Less is More: How to Make Your Space More Minimalist
Minimalism as a trend hasn’t really taken hold in the consumption-crazed U.S. just yet, but there are major psychological benefits to stripping away everything in your life that you don’t really need or use. Minimalists report a higher quality of life than most of us, simply based on the sense of peace they feel from leading an uncluttered life in a home without unnecessary objects and possessions.
True minimalism involves a stripping away, not only of the seldom-used objects cluttering up your living space, but also of the services and experiences that aren’t truly necessary to living life. While this level of minimalist living may be two steps too far for many of us, reducing the amount of unnecessary clutter and objects that fills up our living spaces could do us some good at the least.
Whether you’re beginning the journey toward true minimalism or just looking to strip your decorating style down to give your space the look of minimalism, here are some tips to help you get started.
De-Clutter Your Space
The first step toward minimalism is to de-clutter your living space. Easy ways to get started include removing everything you haven’t touched (except while cleaning) for the last month. Sell or donate these items for resale.
If you run across something that you just can’t bear to part with (like a family heirloom or keepsake from a special event in your life), try putting it in storage for a while to see what it’s like to live without it. You may find that you can do without it entirely, that it’s okay left in storage, or that it needs to come back out and be put on display. The choice is ultimately yours—it’s your space.
Question Your Habits
Once you’ve successfully de-cluttered your space, you may find it a challenge to keep yourself from filling it up again. If you find you’re browsing thrift stores, antique malls, boutiques, art fairs, and the like, take a moment to question these habits.
Do they serve the minimalist space you’ve worked to create and its benefits in your life, or not? Ask yourself when you get your cash or card out to purchase something: do I really need this? How often will I use it? What is its purpose in my life?
Quality over Quantity
Minimalism has another side benefit, as well. The money you previously spent on decorative elements, gadgets, knick-knacks, and the like is now available to use for investing in higher quality furniture, food, or to put aside for saving. This way, adopting a minimal style of living can benefit more than just your peace of mind.
Remember to Make Your Move Towards Minimalism Gradual
Take it easy on yourself: giving up your possessions can be difficult, and just as it is with a diet, self-denial can lead to binges of purchasing. Keep in mind that this isn’t a race, and that it’s very likely that no one is judging you and your journey to perfect minimalism, however you choose to define it.
Take it slow. Strip away the unnecessary in a gradual way and you may find that the change is easier to take and the results are more profound.
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