Beginners Guide Minimalism - How To Start Decluttering
Is your clutter out of control? You like the idea of Minimalism but you don't know how to begin? Many of us look to the new year in hopes it will be a simpler year, filled with more joy, and less worry. We want a clean slate and fresh start. Every new year, I always take down Christmas, do a deep cleaning of the house to begin the new year with a sense of organization. When my home is clean, organized, and declutter, I feel at peace, and my mind is clear. Most of us feel anxious about the clutter surrounding us. We all function better in an organized, clean environment. Maybe that's why I naturally gravitated to Minimalism.
The minimalist lifestyle is the ultimate decluttering solution!
So, are you wanting a fresh start to 2020?
Maybe, you are looking around your house wonder where you are going to put all of the new gifts your family received for Christmas. Is the clutter overwhelming you? Have you heard of Minimalism and wanted to give it a try but didn't know where to start? Minimalism seems like a great way to live a simpler and intentional life. As we look around our over-stuffed cupboards, closet, and shelves, the idea of Minimalism is daunting.
How do you begin Minimalism?
The first step to Minimalism is to have minimal items in your home. What does that mean? That means that you get rid of any item that is a duplicate, unnecessary, and unused. As you begin to declutter, here are a few questions to ask yourself to determine if an item needs to go or stay.
Do I have more than one of these?
Do I NEED more than one? Why?
Is this item necessary to my happiness, health, or productivity?
Have I used this item within the last six months?
Does not having this item impact my life?
Will I notice NOT having this item?
*The most significant reason people hold on to unnecessary things is because of the "what if's." These are the thoughts that hold us back from getting rid of stuff we don't need because we tell ourselves, "What if I need this someday? What if I lose/gain weight? What if I go on a ski trip? What if I go to a black-tie event?" We mainly use this tactic when dealing with clothing. We use these excuses to justify holding on to things we don't need. Bottom line: if you haven't used it or looked at it in 6 months, you will not use it in the next six months.
It's time to begin the decluttering.
Don't try to tackle an entire room. It feels too overwhelming to declutter a kitchen or garage, and it takes hours, sometimes days, to declutter a big area. We will usually start with high hopes of decluttering and organizing the kitchen, get a few hours in to realize we barely scratched the surface and give up.
Pick a drawer, closet, or shelf that would make you feel most accomplished by cleaning it out. Have two garbage sacks, one for garbage and one for donations. Hold each item and ask the questions above to determine if you will keep it. Be aware of the "what if's." If it doesn't need to stay, either donate it or trash it.
CONGRATULATIONS! You decluttered your first area.
We get so excited to begin this new minimalist, clutter-free life that we put unrealistic expectations on ourselves. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. Schedule one or two small projects a week. With each completed area, you will become motivated to continue onto the next one without getting overwhelmed.
Repeat the same process on a new closet, drawer, or cupboard. Pretty soon, you will have decluttered your entire house.
DON'T BRING NEW ITEMS INTO THE HOUSE!
Yep, that means no more spending sprees. Shopping is not an extra-curricular activity. You may find a new hobby that feeds your spirit, builds relationships, or improves your health in place of shopping. Shopping is a hard habit to break, but it is only a habit. This is where living intentionally comes into play. Before you buy anything, ask yourself the six questions above to determine if you need this item to improve your life.
Intentionally spend your money.
Intentionally add items into your life.