There really is some sort of magic involved in minimalism, decluttering your home, your life, and your belongings. Learning to let things go and live with less. Clearing out stuff you don’t want, stuff you don’t need, stuff you’re holding onto, and stuff that is holding onto you. Recognizing what is really loved, valued, needed, important. And what isn’t.
As stated in previous posts, I am very minimal. I own little skin and beauty products. I have a simple 10-item wardrobe. I try to follow sound shopping advice. And because I have travelled and lived in many different countries, all my stuff typically fits into several suitcases.
However, I didn’t reach this point easily, or overnight. It was a gradual process. Truthfully, I used to be a shopaholic, and sometimes I still am. I like to shop, buy new things, and I enjoy the rush I get from a new purchase. However, over time I started to see that these purchases were typically not enjoyed very long. I usually didn’t need the things I bought impulsively. And I ended up with a lot of stuff I didn’t love or use. Especially clothes. Which sounds like a lot of other people too!
We own so much stuff. And we keep buying more. Stuff that probably rarely gets used. Stuff that we don’t even like or want. And stuff that just sits there, taking up space, energy, effort. But still we hold onto it- just in case. Because we feel bad letting it go. Or we think about the money wasted. Or we worry that we might need it again one day.
In order to simplify my life, I had to figure out how to control my stuff, before it controlled me. I decided to educate myself, and learned about simple living, minimalism, decluttering, living with less. I learned through books, practical experience, trial and error. And this education has made all the difference. So, if you are looking to simplify, declutter, tidy up, or get rid of stuff, take a look at these resources, words of wisdom, and steps you can take now. Here’s to minimalism, decluttering, and a simpler, cleaner, tidier and more fulfilling life. Not full of stuff.
We all know when we have accumulated too much stuff. Material or otherwise. We know when our homes and lives are ready for a change. Ready for less. Then just start. Start to declutter. Read a book or 2 or 3. Get rid of a few things. Your journey of minimalism, decluttering, and living with less cannot happen until you start. Anything. You’ll learn as you go.
Sounds silly and almost too simple? I know, I thought so too, and still do. However, I have found that when I write a shopping list and only buy what is on my list, it prevents me from impulsive purchases. With a list, I also become aware of exactly what I need, allowing me to focus, think clearly, and consciously choose where I will buy the items I need. Now this is not meant to be a grocery list, but an actual shopping list, things you will bring into your home. Stuff to add to the stuff you already own. If of course, you decide you need it.
Change Your Mindset
Most times, people hold onto stuff because of thoughts in their mind. They believe keeping an item might hold their memories more. Or they think that getting rid of stuff means they’ll be wasting money. And sometimes there is even fear. Afraid to get rid of things because of what people will think. Afraid of what might happen in the future. Or the fear that you might need the item again. When in reality, you’re not wasting money if you don’t need, love, or use an item. Holding onto stuff doesn’t bring back people or events from the past. And if by chance you end up needing an item again in the future, you will just make do with what you have. You will survive.
Visually Pleasing Aesthetics
If you think of your ideal home, bedroom, bathroom, kitchen- what do you see? After pinning images of my ideal home on Pinterest, I started to see a trend; clean, simple, decluttered spaces that are open, and not full of stuff. This guided me when getting rid of my stuff, and still guides me when making new purchases. I know what I want my spaces to look like, but if I keep too much stuff, or buy more, I won’t achieve the look I want. Obviously our homes are not going to be Pinterest perfect, that’s not the point. And also, looks aren’t everything. I get it. But there is a saying “messy bed = messy head!” So, if just a messy bed can impact our minds, imagine what a messy, cluttered home could do?
Use Your Time Wisely
I look at stuff, as time. Everything you own takes up part of your time. Every dish, shoe, toy, piece of makeup, or article of clothing requires your time. Whether in use application, cleaning, maintaining, storing, or organizing. So, when you decide what you want to keep, remember your time. If it is not worth your time, don’t keep it. I only have 10 articles of clothing because I don’t want to be hanging, maintaining, cleaning, organizing a closet full of crap. I also own very little jewelry, beauty products, shoes, toys, because I can’t be bothered to waste my time on them.
Meaning > Material Items
When you really break it down, life is choices. And choosing to declutter, simplify, and live with less, allows you to focus on more important, meaningful things. Like family, personal goals, being present, community, relationships, faith. But being surrounded by so much stuff takes away your focus, your energy, and creates a cover for that which really matters. Remove the cover, get rid of the stuff, learn what is truly important and meaningful to you!
You can’t complete your minimalism, decluttering journey without reading a few books. And after reading 100 books, I have a pretty good idea about which ones are worth your money and time. Especially when it comes to minimalism, simplicity, and living with less.
This book provided the basis for my title, because tidying up really is magical. When you start to get rid of stuff that doesn’t bring you joy, you quickly learn what does. Marie Kondo helped me finish my decluttering journey, by reaffirming things I may have known, but didn’t want to admit or do. This is the first book in her series, and here are the other 2: (Yes, I’ve read them all):
Lessons from Madame Chic
I’ve mentioned this book many times as it got me started on the 10-item wardrobe. Author Jennifer L Scott shares what lessons she learned while living in France. In addition to a simpler wardrobe, she also discusses the beauty of simplicity in every area of life, particularly at home. She also has 2 other books in the series, depending on what area(s) you’d like to focus on.
This is a newer book, written by a Japanese author. He discusses his journey of minimalism, letting stuff go, and living with less. A personal look at the pros, cons, and thoughts that are part of the process.
After seeing some of the things that helped me with minimalism, decluttering, and living with less, please remember everyone is different. What works for one person may not work for another. Use the resources that work for you. You’ll know when you are content with the stuff you have. And when you need to keep clearing out.
Check out the recommended books above & join in on the monthly reading challenge!