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Starting a minimalist lifestyle can be daunting. There's so many "rules" out there for how you should live as a minimalist. While I love the minimalist lifestyle, I'm not too fond of having a set of rules or I'm not a minimalist. Call me crazy, but saying you can only be a minimalist if you live in a tiny home with bare white walls, almost no furniture and no need for anything is just plain ridiculous!
So for those of you out there that are intrigued and want to live with less without all the constraining rules out there, here's 6 concepts I have used to get started living a more minimalist lifestyle.
Do one room at a time
This is probably my biggest piece of advice for getting the decluttering started. If you starting having "oh squirrel" moments while you're trying to declutter and organize, you're never going to get done. Jumping around from one room to the next is just going to leave you unmotivated and too frustrated to continue.
I personally got started in my kid's room first. It felt like it was now or never and once I got that room done, it made it easier to continue on when the most daunting room of my house was done and over with. Maybe it's your kitchen or your living room. I found that starting with the hardest room of the house was the best way to get started.
While you may read a blog post about minimalism that tells you to rid your home of your beloved blender you make your morning smoothie in because it's an "unnecessary" item, it is essential to your lifestyle if you use it every morning. In my eyes, even if someone tells you that having a full sized refrigerator is not an item a minimalist should have and you need a mini fridge instead and go shopping every few days, it doesn't mean you have to when you have 4 kids that will eat you out of house and home in a matter of minutes. Be realistic with what you keep and don't keep in your home.
Don't go overboard and think "Oh, I use this all the time" when you really don't. When you do this, you'll end up keeping so much more to clutter your house than you really need.
No "stuff" on the floor
In this step, you want to declutter and organize to the point that there is only furniture touching the floors. Stacking things in corners and dropping shoes in a pile by the front door aren't really going to work. Get things up off the floor and into containers or organizers.
Clear off tables and countertops
This is a big one. Even if you've kept things that most minimalists would say to get rid of, don't keep things sitting out on tables, chairs, etc. that don't belong there.
I'm always really bad about this. We don't have a mudroom type space (yet! It's on the summer to-do for the hubby), so bags and mail tend to pile on the end chair of our dining room table that is directly to the right when you walk in our front door.
I also may inclined to drop something on my desk and "forget" about it (aka, leave it there to "deal with" later). This leads me to the next point...
Everything needs a "home" and it needs to always go back there
Again, another hard thing to do in our house. Sometimes, it's so easy to just put the kid's bag on the floor by the front door when we walk in. My kids also have a difficult time remembering to put their shoes, ball caps and sunglasses in their rooms like they're supposed to.
But, all these things seem little and insignificant in the moment when it's "inconvenient" to put them way. Until your house is cluttered again and you feel like all your hard work has gone to waste. With everything you keep, designate it a home and put it away in or on it's home every time you are done with it.
Go back through when you're done
Once you've made your way through the house, go through it again after about a week or two. See what is working and what isn't. Can you get rid of some things you thought you couldn't live without at first? Did you find a home for something, but it's really not a good place for it? Do this exercise periodically, I say monthly. Especially around holidays and birthdays when new "things" come in to the home.
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