Well, since starting our blog, our choice to go Minimal has been a topic of conversation amongst our friends and family when we get together. “Oh hey I read what you guys are up to, that’s cool! I have thought about trying to downsize myself, I am just not sure how to get started” is often what we have heard.
SO… I thought I would provide some tips on how to get started if you are interested in making steps towards minimalism, and a few things to remember (and forgive yourself for) along the way.
- PICK ONE ROOM, or better yet a closet (see, simple! breath friends, breath) Why? Well generally you don’t have a strong emotional attachment to your towels – but if you do, don’t stress, YOU CAN DO IT, the towels don’t have feelings I promise. Also, it is less overwhelming and MUCH less of a time commitment then, say, the kitchen. You are more likely to actually get up and do it when you know it will be a quick job (and once you do one or two closets, you will be hooked and ready to conquer the beasts).
- REMEMBER THIS IS A PROCESS. You won’t empty your entire house in one day and why should you. Take the time to really consider what you NEED and what you LOVE. Maybe that means going through said closet three or four times over the course of a year to get it how you want it (believe me, after almost a year of purging, we still feel as though it is a work in progress!).
- FORGIVE YOURSELF (and your significant other). Yes, maybe you spent way too much money on those embroidered hand towels that you are still waiting on the arrival of the Queen to use. Sure, your husband’s spiderman sheets were stuffed at the bottom of the closet, not used since 1993, yet still taking up space. It’s ok, I promise. We all have stuff we wish we wouldn’t have wasted our money on, or stuff of others that have been cluttering our minds and closests for years. But it’s all good, you are moving forward, making steps in the right direction, so forgive and happily move on.
- Tell others what you are doing. You don’t have to do it in the form of a blog (although I have found it an effective and efficient way to get it out there), but at least have a conversation about your choice to go minimal. Share your love of the process, not necessarily to convert others but to inspire and motivate yourself. Plus it has been SUPER rewarding when people tell me they cleaned out a closet, or are attempting to clear out some clutter above their fireplace – mainly because they heard your story and it inspired them – cool right?! Not everyone will get it, but that’s ok, they don’t have to! Share it anyway. Also, you NEED support from you family and friends so that they don’t fill your house with more stuff (think of Christmas) just after you have sent a truckload away.
- Be kind to the earth as you go. Try to avoid throwing things away. Sell them, donate them, find a family in need and give them some things. Recycle what you can. We’d hate for the landfills to be full of items coming from families literally chucking everything they own in order to go minimal – thanks in advance 🙂
Good luck and please share your experience!
Live well, friends