Decluttering: 5 Tips to Get You Started
Follow these steps and begin your journey towards the minimalist lifestyle.
"Minimalism is all about living with less. This includes less financial burdens such as debt and unnecessary expenses. ... For many minimalists, the philosophy is about getting rid of excess stuff and living life based on experiences rather than worldly possessions." - Christopher Murray
Minimalism has been making a statement lately in our culture, though it has been around for years. Many claim that minimalism has its rules, prohibiting its practitioners from doing certain things—like owning a house or a car—and requiring a specific number of belongings that those who want to get involved in this movement should reach before they are officially declared a minimalist.Although, none of this is true. There's no list that tells you the amount of items you're allowed to have. There's no specific lifestyle or routine(s) you have to follow.
Minimalism is about being conscious of the items we own—does it serve a purpose, does it bring us joy? It is about stepping away from the consumerism that has been drowning us and focusing on our life, on our choices and our decisions. Or at least that's how I see it. The thing is, minimalism can mean something different for each and every one of us, and that's okay.However, one of the big aspects of minimalism is having a clutter free space—which is quite easy to achieve when you don't own much. When starting out with minimalism, one of the biggest steps is decluttering, AKA donating or throwing away the things you don't use or need anymore. Here are some golden tips to follow if you're interested in decluttering your space and joining the movement—but remember, there are no rules or tips that you should follow. This is merely a small guide to help you in the process of changing your life:
- Set a goal: Decide what you want to do and when you would like it to be done—whether that's in a week, in a month, or by the end of the year. You can write down the exact areas in your home that you would like to declutter first, like your closet, your kitchen, or your junk drawers. Then, set up a deadline and respect it.
- Be patient: Having a clutter free home will take time, so you'll have to be patient with yourself and the process. Divide your tasks by adding only three of them to your to-do list everyday. This will feel less stressful and more realistic than having 30 items on your to-do list that "need to get done ASAP."
- Follow the six months rule: If you haven't used an item in the last six months and don't plan on using it in the upcoming six months, get rid of it. Chances are, you don't need it.
- Avoid buying unnecessary items: It doesn't matter how hard you work to have a clutter free home. If you don't reduce the flow of the items that are coming in, you'll never reach your goals. Avoid shopping as much as possible. Only buy the items that you absolutely need.
- One item in = one item out: If you buy something that you don't need but that you simply want, get rid of something that you own to maintain the balance. If you got a new pair of jeans, donate/get rid of an older pair. This will make you more conscious of the items you purchase, which will also help you save some money in the long run.