Taking Steps Towards a Life of Minimalism

Decluttering your home and work area can greatly increase mental clarity and inner peace. Your surrounding environment has a profound effect on the way you perform simple daily tasks, the way you process information, and the manor in which you exchange energy with others.

Having less around you will give the possessions that you do have more meaning. You will have less to clean up and organize around your home, and less to transport if you are moving or traveling. To live with lightness of Being begins with lightening your load.

De-cluttering can be extremely overwhelming. Where to start? It is immensely helpful to begin by tackling categories instead of trying to start with an entire room. Begin with clothing, then books, then beauty products, then kitchen items, etc.

Treat your belongings as if they had feelings; would you want to be thrown on the floor, messily shoved into a drawer, or chaotically crammed into the back of a closet? Give your things space to breathe, thus making them easy to locate and access.

Step 1: Make a mental inventory of everything you own, then compartmentalize.

Do you have to spend hours searching for a particular item? Do you spend even more hours organizing and reorganizing what you own just to keep it in a maintainable order? Do you have several versions or colors of the same items or articles of clothing? If you answered yes to any of these questions, it is time to downsize. Let go of guilt associated with buying or receiving a gift of something that you end up never using or wearing; just get rid of it!

Clutter Art
Clutter Art
Photograph courtesy of Flickr

 

Check out this awesome de-cluttering flow chart by MakeSpace!

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Once you have purged an adequate number of things, find some simple storage containers to help keep your belongings neat and separated.

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Photograph courtesy of One Kings Lane

Step 2: Be extremely mindful with future purchases.

Before you rush to the sale rack and start piling everything with a 50% off tag into your cart, ask yourself if you really need any of those items. Will the items prove to be completely useful? Will they bring you more joy than clutter? Do you already have another version or color of the item, or are the items you already own in need of replacing? Make sure that if you do buy something, that it is of the highest quality to your standards. This will ensure its longevity, and the likelihood that you wont tire of it after a short period of time.

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Instead of buying new items, host a clothing swap or household item swap with your close friends, make it an evening of wine and exchanging gifts! You will discard so many items that need to go, and probably end up with some amazing and meaningful treasures in return!

Regularly practice expressing gratitude for every item that you own. Hold each item in your hand, and observe whether it sparks happiness, and whether it serves as a valuable tool in your daily routine. The more conscious and grateful you are of the belongings that you own, the less you will desire to own more.

You will save money by restricting your urge to purchase new items, and prevent the buildup of clutter. Save room in your life for spontaneity, gifts, and give yourself a budget for traveling instead! Life is about experiences, not possessions. It’s time to make scarcity of belongings turn into prosperity of living.

 

Step 3: Evolve beyond your nostalgia!

Do you have drawers of old concert or movie ticket stubs and wristbands? Maps and brochures from hotels and destinations you have visited? Notebooks full of recipes and notes, hand-written letters, or stacks of magazines you saved for one particular article? It’s time to let all that stuff go. Unless you are going to dedicate the time for making an organized scrapbook or other creative way to display your collection of memories, there is no use having such things lying around taking up space and making your environment appear cluttered.

Go through all those drawers and shoeboxes and decide what really holds value and use to you in this point of your life and your future.

Scrapbook Inspiration
Scrapbook Inspiration
Photograph courtesy of Pinterest
Ticket Stub Coffee Table Idea
Ticket Stub Coffee Table Idea
Photograph courtesy of Custom Made

 

 

Need somewhere to start? Try this 30 day Minimalism Challenge courtesy of The Culture Trip.

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