Christmas is coming! And so is a house full of bright decor, tons of presents, and of course, a well-lit tree. The vision of it makes us tingle with delight.
As we arrive at the end of the year, our house may already be filled with goodies — or just stuff we’re keeping around “just in case” or for sentimental value.
Who among us is not a low-grade hoarder, after all? Fortunately, many more of us are now aware of the benefits of being a minimalist instead. Here are 12 steps you can take to get there.
If your home is so packed that the idea of so-called minimalism seems like taking on an avalanche, don’t fret. Conquering one item per day is as good as doing it over several hours… and it’s much easier on your psyche.
You may also do a minimalism challenge which involves deciding whether to donate, recycle, or throw away one item on day 1, two items on day 2, three on day 3, etc. Do what works for you at your own pace, but make it a daily thing.
Similar to the above, this practice ensures that you’re not overwhelmed by the task at hand. You may focus on a junk drawer on day one, or just clear out your living room table to start. No section of your home is too small or too big, not your purse nor an entire room.
This is a big one if you’re serious about minimalism. Oftentimes, we keep knick-knacks that we have a connection with through family or close friends. In reality, though, we never use them or even see them for months on end. They just hold a memory rather than real importance.
Most times, such items are things worth remembering but not stuff we need to hold onto. Here’s what to do: take pictures of items with sentimental value and put them in a book you can get nostalgic over later on. Also, feel free to keep family heirlooms and things that really are significant.
One of the main characteristics of minimalist space is empty surfaces. We already mentioned your living room table, but don’t disregard your kitchen countertops and other surfaces. Try to keep a maximum of three items on each surface.
Not everything is virtual even if it’s 2019. Paper use is still one of the ways to increase clutter fast. Whether it’s your purse, drawer, or your car’s glove box, see what you can put online and throw away the rest. And save some trees by taking paperless options whenever you can.
The holidays are the perfect time to put this into practice. It may be hard to fathom not receiving a physical item, but when you do something that enriches your life rather than clutter it, the reward is a million times higher.
Feel free to share this one with family and maybe suggest group activities you can all do. Of course, this is a bit harder to do with the kids, but when you notice how they’re over their brand new toys after two days, maybe you’ll try it next year.
Your mental state is typically reflected in your surroundings. You get what you focus on. By developing an awareness and an intention to be a minimalist, the habits required to achieve your goal will become that much easier.
If Thanksgiving is the only time you plan meals, you probably don’t know much about the practice as you might think. So much food is left in the fridge around that time that “meal-planning” has lost its meaning.
Like everything else, start slow with meal-planning. Maybe three out of seven days of a week, practice it in order to reduce cupboard clutter and food wastage as needed within your household.
One of our tips for minimalist shopping is avoiding sales, but since it’s the Christmas season we’ll skip right over that one… just keep it in mind. From now on, you’re going to want to be very intentional with your spending.
To prep for shopping outings, try to create a list every time — and stick to it. Also, stay under your budget, avoid spontaneous purchases, and invest in quality items that will last. If you’re a shopaholic, maybe take a buddy with you to help keep you in check.
Clearing out your home can be rewarding in terms of feeling cleansed, but you can also earn some cash while you’re at it. You get the best of both worlds. Donate what you want, but also feel free to sell valuable items you never use.
As we’ve seen, minimalism isn’t only about your surroundings, it also requires a change of mind. If we take that further, we’ll find that minimalism can be applied to a lot of things in life.
Consider what you may want to declutter when it comes to subscriptions and services, digital activity, your office, car, and even your daily habits, tasks, and thoughts.
This one has to be mentioned on its own simply because clothing is such a huge perpetrator of clutter. Thankfully, the minimalist community has popularized a solution in the form of capsule closets.
This is done by holding only a few of your most favorite items of clothing in your closet. Then, mixing and matching them throughout the year into new outfits. There are tons of various ways to put it into play around the web.
One thing’s for sure, any Christmas sweaters will promptly be moved to wherever you decide is the base — where all non-daily items go. Or maybe you love Christmas sweaters, which is cool, too. Either way, you’ll now be able to wear it in a purer, clutter-free space. Happy Holidays!