I love moving. I love change. Moving out of an old place and into a new place allows the opportunity to reevaluate everything I’ve accumulated over the years and ask myself the question, “Do I really need this?” It gives me permission to throw things away, donate items to charity, or give something to a friend. I know this isn’t easy for some people. I’m attached to a few photos, keepsakes, and nostalgic items, but the majority of my “stuff” is just “stuff.” I really can just let it go, and I’ll be okay. But you don’t need to be as extreme as me, and you don’t have to relocate in order to create a minimalist home.
- If you haven’t worn that flannel shirt since the days of ‘90s grunge, then it’s time to let it go.
- If you haven’t used that juicer since you bought it for your 30-day cleanse (last year), then it’s time to let it go.
- If you haven’t sat in that antique chair in ages because it’s uncomfortable and really serves no purpose at all, then it’s time to let it go.
A minimalist home is calming and stress-free. It’s not chaotic. It’s simple.
In the blog post “A Guide to Creating a Minimalist Home,” Leo Babauta identifies three benefits of minimalism:
- Less stressful. Clutter is a form of visual distraction, and everything in our vision pulls at our attention at least a little. The less clutter, the less visual stress we have. A minimalist home is calming.
- More appealing. Think about photos of homes that are cluttered, and photos of minimalist homes. The ones with almost nothing in them except some beautiful furniture, some nice artwork, and a very few pretty decorations, are the ones that appeal to most of us. You can make your home more appealing by making it more minimalist.
- Easier to clean. It’s hard to clean a whole bunch of objects, or to sweep or vacuum around a bunch of furniture. The more stuff you have, the more you have to keep clean, and the more complicated it is to clean around the stuff. Think about how easy it is to clean an empty room compared to one with 50 objects in it. That’s an extreme example, of course, as I wouldn’t recommend you have an empty room, but it’s just to illustrate the difference.
Less stressful!? That’s huge! We deal with stress all the time – at the office, in the classroom, in our relationships, while sitting in traffic. Why would we want to face “visual stress” at home, when there’s an easy and practical way to alleviate that stress?
Babauta also points out that unless you are moving into a new place, it’s extremely difficult to simplify an entire house (or apartment) at once. Instead, it’s okay to focus on one room at a time. Create a sense of peace and calm within that one space.
Joshua Becker, a minimalist and the blogger of “Becoming Minimalist,” gives a few ways to easily eliminate clutter and chaos in your home today:
- Place junk mail immediately into a recycling bin.
- Store kitchen appliances out of sight.
- Remove 10 articles of clothing from your closet.
Here are even more suggestions on how to make minimalism an easier process for you and your family: “15 Clutter Busting Routines For Any Family”
*Becker is featured on Tsh Oxenreider’s podcast, “The Art of Simple.” Check out episode #67 – “Freedom from Stuff” for more inspiration and tips to get you started.
love & peace,