Home is your sacred place, the space in which you connect with loved ones and rest from the days’ labors. If however, the surfaces are cluttered, the wardrobes are bursting and there is more stuff than the space around it, then you have a home which will add to your mental noise and emotional unrest. Why choose to create a minimal home? Because an intentional and purposeful, curated space can be your haven of peace and place of joy in an otherwise fast-paced world.
Your home is a living space, not a storage space.MissMinimalist.com
Before you begin to pack up or dispose of your belongings it’s important to recognize what you want from this process, is it more space, less stuff to clean and maintain? Do you desire more time with your loved ones with spaces that foster those relationships? Perhaps you simply no longer wish to be weighed down by deciding what to wear each morning. For me, it has been a little of each, having a curated wardrobe has helped me to stop impulse shopping because I have a clear style that I adore and stick to. I love each item I own and actually wear the clothes in my wardrobe. The time I spend cleaning is substantially reduced these days and coming home to a clean space calms my active mind.
Once you have your “why”, think about your approach. There are several ways to sort through what you currently have. I approached my home with the hardest areas down to the easiest. For me, this looked like wardrobes, cupboards and draws – all the areas that I could hide things in. I found most of the unloved or unused items to be hiding behind closed doors thus making it the toughest area to begin with. By the time I got down to the living room where much of my stuff is on display, it was a relatively easy process. Others prefer to go one room at a time, one week at a time. So in your first week, you might minimize your kitchen and the second your bedroom. There are many other approaches you could take and as part of your preparation consider which would be the easiest for you to implement.
Categorize your items into:
- Level one: Use often and / or brings me joy
- Level two: Use for occasions (e.g. snow boards, formal clothing) used at least annually.
- Level three: Does not bring me joy / have not used it in the past 12 months, am not likely to use it in the next 12 months
Anything of level one and two are items you should keep until such a time as they no longer serve you. For your level three items, I recommend firstly ask your friends and family if they would like the item. If there are no takers, you can choose to either donate it or sell it on a trading or used item website (in Australia that would be Gumtree).
Of course, this sounds very clear cut and logical, but there are many items that you will feel emotionally tied to. Sentiment is a huge part of what makes us human, and it should not be ignored. If you have an item that you do not use and does not bring you joy, but it was gifted to your by your now deceased grandmother or your first love or even purchased by yourself to celebrate an achievement, you might be struggling to let it go. Here are some ways to approach this:
- Take a photo of the item. This way you can look back at it any time you want to remember the meaning and feeling the item or the people attached to it stir in you.
- Scan old photos to have digital copies and display in your home only the photos you adore.
- Find a new way to get
useout of it. If it’s an old shirt, repurpose it into a blanket or accessory you can wear often.
- Pass it on. Some family heirlooms can be hard to part with because you feel that to do so would be disregarding family ties. Find a member of your family that would love to have this item, and share that love.
Ultimately you may be like me and decide on keeping a small box of treasures that hold great emotional significance to you. And that’s okay. Remember that this is your journey and your home. There are no hard and fast rules to minimalism and you should make decisions based on what you want to achieve. There is no good in removing all but one dinner plate, if entertaining and cooking for others brings you happiness. However, it is worth just keeping those dinner plates that you and your loved ones enjoy using instead of the 10 others that you never touch.
Be a ruthless editor of what you allow into your home. Ask yourselves, “What does this object mean to me?”Nate Berkus
My final tip when it comes to curating your wardrobe or your home is to consider your style. When I first began this process it seemed like my possessions rarely suited each other, so I went to Pinterest for inspiration and created some aesthetic boards for my home and my personal clothing style. I cannot say enough how much this helped guide what I chose to keep whilst also ensuring future purchases were within those style parameters.