Tips For Becoming a Minimalist
Over-consumption, materialism and greed are out and minimalism is in. Minimalism is a design and lifestyle movement towards simplicity and focusing on taking away everything that does not serve an all consuming purpose. It is function over fashion and quality over quantity.
The general benefits of adopting a minimalist lifestyle are less cluttered work and living spaces, more mental clarity, more time doing what you absolutley love, a smaller environmental footprint, and a healthy relationship with your possessions. It is a choice to not go through the endless cycle of desiring more, consuming more, and wasting more.
If you make money only to consume disposable products, if your 4000 square foot house is bursting to the brim with junk, your car no longer fits in the garage because of your trinkets, and you're constantly searching for your missing spatula, then let me offer you a few tips on becoming a minimalist.
Tips For Starting Your Minimalist Journey
- Go through your closet and give away everything you haven't worn in one year.
- Give away any clothes that don't fit.
- Sell designer clothes on Ebay.
- Give away anything you wouldn't take on vacation during each of the 4 seasons.
- Take all remaining clothes out of your closet, select the number of hangers you wish to remain and throw away the rest. Hang up the items you can't bare to live without until all hangers are full. Now you can't buy more clothes unless you get rid of an equal number of items.
- Throw out every sock that has a hole or is missing it's mate.
- Select no more than a week's worth of socks and undergarments and chuck the rest.
- Pair down your shoes until you have only one or two pairs for each category: dress shoes, boots, sandals, sports, hiking, and workout.
- Buy a shoe organizer and give away anything that doesn't fit.
- Pair down your wardrobe so that it only takes one to three loads of laundry to clean.
- Unclutter your surfaces. Clean lines are refreshing.
- Don't EVER throw dirty laundry on the ground. Put it in a hamper!
- Choose three or four most prized possessions to highlight.
- If you haven't participated in a hobby or sport in the last three years, sell those affiliated items.
- Create a filing system for important papers. I have found that a box with well labeled folders is sufficient.
- Choose up to four furniture pieces and sell the rest. Fewer items make the room look bigger and feel like a clean hotel room.
- Take pictures of sentimental items or turn them into something new.
- Throw out all cosmetics, lotions, and shampoos older than a year.
- Dwindle down items by category: Shampoos, shaving creams, lotions, lipsticks, polishes, ect. Try to only keep as few of each as possible.
- Toss anything that is no your absolute favorite item.
- Create a daily hygiene routine and keep all of those items together.
- Keep items rarely used (for special occasions) separate from daily items.
- Give away duplicates.
- Give away seldom used appliances that have limited uses: Waffle makers, snow cone makers, popcorn machines,ect.
- Most recipes can be made with one large pot and a cast iron pan. Give away unused portions of pot and pan sets.
- Select your ten (or fewer) favorite mugs and give away the rest.
- Throw out old sauces, condiments, and expired packages
- Organize your fridge so that all items are visible This will decrease the stress of finding items, spending money on duplicates, and will remind you to consume them before they expire.
- Follow a one item in, one item out rule. If you purchase something, pass something along.
- Deal with clutter as it comes, don't let it pile up.
- Read minimalist blogs for constant inspiration.
- Focus on finding just one item you can part with. Repeat.
- Deal with anything that comes into the house right away.
- Find creative ways to display the items most used and important to you. Pinterest can be your friend.
- Break down large projects into small pieces. See every item out the door as an incredible accomplishment.
- Try living for a month without buying anything except the absolute necessities (food, medication, ect.)
- If you were to vacation in Europe for three months, what would you take with you? Consider the importance of every item left behind. If you can do without it for three months, can you live without it now?
- Don't buy anything on a whim or an emotional high or low. Plan out purchases in advance.
- Move towards paperless and automated bill payments and banking.
- Clean everyday. Don't let dishes, cat hair, or dirty towels crash your minimalist state of mind.
Here are some of my favorite sources of minimalist inspiration. Each one of them has contributed immensely towards my adopting a simple, joyful, and minimalistic lifestyle.
The Four Hour Work Week is a must read for all aspiring minimalists. Timothy Ferris will teach you top to bottom how to automate and simplify your lifestyle so can set your goals in motion. He's an Einstein for this generation and will make you think differently about the way you live.
builds living spaces and offers floor plans for minimalists wanting to build their own custom tiny house. As home prices and energy cost rise, living in a 200 square foot home is becoming an increasingly better choice. If you only own 100 things, a studio apartment sized house shouldn't be an issue. Tumbleweed Tiny Houses
The Minimalists do an incredible job of discussing Minimalism as a philosophy as well as offering tips for becoming a minimalist.
Here is a primer I wrote on how to emotionally detach from your objects and create a healthy view of your possessions.
How Minimalist Are You?
All of my possession would fit......
© 2013 Jennifer Arnett