If you’ve ever started a spring cleaning project, you know that it can be an overwhelming task. There are times when life just gets overwhelming and when you step back and look at everything you own—you stare in amazement at the sheer volume of “stuff” you have amassed. Here is the good news—getting rid of all of that “stuff” can be a liberating experience—one that actually makes you feel less stressed and happy at home.
Those who exist as minimalists understand the value of cleaning out life to the point of no excess—and find freedom in doing it. While it’s a great idea, it can be hard to wrap your mind around just how minimalists go about getting to a place of balance, and more importantly—what they actually do with all of their stuff??!!
Here’s an inside look into how a minimalist stores and maintains their stress-free, unburdened lifestyle.
Leave Only Important Objects Out In The Open
Ah, the dreaded junk drawer—we all have one, or two, or three….
Things tend to accumulate quickly when they aren’t visible. We stash items away, getting them out of our sight and out of our mind until we soon discover a drawer that is jam-packed with receipts, papers, keys, and long-lost trinkets.
The first step to leading a minimalist life is to go through those junk drawers with garbage bag in hand—you will quickly be saying, “Ah ha! That’s where that went!”. Once you have gone through the junk drawers, it’s time to assess all of your homes surfaces. Are there items that are left out in the open that you never use? Are there items that you don’t like to look at? If so, then either store these items away in cupboard or get rid of them entirely.
This is the first trick to being a minimalist—never put out objects unless you use them everyday, or love to look at them. Also, now that your drawers are clean, keep them clean by using the handy organizational tools that minimalists are so fond of—-baskets, trays, hooks, boxes, charging stations, hidden storage drawers, and under bed storage, to name just a few.
How Do Minimalists Get Rid Of Their Stuff?
A minimalist is above all else, a giver. If you truly want to reduce your possessions down to the necessities, it’s imperative to get comfortable with the idea of giving things away.
The majority of a minimalist’s prior possessions end up at Goodwill stores or consignment shops for those who need them more. Minimalists know the value of buying objects they love, and when those objects have worn out, then they quickly toss them aside, avoiding unwanted clutter.
If you’re willing to analyze the items you own and part with the things you don’t truly need, you’ll be well on your way to your minimalist dreams more quickly than you can say ‘donate.’
Buy One Object, Toss One Object
Being a minimalist means being hyper-aware of the exchange value in your home. While it might be tempting to fill that empty space in your closet with a new shirt—a minimalist knows better.
Any clothing item purchased equals a clothing item eliminated. Keeping a balanced inventory in your home will keep trivial purchases to a minimum. The same goes for every object in a minimalist home—one comes in, then one goes out.
This is the best way to avoid clutter, over-spending and remain organized. Impulse buys get the better of most of us, so be careful to plan your purchases and look to the overall aesthetic that you want in your home—clutter is the enemy!
Minimalist Homes Are Functional First
Minimalists have perfected the art of function first, and form later. Although trinkets may be visually appealing, they take up space that could be used for something more useful, so the minimalist eliminates them or avoids them altogether.
This is not to say that minimalists do not enjoy beauty within their homes. We would argue the opposite—Minimalists have homes full of aesthetic beauty. How so?
Well, while they may live in very simple, uncluttered homes where form follows function, their furnishings take center-stage as does their homes textiles and architecture. Indeed, a minimalist home is a thing of simple, beautiful lines, textiles, textures and overall high-quality objects and furnishings.
Sometimes the question isn’t what a minimalist does with all of their stuff, but how they maintain their storage systems for the long term. Learning to be a minimalist is a lesson in limits and organization.
Although it may not be easy to evaluate your possessions in the beginning, learning to live like a minimalist can be a freeing experience. When you’re not burdened with “things” you’re free to focus on other activities you love and passions you want to explore.
Keeping possessions to a minimum can be an empowering experience if you’re brave enough to take the steps it requires. Don’t be afraid to reach out to those you know who have perfected the lifestyle and mimic some of their strategies. Once you find a system that works for you, it won’t be hard to maintain the minimal lifestyle in the future.