ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

5 Gentle Steps Toward Minimalism

Updated on August 25, 2019

5 Steps Toward Minimalism

Let me just start with a chunk of honesty here: I’m not a minimalist. I do, however, aspire to be one. I know that a lot of people are really good at deciding to make the switch and throwing out everything right away, but I’m not one of them. I don’t think I could have done it that way even before having kids, and I can’t even imagine doing it now that I have two tiny people for whom a broken crayon might be a coveted treasure.

So if you are like me, and you want less clutter and more clarity, but you’re not ready to chuck everything just yet, let me take you on a more gentle journey in the vague direction of minimalism in 5 steps!

1. Let your household know what’s up.

Pro tip: You’ll look like a crazy person if you all of a sudden embark on this journey without explaining it to your family. Trust me.

You’ll do better to clue in your nearest and dearest on your minimalism journey. Explain that you’re not planning on getting rid of their most prized possessions. My kids are a lot more cooperative when I explain that I’m just trying to figure out what we don’t really need or use anymore so that someone else can have the good of it. I’ve also pointed out that if we have less stuff, that’s less time spent cleaning and more time spent playing.

2. Stop letting in new stuff.

No, not forever, just while you’re figuring stuff out. If you can, give yourself a specific time limit. Maybe you set a goal of one week with no new items, and use that time to take inventory of what’s already there. You might want more time, or possibly a little less, but try to cling to the sink metaphor. If you have a sink that’s overflowing, trying to mop up is useless until you’ve turned off the faucet.

3. Figure out your primary problem area.

I can almost guarantee that it’s not just one thing (or type of thing) that’s making you feel like you need to declutter, but there has to be an image that comes to mind when you think of the number one stress point in your overwhelm. Is it clothing? Toys? Kitchen gadgets? Paperwork?

Once you nail down the biggest issue, tackle that bad boy in the appropriate way. Don’t even worry about the other stuff until you knock that first one out. Getting that out of the way will not only eradicate that stress from your life, but it will also show you that you CAN do this. Use that rush to propel you onto the next biggest thing.

4. Be deliberate in what you choose to keep.

Minimalism is not about getting rid of everything indiscriminately. When left in doubt about an item, ask yourself three questions:

Is it useful?

Is it beautiful?

Is it loved?

An item doesn’t have to qualify in all three categories, and there is obviously wiggle room there. But those questions can at least lead you to more precise questions and help you get to the bottom of why you’ve kept it and if you should continue to do so.

5. Decide how to organize.

Once you’ve figured out what you need to keep, figure out a way to organize it. This step is two-fold. You organize what you’ve got, obviously, but once you’ve gotten that sorted, you will likely think a little more critically about what to allow into your space. When new things do enter your life, will they fit with your organizational scheme?

A final thought, dear reader, it’s easier to stay on top of things than to get on top of things. Make your goal to get to a point where tiny little adjustments and very light tidying are all you need to keep your space the way you like it. In the end, that’s what minimalism is, really. Having deliberate space, just the way you like it. I hope that something in this lists brings a little more peace to your mind. If you’ve got ideas to add, please leave a comment, I always love new ideas, too!

© 2019 Myra Breen


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)