How to channel more minimalism in your life – 13 simple tips
From overstuffed closets to cabinets brimming with spice containers, clutter is a defining feature of many of our homes.
In the United States, a quarter of two-car garages don’t even store a single car because there’s so much clutter inside, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. And the average U.S. home contains about 300,000 items, said a professional organizer to The Los Angeles Times. (That’s a lot of stuff!)
As guest bedrooms turn into junk rooms and closets are converted into hubs of hodgepodge, it’s clear that clutter is more than an accumulation of things — it’s become a way of life.
But it doesn’t have to be this way! With a few tips and lifestyle changes you can let go of unnecessary stuff that weighs you down and give more love to things that lift you up. We’re certainly not saying minimalism is a one-size-fits-all kind of process, but here are some tips we hope will inspire you to love more with less.
Reflect on your idea of minimalism
Maybe you’re a foodie with a jam-packed fridge or a clothes-lover with a closet filled with shirts you wear once a year. Perhaps you need to embrace more minimalism with your schedule because you’re busy every single day for the next six months!
Think about where you tend to collect more stuff (literally and figuratively) than you need and reflect on how it makes you feel. Of course, be kind to yourself! We’re all human and live different lives, which means your efforts to minimize will look different than someone else’s.
Declutter the doubles
We’re not suggesting you wear the same shoes every day, but if you have two coffee makers when you really only need one, that’s a great thing to consider giving away. Same could go for your schedule. If the idea of going on two coffee dates in one day is exhausting — scrap one of them if you can!
Give with care
Thinking of your things getting new homes is a nice way to let go of stuff. Your dress that never gets worn may be someone else’s favorite outfit! And that vegan cookbook you now know by heart may be inspiration for a friend.
Unfollow and unsubscribe
If a blogger on Instagram constantly makes you want to buy stuff you don’t really need, it may be time to stop following that account. While you’re at it, unfollow any account that doesn’t make you feel good! And consider unsubscribing from emails that constantly alert you to new things coming out. They say ignorance is bliss, right?!
When in doubt, don’t buy it
One big thing tends to get glorified when it comes to minimizing: waste. If you watched the Netflix series “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo” — it’s hard not to cringe at the sweeping shots of garbage bags loaded with stuff. While we love to see people proud of their decluttering efforts, the real goal is to just buy less stuff to begin with! Here are some tips to think about before you pull out the wallet:
- Plan your purchases. This will make your shopping experiences more of an event, which can be really hard when it’s so easy to tap your fingers on a keyboard and get whatever you want.
- Look at your fridge and pantry pre-grocery shopping. This will help you avoid buying a third box of oatmeal and a pile of strawberries when you already have a bunch in your fridge drawer.
- Fall in love with your closet all over again! Instead of going online to buy a new outfit, browse around your own closet. Something beautiful may be waiting for you and you just don’t know it.
- Consider fixing instead of buying. If you’re buying something as a replacement, try to fix your original first. YouTube is great for stuff like this!
- Ask yourself the hard question for impulse buys. Do I really need this? I mean, really really need this? If the answer is “yes” wait a day (at least) and then get it.
- Pencil in a “buy-free day.” At least one day of the week or month, try to not buy anything at all. No lattes, groceries, or salads to go. It may be a lot harder than you think!
Consider the “one in, one out” rule
This is a nice mantra to live by with pretty much everything. Getting rid of one shirt every time you buy a new shirt is a great way to avoid your closet eating your bedroom. Simply donate old shirts to a charity, or give them to a friend or family member.
Create clutter-free happy places
Choose one area in your place to be completely clutter-free — a kitchen counter, a nightstand, a dining table, whatever. For over-planners, try to pick a day that you’ll leave free (if that’s not possible for your life, maybe it’s one hour of the day). By making small spaces in your life for more room, it may inspire other areas of your life to be a little less jam-packed.
Now that we’ve talked about reducing, check out these posts about reusing and recycling!
- Zero waste: how to reuse 5 everyday items like a boss
- Think you know how to recycle? 11 ways you can do even better!
- 10 Eco-friendly habits you need to adopt now