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How to Lead a More Minimalist Lifestyle

More and more people are finding fulfillment through this new lifestyle. Minimalism is when you intentionally choose to live life with only the necessities. By downsizing, buying less, and choosing to simplify your home, you can focus on the most important aspects of your life. If you find yourself distracted and overwhelmed, try out these tips for a more minimalist lifestyle.

Stop Buying Useless Stuff

One of the biggest ways people clutter their home is by buying. Find ways you can cut spending money on new items. Not only will this help you keep your home clear, it can also help you budget and save for the things you really want. If you do find yourself needing something new, try to find balance by removing an old item for each item you bring in. For instance, if you buy a new piece of clothing, try removing an unused shirt or an old pair of pants from your closet. Of course, one of the best skills a minimalist can learn is how to give up items they don’t use.

Throw Out What You Don’t Use

Many people’s homes are filled with items they don’t actually use. From fancy kitchen gadgets to clothes that don’t fit, many homes are clogged with things that people don’t need. According to this widely shared statistic, women only wear 20–30% of the clothes in their closet. Even if you don’t have a full closet, there are probably still plenty of items you don’t need in your home. If you don’t want to throw out an item, find places that will accept donated items, like charity shops or “no-buy” online groups. Though it can be hard, everyone can learn how to get rid of the things they don’t use.

Live With Less Space

It’s no coincidence that the minimalist lifestyle goes hand-in-hand with downsizing. Sure, getting rid of stuff is a necessity when moving into a smaller home, but it’s also a great way to make your life more minimalist. If you find a home that fits you better, the smaller space can help clear out sources of stress you don’t even recognize. Downsizing cuts downs the amount of space you need to worry about, including energy costs and your carbon footprint.

Cut Your Energy Consumption

Find ways to apply minimalism to your energy consumption. Besides downsizing, there are many ways to make your home more energy-efficient, which can help you save money over time. You can save money with energy-efficient windows or by insulating your house. Research how to improve your plumbing or electric systems. Look into how to create better, more mindful energy consumption.

Plan it Out

Set aside some time to plan how you can begin clearing out your home. Make a list of items you know you’ll need to keep and ones you know you can get rid of. Start on the most cluttered parts of your house. If you’re having trouble letting go of things, try the KonMari method and think about whether or not an item “sparks joy.” Learn to ask yourself hard questions about why you’re hanging on to items. Also, try researching decluttering checklists to see how you can get started.

Organize by Category

Organization helps any house feel more like a home. Not only can it help you find items when you need them, it can also better utilize the space available to you. When organizing, the general rule should be that the items must conform to the storage space, not the other way around. Start from the ground up, or one room at a time, to learn how to best approach organizing your home.

When you learn to group items by category, you can quickly spot duplicate items that you don’t really need. If items are categorized, you can more easily find the things to get rid of. Grouping together all the same kinds of an item, like a kid’s toys, gives you a better idea of how many items you actually own

Learn to Simplify Your Meals

When adopting a minimalist lifestyle, one thing people don’t always take into account is how they eat. Overpacking your fridge with food, only to throw it away, can be a source of stress. Plan your meals so you’re only buying what you need. Decide on “staple” meals, so you don’t have to feel like you need to learn a new recipe every time your cook. (This isn’t to discourage trying out new meals, but to help you be more mindful about what food you’re choosing to buy.) You can also save time and avoid food waste with meal prep. If you’re looking to budget better or want to decrease your carbon footprint, avoid eating out.

Address Mental Clutter

Besides physical items, people also can sometimes get bogged down by mental clutter. While a clean, organized house can help people find some calm, it’s also important to learn how you can declutter yourself. Identify sources of stress in your life. How can you start to address them?

If you have a busy life, give yourself time every day to clear your head. Make space to do the things you love, but don’t focus on unnecessary expectations. New hobbies like yoga and journal-writing can be great, just as long as you don’t beat yourself up for missing a day. Finding mental balance in life can be hard for anyone. But learning to organize your thoughts is just as important as clearing out a junk room.

Think about why you’re trying minimalism. Is it to decrease stress? Want to work on better budgeting? Are you looking for a way to feel good about yourself? Do you want simply to create a home you can be more comfortable in? Before starting your minimalist lifestyle, identify your goals and what you want to change. When you have specific, clear goals in mind, you are able to better commit to big life choices.

There are many different ways to approach minimalism. Exploring different methods will help you decide what is right for you. When starting out, trying using the one-week rule. Whether you commit to a full minimalist lifestyle, or just go minimal-ish, you can find ways to eliminate stress and free up your life.

Read this next: How to Make Your Family Home Winter-Ready

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