Article By Hazel Bennett
When most people think about minimalism, they picture stark white walls and a house that’s only one step away from being empty. And while minimalism is all about taking a less-is-more approach to your layout, it’s also a lifestyle. Being a minimalist has many surprising benefits, both mentally and organizationally, and it’s not hard at all to get started.
What Is A Minimalist Lifestyle?
The minimalist lifestyle focuses on living with less. Minimalism can look different for everyone. People may choose to toss the things they don’t need or avoid buying them in the first place. Every person’s motivation for becoming a minimalism can vary. Maybe you want to protect the environment or just want less stuff in your life. Either way the goal of minimalism is to live with less.
Fewer physical items mean more time spent doing things you truly love. Minimalism often includes decluttering, organizing, and downsizing your home or the items in it so you can lead a simple, more fulfilling life.
Benefits Of Choosing Minimalism
Some people find minimalist practices overwhelming. They’re afraid of throwing away important items they may need in the future. But when the average American household contains 300,000 items, there’s a good chance you can stand to get rid of a few things. When you value quality over quantity, you quickly discover the benefits of organizing your home and living with less.
Some benefits include:
- Saving Money: Choosing to spend less money on things and opting for the essentials can lead to financial freedom. This is especially true since nearly half of American homes don’t have savings set aside. By not wasting money on what you don’t need and selling items rather than tossing them, you can prevent debt and increase the money you have put back.
- Reducing Stress: The amount of clutter in our homes correlates with our brains’ stress hormones, increasing our feelings of anxiety. A disorganized environment creates disorganized thoughts and mental clutter. Having less debt, fewer material items, and a firm grasp on the desire to buy more leads to more manageable stress levels. It is simple.
- Having More Time: When you own less stuff, you spend less time cleaning, spending money, and focusing on what you don’t have. This creates more time for you to spend doing what you love.
- Helping Nature: When you have fewer items to throw away, you reduce waste and landfills. Plus, having fewer appliances leads to reducing your carbon footprint. Minimalism is naturally eco-friendly, and some minimalists prefer using sustainable products to keep it this way.
- Practicing Mindfulness: As you remove stuff from your home, you might feel more grateful for the things you kept. Like mindfulness, minimalism teaches people to consider what to keep in their lives and what matters most.
- Setting Examples: Organizing your home and removing clutter sets a great example for young kids. Following your lead, they learn how to organize and find value in what matters most to them.
- Easier Cleaning: Minimalism makes cleaning feel like less of a chore and more of a way to visualize your progress. Having less clutter to move around makes it much easier to see what needs cleaning. Also, if you’re looking for a particular item, having less stuff and more open space makes finding it a breeze.
How Do Minimalists Organize Their Homes?
Organizing your home with minimalism is a little more than just throwing things away. Most minimalists have a system for deciding what to keep and toss out. They may wait 30 days to buy something to see if they’ve changed their mind over time. When deciding what to get rid of, a person might follow a 90-day rule. That rule says toss what they haven’t used in the last three months.
One common way minimalists declutter their homes is by going room-by-room. While decluttering room by room, separate items into three categories: Yes, No, and Maybe. Then, they revisit the “maybe” pile of items until everything finds its way into the “Yes” or “No” categories. You could also separate items into categories like what to keep, toss, donate, or put into storage.
Getting Started With A Minimalist Lifestyle
Finding where to begin organizing your home can seem challenging. Whether you want to try it out or become a full-fledged minimalist, getting started is a slow yet rewarding process. Becoming a minimalist begins with self-reflection and involves tackling clutter in increments that you can handle.
Some tips include:
- Self-Reflection – Ask yourself what problems you want to solve and what goals you want to achieve. If you want to eliminate stress, lead a more purposeful life, or focus on your health, those are definitive goals that minimalism can help you achieve.
- Discover Personal Values – Ask yourself what things you value most in your life. Narrow this down to a few ideas such as family, friendships, or career. Placing this value on meaningful things rather than material items makes it easier to decide what to keep and what to let go.
- Find What Sparks Joy – When going through individual items, touch each one and decide whether it brings value and happiness to your life. If it distracts you from the life you want to live, get rid of it. Hold on to the essentials and meaningful items.
- Ease into Clutter – However much clutter you have in your home, it can feel overwhelming to tackle it all at once. It’s best to ease into minimalism since slow, steady habits create more sustainable change. Take note of the things you use daily that are essential. Start in the easiest room first and make piles.
- Create A Clutter-Free Space – Just one small area of your home should have zero visible clutter. Examples include your kitchen table, bedroom, or living room entertainment center. Having one space that acts as a visual of your progress can encourage you to keep going.
- Limit Your Decor – A minimalist’s home favors practicality and quality over quantity, resulting in less decor and accessories vying for attention. A minimalist decorates their home with meaningful pieces such as family heirlooms or photos. Limit your decor to what matters most. Avoid wasting money on items you’ll only use one season.
- Tidy Up Regularly – To fight going back into a cluttered home, be sure to organize and tidy up your house regularly. Expert organizers have specific spots for items to keep their homes clean. Label your things by name in each of these destinations. Avoid spending money on new things you may not need.
Final Thoughts On Minimalism And Organizing
Putting your home in order and choosing to have an organized life is a gift you give yourself. By approaching your shopping habits and home design mindfully, you’ll find that you naturally focus on what makes you happy. Peace of mind is worth more than any possessions you might accumulate.