I have always been a bit of a hoarder and collector of random objects. I guess I can not really take on that hoarder label because I am not really a hoarder by definition but I live a life far from that of the minimalist lifestyle.
I have lots of clutter in my home and can’t seem to pass up a bargain no matter if I have the room to store it or even a use for it.
I have always been intrigued by the minimalist lifestyle and anytime I walk into a home that embodies this way of life, I am in awe of the clean, sleek space that is obviously lived in but looks far from it.
My living space is currently far from that of a minimalist but I have recently decided to start working hard towards embodying that lifestyle.
While I am still far from being able to call myself a minimalist, I have taken steps towards reaching my goals and during the process, I have already learned so much about what has kept me from this lifestyle in the past.
As I make progress and work on achieving the ultimate goal of being a minimalist or at least swing the pendulum further from harder and closer to minimalist, I am happy to share my progress as well as what is working for me.
The first thing that comes to mind when you think of a minimalist lifestyle is STUFF, those things that George Carlin talked about in one of his most famous routines.
Well, that is a large part of living the minimalist lifestyle but it is not just about STUFF, it’s about finding happiness in your life from something other than things.
You can achieve happiness through living a meaningful life and that goes way beyond your STUFF but for me one of the most challenging parts has been getting beyond material things and getting rid of excess.
I have recently adopted a new system that I think will help anyone to minimalize their own STUFF and to get rid of the excess things in your life.
The Bag Method has helped me get rid of things that I had attachments to all of these years, things that an outsider would see and not understand why I would hang onto it for so long. I have had boxes of craft supplies for years clogging up my office, Christmas decorations that I never even use, Kindergarten work my daughter did, and everything in between.
The Bag Method is simple to start and before long you will make lots of progress with very little effort.
Set a goal to fill two bags each week, one with items to donate and one with items to sell. Of course, if you have a lot of trash and items of no value you can use that second bag for trash instead of selling. For me, being able to make a few bucks from some of the items was the motivation I needed to let go. I was able to trade my items for money which will ultimately buy me more items, so you can see my struggle there but I also donated a lot of things to my local Salvation Army as well.
Check Facebook for local groups in your area that allow you to list your items for sale locally. This will help you get rid of some things and after you sell a few items you may be inspired to get rid of even more!
Declutter- Once you have gotten rid of excess items in a room don’t start filling that space up with items from other areas of your home. It can be easy to utilize that space with other clutter but you have to make a point to keep that area clutter free.
Let Go of Guilt- One of the most common emotions I feel when sorting through my items is guilt. I feel guilty about getting rid of an art project that my daughter made 10 years ago or selling a knick-knack that has collected dust for the past 15 years just because my mom bought it for me. That is not healthy, we all have a few things that really mean a lot to us and those are items we should keep no matter how minimalistic our lives become but there has to be a limit on what we feel is so important it needs to be kept forever.
Take A Picture It Will Last Longer- One trick that has really helped me out a lot is instead of holding onto 30 art projects, I line them up and take pictures of them. They get saved to my google photos and I move on with my life, this way I still have my daughters precious artwork but now I also have an empty closet, it’s a win win!
As I mentioned, I have just begun trying to live this minimalist lifestyle and it is more complicated than just stuff but I am working hard at clearing out all of this clutter first.
I am excited about taking on this new journey and I can’t wait to hear what has worked for you to keep clutter to a minimum in your home!