Homeowner Resources April 23, 2020

Beginners’ Guide to Minimalism: Decluttering Your Home and Living Mindfully

As we enter spring, many homeowners will begin spring cleaning and clearing out clutter. Decluttering the home has been a hot topic for the past few years. So hot, in fact, that a number of people have adopted a lifestyle of decluttering – otherwise known as minimalism. You’re probably familiar with the minimalism movement. Big-name influencers and Netflix specials, such as “Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things” or “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo” have brought the art of simplifying your surroundings into many American’s everyday life.

If you haven’t already looked into the minimalism trend, you might imagine there is a certain look to it: bare white walls, closets with 20 items or less, and individuals holding every item they own to see if it “sparks joy”. But a minimalist lifestyle is not about giving away all your worldly possessions, it’s about clearing the clutter from your life and being more mindful about what you bring into your home.

Whether you’re looking to make a lifestyle change or simply declutter for spring, basics of a minimalist life can help! Check out our beginners’ tips below:

1. Step back and evaluate your home

The first step in minimizing your space is to objectively observe your home, your belongings, and your emotions. Are there items or areas in your home that cause you stress when you think about them? Do you have duplicate items or broken items? Those are the first things you should tackle.

2. Pick out the things you can’t live without

Minimalism in no way means that everything must go. Think about the things that make you happy. Your record collection? Your grandmother’s china? Just because you don’t use an item often, doesn’t mean there isn’t value in keeping the item. Prioritize the items in your home and work to remove those at the bottom of your priority list.

3. Make a plan for items you’re unsure of or letting go

Chances are that while you declutter the various areas in your home, you will have trouble parting with certain items. Decide before you begin decluttering what you will do with these items. Having trouble getting rid of an old favorite sweater? Pack it away for 6 months. If you find yourself pulling it back out in those 6 months, keep it! If you find that your life is unchanged without it, let it go! Have a plan in place for where you can donate or sell items that you no longer want but are in good condition.
4. Declutter every part of your home

Once you have evaluated your home and set your priority list, it’s time to start the decluttering process, be sure to open every drawer and every cabinet. Make it a goal to remove something from over area in your home. Be sure not to skip an area simply because it seems organized. Pull each item out and evaluate if you should keep it or not.

5. Be Thankful for what you have

The decluttering process can be emotional for some. Whether it’s struggling to get rid of items you feel attached to, but no longer need, or feeling frustration at having so much chaos in your home, evaluating your belongings can be overwhelming. Minimalism is largely rooted in gratitude – feeling grateful and content with what you have. Adopt an attitude of appreciation for the items you are keeping and the items you Beginers are letting go of.

6. Be mindful about what you bring into your home

After you have finished the declutter process, strive to be more mindful about how you make purchases. Look for items of quality and always ask yourself your motivation for buying an item. Are you purchasing the item because it fulfills a need or are you purchasing it because you were attracted to a sale or low price point?

7. Declutter on a regular basis

As you move forward in a simpler life, be sure that you are regularly decluttering your space. There are numerous different ways to do this. You could eliminate one item from your home for every item you bring in. Or, you could reevaluate your items on a monthly or bimonthly basis. However, you choose, decluttering often is one of the best ways to ensure your home remains a space that brings you joy and gratitude.