Beginners guide to minimalism

everything you need to know about minimalism. How to become a minimalist.

Minimalism has been a huge part of the major life transformation that I’ve been working on for the past 3 years. I hadn’t really heard of it until I was on Pinterest one day and came across an article detailing what the minimalist lifestyle is all about. It was basically everything I needed in life at that moment, and there was no turning back. 

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Minimalism has helped me in ways that I never saw coming. It has taught me to appreciate more, it has helped me keep a clean and tidy home, it has helped me financially, and it has helped me become a happier person because clutter is overwhelming. Today I’m giving you a full beginners guide to minimalism so you can get in on the action.

What exactly is minimalism?

Minimalism is the art of living with less, so you can focus on what really matters in life. One thing I really learned over the past decade is how obsessed people are with material things. Clothes, accessories, makeup, electronics, whatever. And I also noticed not just in my own home but in other homes too that people have way more than they actually need. They also have way more than they actually use. Clutter can cause many negative feelings including

  • Anxiety
  • Stress
  • Overwhelm
  • Depression

So why have all this stuff if it is simply taking up space in your home, and in your life when it isn’t even being used or isn’t needed at all? 

This is where minimalism comes in to save the day.

If you are feeling like your life is being overtaken by your excessive amounts of clutter and you are ready for a fresh start with more opportunities to create the life of your dreams, then it’s time for you to start your minimalism journey!

WHERE DO I START?

I get it. De-cluttering your entire life seems like a big job and you have absolutely no idea where on earth to begin. I can’t tell you what is best for you, but I can tell you where I started and then I can give you some ideas

The very first thing I de-cluttered was my purse. Since I had kids, I spent years carrying around a diaper bag, and then a purse that was big enough to hold all of our stuff and then some, and then a slightly smaller purse but still really big. I had a huge checkbook wallet because that was the cool thing to do back then, but nobody writes checks anymore so I decided that I would start with my purse.

I traded my kate spade leather tote purse for a super small black purse from target. It was so small that my checkbook wallet wouldn’t even fit inside, so that’s what I got a small wallet. I switched from my huge checkbook wallet to a tiny card case. It is so small that I couldn’t even fit all of my cards in there, forcing me to get rid of the cards that I didn’t need or use.

I instantly felt so much better. I didn’t have a giant purse to carry around and I simply made a car kit filled with things that I might need for the kids instead of keeping it all in my purse all the time. Having a tiny wallet helps me as well because there’s honestly not much I can fit in there so it forces me to keep only the cards that I use regularly. This small but mighty move I made is what got me hooked on minimalism and de cluttering. So here are some ways that you can start small.

  • Phone declutter-photos, emails, downloads, contacts you don’t talk to
  • Purse or wallet
  • Shelves in your house
  • Your car
  • Your bathroom 

How to de-clutter

So decluttering my purse and wallet was easy and a relatively small task. But what if you take one of my suggestions above and start de-cluttering your car, or your bathroom? What exactly do you do? 

Step 1: take everything out 

If you are de-cluttering a space like the car, bathroom, shelf or anywhere else, the first thing you need to do is remove everything and deep clean the area. When I de-cluttered under my bathroom sink, I removed everything out, then cleaned under the sink with Lysol and made sure I had a nice sanitary place to put the remaining objects. 

Step 2: deciding what to keep

Only keep things that you absolutely need and that you will use. That curling iron that you haven’t used in 2 years can go. Another good tip is that if you forgot you even owned it in the first place, you don’t need it. Get rid of it. 

Step 3: What to do with the stuff 

If it’s in good condition and you have the time and energy to deal with people online, you can list it on places like Facebook marketplace, Craigslist, poshmark, eBay, etc. 

If you don’t feel like selling it you can always donate it or see if your friends and family would have a use for it.

Recycle anything that needs to be recycled 

And finally, if none of the above options are the right fit, you can always just throw it away. It’s out of your life for good and no longer able to clutter your home. Yay! 

If you have started with the small spaces and are moving on to bigger spaces like the kitchen, bedrooms, closets, etc, it’s super important to not overwhelm yourself. I suggest doing it one section at a time. One cupboard at a time, one part of your closet at a time, otherwise you run the risk of having everything laid out in the middle of the floor and thinking what have I gotten myself into?

My favorite thing is to put on a show, podcast, or YouTube video to listen to while I do the job. It takes my mind off the clutter and allows me to have a little distraction so that I’m not overwhelmed. It makes it fun. Plus I love learning from podcasts and I find that I’m stimulating my mind while doing this.

MAINTAINING THE LIFESTYLE

For me, the minimalist journey is ongoing. When I first started the hardcore de-cluttering of my home, we ended up removing over 60 bags of stuff over a 3 month period. It blew my mind how much stuff we’ve been hoarding that we have no use for.

The kids and I go through their bedroom every 3 months and get rid of things they don’t use. They understand the importance of getting rid of things so we can make room for bigger and better things. I do the same in my bedroom as well. 

When I shop, my mindset is different than it was before. Before I purchase an item I ask myself several questions

  • Is this something I can keep for a long time?
  • Does it go with other items I own?
  • Would I buy this item again if it broke or got lost?
  • Is it a fast fashion item that will go out of style?
  • Will I regret not buying it?

What happens after you’ve de cluttered your life?

  • Your house should be easier to maintain, more organized, things should be easier to find 
  • You feel lighter in a weird way
  • You start saving money because you don’t spend it on unnecessary stuff
  • You feel inspired to focus on the things that really matter to you

Minimalism has been a gateway to a happier, more positive lifestyle and I think everyone should create their own version. That’s the best part of minimalism, is that you can make it whatever you need it to be to create a better life for yourself.

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3 Comments

  1. June 8, 2018 / 4:03 pm

    I love to de-clutter. It's like therapy. Thank you for sharing your thoughts-great post. I particularly like the section about social media-something a lot of people wouldn't think of.

  2. June 8, 2018 / 4:03 pm

    I like this, I declutter all the time. I just went through a 30 day decluttering challenge. I tried the full minimalist lifestyle and could not do it. I have certain things I have been able to keep minimal. lol Good Luck

  3. June 8, 2018 / 4:03 pm

    Love this so much – decluttering my computer is something I never think about until I need to and then never have time to do! Taking a few minutes to sit down and just do it would be so much more time efficient than waiting until I'm in a rush and don't have space to save a needed file. Cleaning up my social media is another that I hadn't thought of but very much need to do! Thanks so much for sharing these!

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