If you are like me then you are someone who is deeply affected by your surrounding environment. If my home is messy, disorganized, or cluttered, then my mind and heart have such an easier time reflecting that as well. If my environment is clean with everything in it's place, diffusers going, then I feel calm and content. I remember when I was in college, I could never study or get homework done unless my room was clean first. I am still like that today. Before I can tackle any tasks- blog posts, or lesson plans for work- I need my space to feel good.
Life has been getting busier and busier lately, and being able to wake up or come back to my clean home has become a safe place and haven I look forward to. Nick and I have been living in this apartment since December and we both love it! It's a good location, affordable, gets great light, and has a washer/dryer/dishwasher...aka score! I love that it's small (probably around 600 sq ft) because it has forced us to only keep things that are essential.
Recently, I decided to embark on my minimalism/simple living journey with more intention. I've been decluttering more and wanted to share some tips and (hopefully) inspiration for you to try at home! I think everyone could benefit from a little minimizing and clearing of the mind.
Here are my 3 tips to begin minimizing your home when you don't know where to start:
- Declutter room by room. And break each room into chunks. If you try and tackle literally every room in your home in one day you will most likely get burnt out and not finish. It always feels SO good to finish a project, especially something like this, so starting with a smaller bite to chew first is always a good idea! Start with rooms that are easier like the bathroom or kitchen. Save things like clothes or more sentimental items for later.
- Separate things into categories. Here are some ideas: Essential, Non Essential, and Junk. Or Keep, Donate, and Junk. Think of junk as things you just do not need. Like old receipts, DVD's you don't watch, recipe cards you will never use because you're always on Pinterest anyway. As you begin to declutter and go through items, it helps if you ask yourself: does this add value to my life? Do I regularly use this item? Does this item serve a purpose? Depending on your answer, move your items into your assigned categories.
- Remember: Minimalism does not have one recipe. Minimalism can look different for everyone! When you think of minimalism and picture a completely bare room with one chair and one lamp and you begin to quiver with that idea because that is just not you, then stop! I want to encourage anyone (and myself) that minimalism does not have one certain way it all needs to look. There isn't just one recipe. This is partially why I focus on simple living instead of minimalism. if I say I'm a minimalist then that immediately puts guidelines and expectations on me and the way other people view me. In my life, we still have our couch, chair, coffee table, TV, bar stools, a kitchen table and chairs...we have all of these things still but we keep them because they add value to our lives.
Chew on this: What is the end goal? Is it to declutter one room, or all of them? To fully dive in and become a minimalist? For me, I want to achieve simplicity in all areas of my life. I want to live in a simple, small home filled only with things we need or find beautiful. Cook and create meals with simple ingredients and whole foods. Use simple and natural products for beauty and wellness needs.
"Love people, use things. The opposite never works."
This cute hand towel for example... it is so cute, I've had it for nearly six years, but have never used it to function as an actual hand towel. It's always just been a decoration, and for the past few years it's just sit in my bin of other hand towels. This is something small, but it's a good example to remember to have control over not holding onto unnecessary things.
It's okay to let go of things.
It's also ok to keep things that add joy or value to your life!
I personally love decluttering and cleaning in general. During the process I began to feel freer and lighter. As I picked something up, and just tossed it into the donate basket I immediately felt that I had the power and control in my life. Sounds silly, but getting rid of all this stuff helped to bring mental clarity. I am beginning to now live in a space where everything that remains is either beautiful to me or has a function.
The photo below shows all the things I donated from my decluttering day! This was just one day, and I am still working through the bedroom and guest room. What really helped me feel successful this day was dropping all of this off at Goodwill. It would have stressed me out to just have this stuff sit in my hallway...
I hope my 3 tips have inspired or helped you get started on minimizing your own home!Keep in mind this process takes time. Entering into a new mindset for your home, surroundings, and how you consume takes time. Let me know how it goes :)