When it comes to your home, is less really more? Would having fewer things in your house to maintain and to organize actually make life easier? Could you live as well in a smaller space?
Minimalism is a growing lifestyle trend that is prompting many homeowners around the world to consider these questions.
If you’ve ever been frustrated by clutter in your home, or by the amount of time that you spend cleaning and caring for your belongings, being a minimalist may appeal to you.
A minimalist lifestyle means different things to different people, and the good news is that you can define minimalism for yourself. For some people, minimalism is an approach to interior decorating, with austere furnishings and few, if any, accessories.
For others, it’s about owning a minimal number of possessions and having a living space that’s as small as possible. Yet other people extend a minimalist approach to the way they dress, work, travel, and manage relationships.
How to start living a more minimalist life
Many people start living a minimalist lifestyle by ridding their home of clutter, which is a great place to start. If you’re considering a more minimal approach, take a look around your house, and identify which areas of your home could use a good de-cluttering exercise.
Start by decluttering
• Is your attic, garage, or basement packed with items that you haven’t used or needed in years?• Do you have closets that are overflowing, making it difficult to find the things you need?• How about that "junk” drawer in the kitchen?• Do you have too many decorating accessories and knickknacks scattered around on tabletops and dressers?
Ask yourself, "Do I really need this?"
If the task of minimizing your things seems overwhelming, simply pick one space and set aside a half hour to get started. Decide whether you want to keep each item, discard it, or donate it. For items that have monetary value, consider selling them in a garage sale, online, or through your local classified ads. If you aren’t sure whether you want to get rid of something, pack it up in a “maybe” box. Store the “maybe” box in an attic, basement, garage, storage unit, or in the back of a closet for a year. After a year’s time, if you haven’t missed the items, it’s probably safe to bid them good-bye.
Reduce your space
After you’ve gone through the purging process, you may notice that you don’t need so much living space now that you have fewer things. Take a look at how much square footage you really need in a home, and consider downsizing. In addition to likely lowering your housing expenses, a smaller living space can also mean lower utility bills and maintenance costs, as well as more free time.
Related: Best Closet Organizers
A minimalist lifestyle encompasses more than just paring back possessions. It also means being mindful about the things you own and buy,and about how you spend your time. For many people who adopt the lifestyle, minimalism is about deriving happiness from experiences instead of possessions. In today’s materialistic culture, minimalism teaches that living with less can still mean living well.