluttered in the past. You may surprise yourself several months down the road with what you thought you needed but never actually used!
Just like urban homesteading, minimalism is flexible. It’s here to fit YOUR needs. Here are some ideas on how I’ve made minimalism work in our family of eight.
Your family is different, and that’s okay, but hopefully some of what I share will help inspire you to pare down the non-essential items in your life that will free up time and space for the things you truly value.
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