Own less, experience more. That is the unofficial motto to those who live a minimalistic lifestyle. In it’s essence, minimalism is all about owning only what you need and use on a daily or seasonal basis. They believe that by living an uncluttered life, they experience a high level of zen, mindfulness and appreciation for the little things.
Being free from unneeded possessions is a beautiful thing. Take me for example. I was quite a hoarder. Not in a TLC “get-this-girl-a-flamethrower” kind of way, but let’s just say my bar was set pretty low on what I considered a possession with “sentimental” value. I kept everything from passable family heirlooms, old pet collars, all five of my failed G1 drivers written tests and pretty much any kind of “art” my children created.
And don’t even get me started on the drawers and cupboards full of hair products, makeup, and cans of food I never used, or all the clothes I told myself “Oh, I’ll totally wear this someday…” or the hopeful “This will fit again eventually…”. Needless to say, my home was a hub full of accumulated crap I truly didn’t need.
One day I read a pretty good article about the magic of minimalism. I discovered that it was not only beneficial to your state of mind, but your physical health as well. You don’t feel as stressed. You’re continually feeling refreshed. You save time from not having to clean the onslaught of clothes and/or toys that slowly become an infestation on your living space. You save money because you get it in your head that you don’t truly “need” that new flower arrangement from Homesense. You’re self esteem goes up and you aren’t as cautious about having your mother come over for a visit.
I have a few tips and tricks for you to free up your lifestyle through the practice of de-cluttering/minimalism.
- Have you touched that in the last month? No? If it’s not seasonal then Donate it! (Or Ruckify it…. whatever works for you)
- Is it something you only use in a specific season? Such as a fabric pumpkin or a parka? Get four of those large plastic bins from your local hardware store or Walmart. Give each of them a label (Summer, fall, winter or spring) and keep those seasonal items safely tucked away until they are actually needed.
- Head to your bathroom. Open your cupboards and makeup bag. How often do you actually touch the dozen-or-so products that are there (I assume most of those bottles are two uses away from being empty)? Grab a garbage bag/recycling bin and generously fill that sucker up.
- Head down to the kitchen. Peer into your cupboards and see what un-perishables are there that you’ve never actually eaten/used in months and months. Load them up into a bin and donate them to your local shelter.
- If it’s easier. Take it one room at a time! Think to yourself “what have I not used in the past month?” and rid yourself of it. I understand this tip is the same as tip #1, but I feel it’s importance needs to be reinforced.
- Are you a parent? Is your house overrun with toys your kids only play with for two seconds and discard? Go buy some of those handy plastic bins again. Separate the toys into two-three bins (offering a nice variety in each – and don’t be afraid to donate any toys that don’t fit into the bin). Now switch the toy bins out every week so your little one has a focused variety to play with for the week before getting a new bin to play with. This will keep their toy selection feeling fresh and they will actually spend more time playing with singular items.
- Do you have duplicates of something ? Go ahead and get rid of all of those!
- Tackle your wardrobe. If its something you’re not truly comfortable wearing, then get rid of it. Is it a dress you wore to your grade eleven semi-formal? Get rid of it. Is it an edgy sweater your friend insisted looked great on you but you secretly thought it was a tad “out there” for you? get rid of it. Do have have similar looking items? Keep only one. A simplified wardrobe means an easier time getting ready in the morning AND less laundry (yay!).
- Ask yourself if the item/decor you’re looking at makes you happy. Does it make you feel serene? does it make you smile? If the answer is no then it is not worth having around.
- Sell, donate or rent out any appliances you don’t use. Did you get a fancy juicer thinking you were going to be “all-about-juicing” except, you’ve only ever used it tree times in the past year? Then you really don’t need that taking up half your cupboard space!
I hope these tips can help you take your first steps towards an uncluttered lifestyle! If de-cluttering drives you nuts, there are many professional de-clutters out there that can help you through the process! Either way, I highly recommend giving it a try because it can really improve your quality of life and give you more time/money to spend on things that matter!
And at the risk of sounding too “salesy”, Ruckify is a platform that can help those who wish to save space, rent the things they need temporarily! So don’t worry, the next time you hold “mommy-and-me yoga” at your house, you can rent a juicer on Ruckify!