Have you always envied the backpackers who travel the world carrying everything on their backs? Or the friend who moved across the country with only what could fit in the car?
Minimalism is an art and a mindset. If you are looking to start your journey towards minimalism, but aren’t quite sure where to start, consider these five insanely easy ways towards minimalism. You can start downsizing your home and wardrobe today and promote a stress-free environment that you will actually enjoy living in.
Bye Bye Stuff. Goodbye Clutter. Hello Freedom.
2020 has started out as a challenging decade due to the virus. Many have lost jobs, or have moved to working from home (while taking care of their kids, teaching, constantly tidying the home, making all meals,..yes it’s a crazy time. Many have been stuck inside their homes for six weeks, STRAIGHT.
By now, maybe you are also thinking what many others have noticed during this time, “OMG I have so much stuff. It’s everywhere, all the time. How can I live like this?”. The good news is, minimalism is NOT rocket science. If you are just beginning on a path towards minimalism, it does take patience and, in complete honesty, some difficult decisions are made. But I promise you, it will get easier.
Here are five of my best kept minimalist secrets that will have you jumping right on the bandwagon headfirst and never looking back.
Minimalist Lifestyle Secrets Everyone Should Follow in 2020
In landing upon this article, you’ve already taken the first step on your journey towards a minimalist lifestyle, congratulations! Now, you’ve made the decision to minimize your life, let’s make sure you succeed to the end and beyond with these 5 simple steps that are sure not to overwhelm:
1. One item at a time.
There is no need to overwhelm yourself by thinking about every possible item that you could get rid of or have been meaning to get rid of for years. Getting rid of one item each day means that, after a year, you will have 365 fewer items in your house. That’s a big deal!
2. Crunched for Time? I multitask nearly everything I do.
If you are ready to take it a step further but still have no idea where to begin, consider utilizing everyday tasks to minimize. While you are brushing your teeth in the morning, consider having a look under the sink. Set aside any items you know you can get rid of and put them aside for later. This way, you will have a clear task ahead of you that you can easily come back to when you have more time.
You could also do this while putting on your makeup. Do you really need ten different shades of eyeshadow, or maybe you have old mascara that should be tossed or unused makeup that cannot be returned? Place it in the “get rid of bin” for further sorting and tossing.
You could even downsize while watching television after work! Make some tea and grab a stack of papers to sort through and recycle. A little at a time is better than nothing at all!
3. Theme your decluttering
You can do this either by grouping items together (such as personal hygiene products like soap, lotions, makeup, and other beauty products), or starting with spaces that have similar items (such as the garage, shed, office, or attic). This will help you keep a mental note of what you have, how many multiples of each item you have, and places where downsizing improvements can be made.
4. Keep versatile items, throw others.
Think of versatility as a minimalist’s best friend. Some of the purses, shoes, or shirts I’ve owned have been incredibly versatile and I have been able to wear them in any season.
Many serve more than a single purpose. This is key to downsizing, especially when you have doubles of something. When thinking of versatility, consider the seasons, quality, and practicality. Can your purse also be transformed into a backpack? Are those precious heels cute for summer but warm enough for winter? Is your favorite jacket also water resistant for springtime?
My favorite pair of jeans are high-waisted skinny jeans. I can wear them in the winter with my heeled boots, favorite loose-fitting boho t-shirt (which also functions as a nighttime T-shirt on trips to the cabin), and jacket; but I could also wear them in the summertime with my classy but comfortable Birkenstocks and crop top.
5. Take it in Waves. Or rounds, however you want to think of it.
This is, by far, the best piece of advice that I can give as a minimalist. I always say that the vetting process takes several waves until you have maximized your minimalism (see the irony there). But really, each wave of vetted items (i.e. items that didn’t make the cut) should be spaced out by at least one month up to a year.
With each wave, some things will be easier to let go of, while others will be more challenging. In my experience, taking the process in waves works best for clothing and personal hygiene products. It gives you a chance to slowly part ways with items that you were reluctant to part with the first time around.
Minimalism not about getting rid of everything, but it is about recognizing the value of an item over others. Once you realize the value of each item you have, you will enjoy minimalism to its fullest because you appreciate every item you own so much more.
No regrets, only gratitude.
Now, it’s your turn
What do you value in your life? What hobbies do you enjoy? Before you begin saying “good-bye” to anything, first make a list of 10 essential items you utilize on a daily basis.
Once you define what it is that you already appreciate in your life, you can return to that list to guide you while minimizing. It will help remind you of what items you appreciate because they bring happiness to your life, and which items you never gave value to before (meaning you probably won’t find it valuable in the future and can part with it from your life).
If you’re stuck at home all day in quarantine, you can also check out my post on 10 Unessential Items to Dump and Declutter During Quarantine.