3 Ideas to Simplify Your Life – Minimalism at Home
Free Yourself from Stuff
The Minimalist Home: You’ll be Leaner, Greener, and Sometimes Meaner
When you hear the word minimalism, its actual roots might not come to mind. It’s come to mean a design aesthetic as much as anything. But, the Yves Klein plates of color, or Japanese architectural lines often associated with the term should not be the focus or starting point for those seeking to embrace minimalism as a way of life.
Minimalism at home should be a simple equation. Is what you have more than what you need? If so, subtract. While this is possibly an oversimplification and there are many ways to go about thinking of minimalism, at its core the concept is about down-sizing, slimming, simplifying and adjusting consumption to be more in line with a green lifestyle.
Minimalism also means spending less money, saving more, and evaluating purchases. This also results in less clutter, which means that aesthetically things in your home will have a better sense of streamlined order. Things will be easier to find. Quality becomes paramount and more important than quantity. The very essence of who you are becomes apparent in what you surround yourself with and what you don’t.
It seems simple. However, don’t think that taking things away makes everything easy. The process of becoming a minimalist, or pairing things down in minimalistic style, can bring some to the verge of an identity crisis. Like all challenging things, there are ways of handling this transition that can be healthier than others. So, in starting to think about minimalism, let us start with basic places where simplicity can be achieved and 3 ideas to simplify your life.
Regarding the closet, there are tell tale signs that things might have gone too far. A bending bar and crammed hangers. Clothing is so stuffed that any idea of folding is out of the notion. Drawers, unable to close, turn into shelves. Yes, that’s too much stuff.
The easiest way to start is to make piles, not just any piles, but ones with real specific tasks to help you figure out what you want, what you need, and what is just dinner for random moths that fly around.
One is a pile of clothing that is faded, torn, or in a state of condition that isn’t worth holding onto. Should you really find something worth keeping that is damaged, make a small area of repairs that you are debating and put it in a maybe pile.
The next pile is of things that you haven’t worn for at least a year. That means that they didn’t make it through the last season to be worn. Or maybe you have something that you just keep avoiding when it comes to putting together an outfit. These pieces, sad and lonely in the closet, should end up in a pile to get rid of.
The final pile if of one that are things you are going to keep. Items should be in good condition and things that you wear enough to keep around. It doesn’t matter how much these items cost, as long as they are actually fitting you well and work to represent the best version of yourself you see possible.
Once you are done, your closet should have a set of classic basics and favorite pieces that really make a statement about what style defines that. In the end, your closet should also be put together in a way that doesn’t feel cramped at all in a visual sense. Open places, in an almost artistically fit way should be present when thinking about minimalism.
If there was one space that often feels like a black hole of life, it would be the garage. Everything, from precious photo albums of your grandmother’s wedding to a rusty bike you might fix, ends up being thrown into this room whose only visitors are spiders. But with a minimalistic eye, all of that can change. Your garage can be a well organized space to house what you need, and purge what you do not. So if your garage is looking like a tornado hit, simplifying is vital for you.
First thing is to get bins for recycling, donation, and garbage. I’d also recommend that you put on a pair of gloves, depending on what you might find if your garage is less than pristine. It should be easy to fill up the garbage bin, since things that are broken and not able to be donated will go there. When it comes to deciding what to keep in the garage, a lot of it is going to be pairing down the personal items.
This can be really hard. Often people don’t like to get rid of things that once held good memories. But part of having a more streamlined, minimalistic life is cleaning out those things we no longer need, without forgetting the great memories. If it is overwhelming, just donate things that are not being used at all. In time, you might have to have another round of going through the memorabilia and figuring out what is really needed, and what is just collecting dust and water stains.
Once you go through the garage, you will be able to see that not only can you actually use your garage in a better way, but you won’t be stressed about having a box of garbage attached to your house. If you do this right, it should have some clean shelving and have things organized with labels. You could even end up starting a new hobby with all the new space that you end up with.
The bedroom can end up a mash of different things. But for the well organized minimalist, having a bedroom that is just for a few simple things is vital. It shouldn’t be a place where laptops are laying around. Or old bags of food and crumpled napkins. And as for the laundry? It should be tucked away and put up in the closet. And when things get overwhelming, you just need to start with the basics.
Firstly, do away with the clutter. That means you are not going to have every knick knack from your travels around. It is distracting, and ends up being a dust collector. One thing that also isn’t going to be in the bedroom are photographs. As much as you like whomever is in those pictures, it isn’t always good to ‘invite’ others into your sacred space. The bedroom needs to focus on relaxing and other things that just should be about you and another person. Once all of that is cleared out, you have a clean slate.
The next thing to look at is the bed linens. If you have mismatched linens, you need to try and get a set that works. It isn’t a bad idea to try and stick to neutral colors. White is always a classic and clean option. For color, you can spike the set with accent pillows. Keep it simple but try to choose a few colors that are not too cold. Blacks, blues, grays, and other cold colors aren’t good for warming up this place that needs a little passion.
As for the walls, try and paint things to be neutral as well. Should you be a die hard fan of color, you can opt for playing down your window shades and linens that can tone down the room. Artwork can be on the walls, but the images shouldn’t spark any specific memory. This way, your bedroom is a blank canvas that is for relaxing from top to bottom.
All these tips and ideas to simplify your life that apply to these rooms can easily spill over to other areas of your home. Those basic rules of pairing down what is not really needed and getting rid of the clutter is essential. When you begin this process, don’t think you have to do it all in one day. Cleaning things out can be overwhelming, especially when our possessions are involved, but after doing it enough it can be refreshing. Your home will have less, and there is one thing you will gain from it. More time for yourself and loved ones, and that is a tradeoff worth trying for.