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Collate, sort, and declutter. Sounds pretty simple, right? The idea of having a minimalist lifestyle sounds attractive to many, but the first step toward minimalism often overwhelms or scares them away.
Living with little to no clutter looks ideal, and the benefits are truly life-changing, but most of the time, people who want a minimalist lifestyle don’t know where to start. Do they have to start raiding their closets? Start throwing away all the things not included in a minimalist checklist they found on Pinterest? Or just throw away everything they have and start buying essentials?
What Is Minimalism?
Having a minimalist lifestyle does not mean stressing out from living with a limited number of items. It means living life at its fullest with fewer items supporting everyday life.
The goal is not to achieve obsessive perfection, but to prioritize what is essential to reach true happiness, contentment, and freedom.
How to Start Minimalism at Home
The beginning of one’s journey to a minimalist lifestyle can be pretty challenging, but it will surely be worth it in the long run. Below are some minimalist decluttering ideas, which will undoubtedly change your home and living in general.
Follow the KonMari Method
This is probably the most popular decluttering method, thanks to organizing consultant Marie Kondo for introducing this method through her book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.
Instead of throwing away unnecessary stuff, the KonMari method encourages you to keep things that “spark joy.” Gather every single item in each area at home, put them in a big pile, go through each item, and decide which ones stay.
Sell Items with the 12-12-12 Challenge
Start the decluttering process by finding 12 items that fall under three categories: items to throw, items to donate, and items to return to their proper homes. Take it up a notch by adding or changing a category into 12 things to sell.
Some pieces that were once for hobbies, work, or collection but are now only collecting dust can be useful and attractive to other people. A practical way to make money out of the things not being used anymore is to start selling them online. Now, you’re one step closer to decluttering your stuff.
Have 365 Things Fewer
If getting rid of home stuff in large batches makes it a little overwhelming, try the 365 things method. It is simply getting rid of one item every single day for the rest of the year. These may be clothes, shoes, appliances, cookware, accessories, and just anything useless at home. When your decluttering method starts to get smooth, try increasing the number of items to put away.
Try the Four-Box Method
From the name itself, this method involves four boxes. Label each one as such: Throw Away, Give Away, Put Away, and Undecided. Go through every single item at home, and place each of them in the appropriate box. This method may take a little longer, but the good thing is each piece will have its destination.
Aim for 2020 in 2020
This means letting go of 2,020 items before the year 2020 ends. It’s not that you’re counting, but setting this kind of goal can be an excellent motivation throughout the decluttering process. And you have a year to complete it, no need to rush.
Play the 30-Day Minimalism Game
This game, introduced by Ryan Nicodemus and Joshua Fields Millburn of The Minimalists, should be done with a friend or family member who’s also willing to do the challenge.
The rule is very simple: declutter the same number of items on each day of the month. In short, get rid of one item during the first day of the month, two things on the second day, and so on. By the end of the month, a total of 496 items will be put away, which means more space at home.
This method can be challenging as the day goes by, so you better do it with someone as committed and as competitive as you are. Whoever ends the challenges successfully should win a prize.
Observe 40 Bags in 40 Days
This method is meant to coincide with the 40 days of Lent, so it should start by Ash Wednesday and end by Holy Saturday.
Decluttering can be overwhelming, especially for beginners. Try establishing a routine, and take before and after photos of each project area to see the progress. Most importantly, celebrate the achievement of little goals as they get you one step closer to living the utmost minimalist lifestyle.