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Have you ever looked around your home or apartment and thought, "How in the world did I end up with so much stuff?" You're not alone. Whether it's clothes, electronics, toys or tiny knick-knacks, many of us have found ourselves with an overabundance of material possessions at some point in our lives.
What if, instead of making impulse purchases, we took a more mindful and simplistic approach to the things we brought into our homes?
That’s the central idea behind minimalism, a movement that champions a “less is more” mindset. At its core, minimalism is about letting go of things that don’t add meaning or value to your life.
Minimalism is a good reminder for us to stay in the present moment and continuously challenge our desire for materialistic things. But how do you start?
Enter this guide on minimalism for beginners. To help ease you into simple living, we’ve broken this guide into two basic parts: letting go and maintaining your lifestyle. Let’s get started!
From lower stress to improved energy levels, the benefits of living with less clutter are well-documented. But let’s face it — decluttering one’s home can also be an exhausting and boring endeavor. To make the process a little easier, here are a few tips to help you let go of items that are taking up your precious time and space.
Tackle clutter room by room. Tackling one room at a time will make the decluttering process seem a lot more manageable. The bathroom is often a huge source of waste, so why not start there? Go through your medicine cabinet and begin throwing away or recycling your expired beauty products. While you’re at it, make note of your biggest sources of waste and try to find alternatives to single-use products (e.g., swapping disposable cotton rounds for reusable cotton rounds).
Gamify the process. Who says decluttering your home has to be a boring process? You can liven things up by taking the 30-Day Decluttering Challenge. This challenge asks you to get rid of one thing on the first day of the month, two things on the second day, three things on the third day and so on until the 30 days are up. Bonus points if you get a friend involved!
Get rid of duplicates. If you want to score some easy wins, go through your junk drawer and start getting rid of duplicate items in your home. Like most families, you probably have multiple notebooks, bag clips, pens and kitchen accessories lurking in your drawer.
Go digital. Do you have a bunch of photos that are just collecting dust in your closet? Use a photo scanner to make digital copies of your photos. Likewise, if you’re a big reader or movie buff, consider going digital with your collection.
You’ve gone through the exhausting process of removing excess items from your home. Now comes the challenge of figuring out how to maintain your minimalist lifestyle.
Here are some tips and strategies to help you keep your home and life simple and stress-free.
Give everything a home. From car keys to kids’ toys, everything in your home should have a designated place. Make use of storage baskets and drawer organizers to keep your items neat and tidy.
Practice the art of waiting. Did you know that consumers spend an average of $5,400 on impulse purchases every year? Just think about what you could do with that money! The next time you find yourself lusting over a new outfit or kitchen gadget, walk away from the item and give yourself at least one week to really think about it. When it comes to consumable products, using up what you already have at home first is also a very sustainable route – that’s why we always recommend you first finish using up the hair products you already have (even if they are in a plastic bottle) before making the switch to plastic-free or lower-waste options.
Try to make your stuff last longer. The longer your stuff lasts, the less you have to buy, so try to find ways to make your favorite items last as long as possible. For instance, you can make your favorite body soap bar last longer by storing it on a wooden soap dish. Find a great deal on avocados? Wrap them in a beeswax wrap and store them in the refrigerator to keep them fresh.
Follow the ‘one in, one out’ rule. The “one in, one out” rule is another effective way to stop clutter in its tracks. With this rule, you must give away one item before you bring in another. For example, if you want to buy a bamboo comb to help tame your curly tresses, you must get rid of an existing comb in your drawer first. (But again – think first about whether you need to replace your current comb!)
At The Earthling Co., we want you to live in harmony with your home, and we believe that minimalism can play an important role in that. By reducing our reliance on material goods and cutting out items that may not be serving us, we can help the environment and make space for what’s important.