Hey everyone, welcome to the Minimalist Hub. If you’re interested in minimalism and that less-is-more lifestyle, then you’ve come to the right place because today’s article is going to be a beginner’s guide to minimalism.
I talk a lot about minimalism and simplifying life, and I’ve been living a minimalist lifestyle myself for around four years now, and during that process, I have gotten rid of approximately 60% of our stuff, and it has had such a fantastic impact. So if you’re thinking about starting minimalism or maybe you already started, but you’re stuck on what to do next, then you’re going to get a lot of valuable information here.
Minimalism is not about having very few items or living in a room without any stuff in it. It’s more about identifying what adds value for you. What makes you happy. And then eliminating the extra’s, the burden, the clutter, the stress, that’s keeping you from enjoying what matters.
Decluttering Your Home
For most people, the path towards a minimalist lifestyle starts with decluttering your home, so downsize your stuff and then also changing your consumption habits. With this, you are being more mindful of what you’re bringing into your home, and into your life. And also reprioritizing what’s important in your life. And where you want to focus your time and energy. Here are some minimalist beginner tips.
Know Your WHY and Set a Goal
The first minimalism for beginners tip that I can give you is to know your why. Understand why you want to do it and set a goal for yourself. Changing your lifestyle is always challenging, especially in the beginning. So it can help to have it clear for yourself what you want to accomplish by living with less. Whether it’s about creating more space or saving more money, or reducing your carbon footprint, spending less time cleaning, having more free time
or maybe it’s more than one reason. To have this clear for yourself, you can even write it down. It’ll help you to stay inspired along the way.
Don’t try to be a superhero.
Don’t try everything all at once because big goals are only achieved by taking one small step after another. Let’s say you want to declutter your home and downsize your things. It’s incredible how much stuff we accumulate in our life. So if your goal is to go through every item in your home, know it will take some time, and that’s okay.
Think of minimalism more as a lifestyle change that will help you live your best life, instead of a project that you have to finish. So take small steps. For some people, it just starts with opening up their wallets and going through that and then, maybe a drawer, and then perhaps a closet, and ultimately a room, and before you know it, you will have gone through every item in your home. But take it easy. Take your time, so you don’t get overwhelmed.
Deciding WHAT to get rid of
Now about the actual decluttering and downsizing, and deciding what items to get rid of. There are a lot of different decluttering methods out there. So, for example, there is the chaos method, where you dump everything that you own in a huge pile and go through them. And things will get a lot messier before they get organized but for some people that works. And then there’s also KonMari, the minimalist game, the closet hanger method, Swedish death cleaning, and so many others.
So I imagine, this can all seem a little complicated maybe, or overwhelming. Like where would you even start, and which methods should you use? And also just deciding about which items to keep and which items to get rid of. I have an article about how to declutter your home that goes over everything that you need to know.
When you’ve got items that you want to get rid of, then try to declutter them responsibly. I know that just throwing things away in the trash is a lot easier and quicker. I understand that. But I also believe that if you bring an item into your home, it’s also your responsibility to declutter it responsibly. It will help you think twice about buying new things. When I’ve got something to declutter, my favorite go-to move is to give it to someone that I know, that can use it. If that’s not possible, I donate it, or I sell it if it’s more valuable. And if that’s not possible, I recycle it. Only if it is something that cannot fit into any of those boxes, then I dispose of wholly.
Declutter Easy and Fun place in your home
I think it’s conducive to start decluttering somewhere that’s easy, and fun in your home. Areas that get you excited and inspired. Something to gain momentum.
Decluttering closets can be dreading the most. And if you start there, you might not be able to finish and push through. So if you start somewhere that’s easy and fun, maybe play some music, It’ll help you to get into that mindset to make a big difference.
Save Emotional Items for last.
Also, I recommend saving sentimental items for last. If you declutter a bunch of coffee cups, then it’s always easy to get a bunch of new ones if it turns out that you need more. Preferably you won’t have to do that of course, but it can happen. And with sentimental items, they’re not replaceable. So you don’t want to get rid of things that you might regret later on.
That said if you have a lot of sentimental items, It can help to declutter them and keep only the important ones because then, you will be more likely to look at them every once in a while and go through them and enjoy them.
So if you leave them for last, you will have decluttering experience, and you will know which ones matter the most.
Change your Buying Habits
As you go through your stuff, or even just taking a look at y space right now. All that stuff came from somewhere. It has been accumulated over the years. And so at one point, those things came into your home either through buying them getting them as gifts. At this point, it’s a great way to start looking at the flow of things coming into your home by changing your buying habits or your consumption habits. And there’s no judgment here, and you are the only one who can decide which things you want to bring into your life. But what minimalism does teach us is to be more intentional with buying new things. So, as you start to let things go and increase that flow of stuff going out of your home, it will also help to decrease the flow of items going into your home. This way, you will end up owning less and living that less is more a lifestyle.
Check out this article about minimalist habits that focuses on this part of minimalism.
Living with a non-minimalist
I often get questions about living with people who don’t want to add a more minimalist lifestyle. Living with kids, partners, parents, etc. can be tricky. So what I can advise you is to focus on yourself. Focus on your stuff, focus on the areas in your home that you have control over because you cannot force people to join you. Rather than force them, show them how nice it can be, and keep things positive and exciting, you might inspire them as well.
Things are just things
Things are just things in the end. Though most of us know this, and we intellectually understand it, we do attach more value to them. So it can be helpful to remind yourself that the small satisfaction you get when you buy something new only lasts for a short time. And it’s not going to make you any happier in the long run.
So be grateful for the abundance of things you already have. Be thankful that you have a home, shelter from the rain, food to eat, clothes to wear, and things to use. And this will help you to realize that you don’t need anything extra.
Think Outside the Box
As you go through your minimalism journey, you will practice that action of evaluating things. Do I really want to own this? What purpose does it serve? Do I really want to buy this shirt? As you ask yourself these questions more and more, you will start to make better decisions.
It is not just the stuff in your life, but your life in general. For me, this is where the magic of minimalism really starts. Because then, you realize that your life is for you to design. You get to be in the driver’s seat and create an experience that you love, filled with things that give you joy. Minimalism will provide you with more time, more money, and more space. These three things are way more valuable than anything you could buy. So think outside the box and think about things other than decluttering your home. You will start to see a lot of areas in your life where you could also simplify.
A large part of our life is now digital, and a lot of us have a lot of digital clutter as well. So consider that. Delete apps that you haven’t used in a while, go through your contact list, go through your folders and your photos on your computer, and keep only the best ones. It can also really help to organize your email. So, unsubscribe from newsletters you never read, create folders for everything, etc.
Now, after you’re finished with the process of decluttering your home and downsizing your things, what will you do then? And how will you make sure that your home stays clutter-free? Something I recommend is to
Keep Decluttering seasonally.
I do this, and every time I do, I always find some things I haven’t used in a while, or that I’m now ready to say goodbye to.
Lastly, I think we must be inspired by minimalism because we live in a society that’s working hard to make us spend more money than we want to, or even realize. So watching YouTube videos about minimalism, reading books about it, is a great way to keep inspired and stay motivated.
Happy decluttering and have a beautiful day.