It Only Takes a Room
Starting with the entire house can be daunting – let’s face it, most people’s homes are filled with crap. Start with one room. Try the smallest room, or the room that you spend the most time in. Our minimalist journey began with our entryway. Each kid had a dozen pair of shoes, we had a dozen pair of shoes – there was equipment for dance class, yoga mats, skates, winter apparel and much, much more. I immediately removed the things that didn’t fit – got rid of the things we hadn’t used in months and drastically pared down the shoes in the house.
Get rid of Half
Take the amount of stuff in your house, and cut it in half. Chances are, if you’re overwhelmed with trying to keep things tiny, you could stand to get rid of a lot. Sell it on local swap sites, drop it off at the donate bin at the grocery store and give it away to friends who haven’t yet begun a minimalist journey. If you haven’t used it in three months, and aren’t going to give it a home to neatly store it away for an upcoming season, get rid of it – just get it out of your house.
Swap out the kids movies you’re buying for digital codes, sign up for paperless billing – there’s only one bill that arrives in the mail now, and immediately when it arrives we pay and shred. Skip having paper cluttering your home. With the exception of receipts and one small filing section, we’ve gone completely digital for the kids records and paper, movies, music and video games.
Tip: Find a friend who doesn’t use the digital codes for children’s movies. Split the cost of the movie and you get the code, and they get the movie.
Scrutinize Your Buying
We went from spending hours every month at the local mall, walking around and buying random things, making trips to IKEA and Homesense, to shopping online, and maintaining a list of the things that we needed to purchase. Adding items to a list on the refrigerator helped to keep the items on our mind, and to really determine if we needed to purchase them or not. When you really, really start to consider not only if you’re going to use something, but how long you’re going to use something, it changes how you feel about buying.
One comes In, One Goes Out
Even now, when there are items coming into our home, we adhere to the one comes in, and one comes out rule. If we’re bringing something new into the home, we get rid of an item that might be similar, or an item it’s meant to replace. It helps to manage the clutter.
Becoming minimalist is a process. It takes time. It’s something that you’re going to have to continually work on to attain, especially if you’ve got children that are bringing items into your home on a seemingly daily basis.
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