Minimalism is a process; 7 tips you need to get started

Are you thinking about minimizing your life? Do you finally want to simplify your home and remove all the junk you no longer need. Are you ready to attack your cluttered life today?


Don’t start yet. Wait until you’ve read this post.

Minimizing, decluttering, reorganizing, simplifying—call it what you want—takes time. It’s a process. Start small and work your way through your stuff. You might start with a category of things like clothes, dishes, linens, kids toys, paperwork, or whatever. Or, you might also choose to start with one room, one closet, or one drawer.

Don’t overwhelm yourself.
Some people find it very difficult to let go
of all the things they no longer need in their life.

Kendra decided she wanted to live simpler when she moved from her house in town to a small home in the country. She started by cleaning and sorting each room, throwing out all the garbage and keeping all the good stuff. For her garbage meant, for the most part, things she hadn’t used for at least a year (some people choose to do two years). A year is a good length of time, since you’ve lived daily life through all the seasons. For example, she didn’t wear that hat and scarf set one time last winter, but she kept it for now.

Then, another day, she sorted what was left into keep, donate (the hat and scarf), and give-away piles. All the stuff she wanted to keep she packed into boxes to take to her new home. Later when she unpacked, she three away more stuff; she realized she had no room for it, she really didn’t need it, it wasn’t as sentimental as she thought. A year later, she sorted again. This time she threw or gave away only a few things, but she managed to keep only what she believe added value to her life in her new home.

Remember, what adds value for one person is not what adds value for another person. You have to choose what you want to keep in your life.

A few tips:

  1. Be in the right mood.
  2. Take your time and start small.
  3. Set up five piles (or boxes or bags) for
    1. things to keep
    2. (and if you’re so inclined) items you’re arent quite sure what to do with yet.
    3. things to donate
    4. things to give away to friends or family
    5. things to trash
  4. Throw out all trash right away before you change your mind.
  5. Take items from Pile 4 to your “give away” recipients right away before you change your mind. Anything they don’t want, either trash it or add it to the donate pile.
  6. Sleep, go to work, take a vacation, read a book or do something for a few days. Then begin to sort and organize the items from Piles 1 and 2. Everything you keep must be useful (clothing, dishes, remote control, hobby supplies), be beautiful (artwork, books, china plate, jewelry), or sentimental (photographs, special gift from Mom, antique clock from Grandma). You may find more things to give away, donate, or trash. That’s great. Do it now.
  7. Try to have fun with the process. Feel how freeing it is rid yourself of all the stuff that doesn’t add value to your life.

Good luck. Let me know how it goes when you start your simplifying process.

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