Planning to purge your home to create a more minimalist lifestyle? Not sure where to get started? Here are a few ideas.
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I was super inspired and motivated by all the ‘Declutter these areas of your home’ lists I found on Pinterest, but I must confess that I didn’t actually follow any all the way through. I glanced over a few, but in the end, I went after the areas of my home that made me feel anxiety ridden when I looked at them. Click here to read about why I finally decided to commit to minimalism.
So this is not one of those lists. Because there’s like 5,000 of those already floating around. This is just a few ideas to motivate you and get your butt into gear.
Before we get into that, let me tell you the criteria I used for determining what did and didn’t fit with my new minimalist mindset.
- Is it pretty? Does it make me happy? There’s nothing wrong with having trinkets or collectibles that don’t really serve a purpose. However, there is absolutely no point in owning such a thing if it doesn’t cause me to feel some sort of positive emotion.
- Do I use it now, or will it be used in the very near future? If you think, “I may use it someday, down the road, if some sort of natural disaster occurs”, that’s not a reason to keep something.
- Is it VERY sentimental? Obviously, this criteria is very open to interpretation. I had to keep in mind that getting rid of an object doesn’t erase a memory. After my Dad’s funeral, I was given some flowers that someone had graciously sent to the funeral home. They stayed in a vase as the water slowly evaporated and eventually dried out. We moved twice after this, and the dried flowers went with us…still in the same vase. (I know this may be a little weird but, it is what it is.) In the midst of a very motivated day, I pulled the flowers from their container and finally threw them in the trash. My oldest son asked me why I had done this. I told him that it had been silly to keep them all these years as they only reminded me of a funeral. I didn’t forget about the funeral just because I threw away those flowers. What I had come to understand is that I damn sure didn’t need a physical reminder of a difficult time sitting around.
The Path To Minimalism
- Plastic Storage Containers: I learned something interesting during my personal path to minimalism. I had more containers, bins, and baskets than shit to put in them. Believe it or not, I had more trouble getting rid of containers than anything else. I kept thinking, “I may need them one day.” But, as you saw above, I do not think that is a good reason to hang onto things. On another note, y’all, don’t keep margarine containers to store leftovers. (Sorry, Mom.) Food storage is cheap as hell, and there is nothing more satisfying than opening a cabinet to see matching sets. If you’re lacking in matching sets of food containers, here’s a great set to get started with.
- Wardrobe: I went through every item of clothing I owned at least 5 or 6 times, and I’ll probably go through them again. I’m going through this stage where I’m trying to figure out my signature style. I should probably have this pinned down by now, but I tend to get bored easily. Each time I was able to get rid of more clothing because I had gained momentum from purging other areas of the house. For instance, the last time I went through my purses, I got rid of a $400 purse. This may not seem odd unless you also know that I kept a really inexpensive toiletry bag. It has compartments and is really functional when we travel. My husband was very confused by this and while holding an expensive purse in one hand and a dollar store toiletry bag in the other asked, “Just to clarify…you want to get rid of this…but not this?” I laughed and reminded him that the monetary value of an item was not a good reason to keep it. I know this whole post is about getting rid of stuff, but one thing I recommend investing in is matching hangers. When I was a little girl, I watched Martha Stewart suggest this on television. I told my mom that one day my house would have closets that held matching hangers. She wished me luck. I am so proud to say that I have achieved that goal. (In your face, Mom.)
- Pantry: My pantry is not what I would call Pinterest worthy, but it is really organized. Unless you jumped the gun and already threw away all of your unused containers, this is a good place to use them. I recommend using matching bins. It makes everything look much neater. Here’s a canister set that I love. Mastery Point: I always do a quick scan of the pantry and fridge and throw out anything that’s expired before heading to the grocery store. This is an example of practicing minimalism as a lifestyle instead of a one time purge.
Minimalism For The Win
I encourage you to take a walk around your house. Notice the rooms or more specifically the corners and countertops that make you want to walk out the door, get in the car, and drive away. This is where you must begin because these are the areas that you have been putting off until another day. These are the areas that will bring about the most satisfaction when they’re clutter free. Because of this sense of accomplishment, you’ll feel more inspired to tackle other areas of your home.
Leave a comment below if you plan to get rid of any clutter this week, this month, or even better…today!