5 Basics of Minimalistic Living (Decluttering)

Are you overwhelmed with the idea of decluttering, or just a little discouraged by clutter creep? Getting rid of stuff comes with all kinds of complicated emotions and feelings, so it’s easy to get discouraged. If clutter crept back into your space after a big decluttering effort last year, it’s easy to think that the work was a waste of time. Where did all this stuff come from?

If any of this sounds familiar, you are not alone. Quite often we have to keep dealing with clutter. Personally, when dealing with clutter, I take a simple strategy. Getting back to basics has made it simple to find calm in the chaos. Here are some few basics:

1. Know Your Why

Remember why you want to live with less stuff. It’s different for everyone. Some people enjoy more space, time or money and others appreciate the freedom of owning less. Maybe you want room to dance, or bake, or entertain. Knowing your why gives your decluttering purpose.

2. Get clear on your approach

While everything you own needs space, you don’t need to own everything. Decluttering is not organizing. It’s getting rid of the stuff you don’t need, want, or love. If it doesn’t add joy or value, let it go.

3. Start with the simple

Don’t worry about the sentimental stuff or the things you are really attached to. Start with the simple knick-knacks, candle holders, junk drawer items, and clothes that don’t fit. Then look at the books you don’t read, towels you haven’t used in years and toys that your children have outgrown. Getting rid of the easy stuff will give you momentum and inspiration on the more challenging items.

4. Lighten up

Figure out how many essentials you need especially in the kitchen. Get rid of what you seldom need. If you have been collecting place mats, napkins and linens for years, keep what you use and give the rest away.

5. Celebrate your efforts

Of course there is more that could be done. There always will be, but  this isn’t the time. Now that you have gotten back to basics, and decluttered your home, or a room, or even a corner of the room, it’s time to celebrate. If you decluttered your kitchen, host a small dinner party!

If your idea of celebrating is turning on music, grabbing a good book and relaxing in your newly decluttered space, do that. You deserve to celebrate your efforts in a way that resonates with you.

If you are still feeling overwhelmed or confused about the benefits of decluttering, simply remember that your home is not a container for your stuff but rather a place for joy and connection. I can’t think of a better reason to declutter than to make room for more of that.

By Waithera Kirugo | Writer

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