From my experience a successful road to minimalism means your heart needs to be in it.
If your just getting rid of stuff without properly considering it you won't discover what means the most to you. You may even regret discarding something which is completely at odds with the point of minimalism!
I am still experimenting with what is enough for me and certainly haven't found out what that looks like yet.
I've also found that little changes are more sustainable than a big radical change. So here are 5 tiny steps to help you on the road to a simplified life!
1. Make a list
Make a list of the reasons why you want to live more simply.
- Too stressed out to sleep at night? Write it down.
- Tired of being in debt? Write it down.
- Sad that you don't have enough quality time with your friend and family? Write it down.
- Worried about a situation at work? Write it down.
No idea what to get your mum for her birthday? Write that down too.
Next put the list in order, with what matters most at the top.
Then sit down with someone you trust and who loves you and talk about the list with them. Just sharing it will make you feel better and some solutions may come naturally. Others may take longer but at least now you have someone to support you.
2. Remove duplicates
We all get given things we already have or buy a replacement for something but don't throw the old one away. You might be amazed just how many duplicates you have accumulated over the years.
Take a box (or maybe two) and walk around your home and fill it with duplicates.
- If you have two sets of champagne glasses. Put 1 set in the box.
- Two copies of the same book or CD? Put 1 in the box.
- 40 mugs in a 2 person household? Put some in the box.
When you're done label the box “Duplicates” and put it away 30 days. Set a reminder on your phone to retrieve the box in 30 days and if you haven't missed anything that was in the box, donate it.
You could even go for a 2nd lap of your home!
3. Travel light
This is a fun one to try next time you travel.
If you're a notorious over-packer, try and pack as if you are going for half the amount of time.
If you are anything like me you will wear your favourite items more than once and probably not get glammed up every night, so half of what you would usual take doesn't get worn anyway.
You can always wash and hang clothes if you need to and you'll have more of an idea for next time.
See how it feels to carry less baggage, you might love it.
4. Dress with Less
If your wardrobe is the catalyst for stress in your life then Project 333 could be antidote. It's simply dressing with just 33 items for 3 months. That includes clothes, shoes and accessories. It sounds like a big commitment but you don't actually have to throw anything away, just decide what to put in storage for 3 months and what to keep in your wardrobe.
If the thought of minimising your current wardrobe down to 33 items is all too overwhelming then try my Ultimate Wardrobe Cleanse to help you discover which items you really love.
5. Claim a "clutter-free" zone
Pick visible spot in your home such as a table, section of worktop or even your dressing table, to make a "clutter-free zone." Use this area as an experiment in minimalism and living with less.
Remove any items that really live somewhere else in the house, get rid of any duplicates and the stuff you never or don't often use. Bin anything that is out of date or you don't really like (why is it there in the first place??) Clean whatever is left, including the surface itself.
Enjoy how it looks and how you feel when you are in that environment. That clear space should make you feel calmer and more focused on what's important. Think about how quick and easy it is to clean and keep it that way!
Expand the zone a little bit each day. A clutter-free table can become a clutter-free room and a clutter-free room can become the clutter-free, minimalist home you’ve been dreaming about.
The best thing about being new to minimalism is that you can try stuff out and look forward to a new life with less stuff, drama, debt, anxiety and stress.