I’m a firm believer that less is more. Embracing a minimalist lifestyle can mean a healthier body, mind, and home – and getting rid of what you don’t need can be pretty cathartic. If you’re a bit of a hoarder or maybe just really attached to some of your stuff (understandable), then minimalism may seem a little intimidating at first. But I can attest to that fact that not only is it easy, it’s also relieving and refreshing. Here are some easy ways to become a minimalist while still holding onto your favorite things.
1. Make a list of things you don’t need.
If you haven’t used an item in over a year, then it’s probably just taking up extra space. Take note of unnecessary items, and be willing to let some of them go.
2. Get rid of any duplicate items.
How many pairs of basic jeans do you really need? Do you use three sets of dishware or just one? Take stock of the items in your home that you have more than one of, and evaluate their necessity. Be open to cutting out duplicates of things you don’t use.
3. Put a stop to paperwork.
Most companies offer paperless billing now, and apart from the hard copies of important items like birth certificates and social security cards, know when to stash and trash your papers. Bank online, pay your bills online, and back up your data on iCloud or similar services.
4. Keep your home clutter-free.
5. Simplify mealtime.
Don’t over-buy food at the store, eat perishables before they go bad, and dispose of what has gone bad. Make smaller meal portions so that food doesn’t go to waste, and make the most of leftovers when you do make too much.
6. Pack lightly.
Apply the minimalist approach to your travels, and save major bag space by packing light. Not having to worry about extra weight can make the process so much simplier and more enjoyable.
7. Minimize your wardrobe.
Being a minimalist doesn’t mean lacking fashion sense, but stick to basic colors and pieces that will go with everything for a classic (and easy) style. A minimalist style never goes out out of style. Embracing this type of wardrobe will make getting ready in the mornings efficient and help you maintain a clutter-free closet full of clothes you actually wear, not clothes you think you might wear one day.
If you’re not using the space in your house or even in your car, then consider downsizing to something more practical. You can save money (and cleaning time!) by letting go of the idea that more space is better; smaller spaces are easier to maintain and can even feel more cozy.
9. Embrace the “one in, one out” rule.
If you get something new, something old has to go. This will help keep clutter and excess to a minimum and will encourage you to really evaluate what you do and don’t need.