The path to becoming a minimalist is messy. Everyone wants my secret tips for minimizing. I minimized my family of four into six suitcases so that we could become full-time international nomads.
People often ask me, how long does it take to become a minimalist?
Minimalism isn’t an end point, it’s a lifestyle. Think of minimalism as a decision framework as opposed to a goal to be be achieved. You live a more minimalistic lifestyle when you reduce clutter, items serve a purpose, and you are intentional about additional items you bring into your life.
As a beginner you’ll basically be focusing on reducing clutter. Accordingly, this article will take you through the first three spaces in your home to set you up for success on your minimalism journey. Using these tips for minimizing, indeed even a hoarder can become a minimalist.
Additional Reading About Minimalism
- First Two Small Steps to Minimalism
- 3 Ways Stuff Stops You From Living Your Life
- I Can’t Be a Minimalist
Minimizing is similar to budgeting. You could be handed enough money to solve all your financial problems; but if the underlying spending issues aren’t solved, you’re going to end up in debt again. One day you could just decide to throw everything you own away; but if you don’t solve the underlying reasons for your accumulation, it will undoubtedly pile up again.
In short, for minimalism to be sustainable there has to be a mindset shift. My Messy to Minimalist strategy considers your mental state at each step of your minimalism journey.
You’ll start your minimalism journey with an easy win, kick off a longer term project, then start snowballing success room by room. As a result, these tips for minimizing will drastically reduce the time it takes to eliminate clutter.
Firstly, we will kick off your clutter elimination with an easy win. Typically entryways are small and therefore won’t take much time to tackle.
Besides being small they are also very easy logistically to deal with. Generally entryways are dumping grounds for jackets, schoolwork, shoes, umbrellas, and other items brought into your home.
Many items in your entryway don’t belong there and technically live somewhere else in your home. Simply take the time to relocate the improperly stored items to their rightful place.
The items that do belong in the entryway often have a logistical challenge preventing them from being put away properly. What the heck does that mean? It means you might need to buy some things to make your entryway more functional.
Bet you didn’t think a blog about minimalism would essentially start by telling you to purchase something. If a shoe rack would create more functionality, get a shoe rack. Instead, if a wall hanging coat rack would make the space more useful, do that. These little projects will help your home operate more easily.
Secondly, it is time to move onto the kitchen. The kitchen is a rather large scale project which will be ongoing as you simultaneously work on other areas. Nevertheless, you’ll want to start on the kitchen now since it is so many steps.
In this case my tips for minimizing are based on strategy. Kitchens are very easy rooms for beginners to minimize because there is so much broken, outdated, and un-functional clutter to clear. You will build confidence as you realize how many items
Each day you will select an area of your kitchen, for example, two drawers or one cabinet. Begin your day by clearing off the entire counter. Sterilize the counter as a staging area for the space you’ll be minimizing.
Take every single item out of the two drawer for instance. Put those items on your recently sanitized counter space. Once the drawers in this case are empty, clean and sanitize that space before putting anything back. Purge and put back items systematically.
After one full round purging and putting back items from every space in your kitchen, then there is another step. While you reduced your number of items the kitchen is still not organized efficiently. Now of course you can re-organize the fewer items into commonly used and infrequently used spaces to make your kitchen function better.
Thirdly, you can move on to any bathrooms in your home. The bathroom is filled with non-sentimental items hence making them much easier for beginners to purge.
Bathrooms are of course humid and the temperature fluctuates dramatically in that space. For that reason, the vast majority of items you currently keep in your bathroom should ideally be re-located. Additionally, if your toilet is located in the same room as your bathroom there are particles floating around that can land on your stuff.
Towels not in normal rotation shouldn’t be left piled up to grow mold. Move medications, toothbrushes, makeup, jewelry, nail polish, and even tampons outside the bathroom. Because of the moisture in the air you should also relocate electronic items like shavers, ear hair trimmers, or bluetooth speakers.
I know I’m blowing your mind with all the things you shouldn’t keep in the bathroom.
Each step of my minimalism journey includes a serious deep cleaning of every side of every object in my home.
Toiletries have a shelf life. In general soaps, shampoos, bath salts will be good for around 1-2 years and less than that if you’ve been storing them in the bathroom all that time. If 5 years ago you went on a Bath and Body Works clearance haul and those products have lived under your sink ever since, they gotta go.
How to Minimize My Home
Move gradually from room to room in order to ensure your minimalism is sustainable. You gain confidence and skills as you move through the de-cluttering process. Only start in rooms filled with non-emotional items.
Executing these tips to minimizing is the difference between a future minimalist and a forever hoarder. None of these minimalism strategies are hard they are just tedious.
Make the de-cluttering process a one time annoyance. Shift your future thinking to prevent re-accumulation.
Each round of minimizing will get more and more aggressive. Just because you have already minimized a room doesn’t mean it is totally done. Minimize that room again and again until you feel totally satisfied.