The truth is, you’re not just going to wake up one day and decide you’re sick of all the clutter in your house and start to purge. Typically it doesn’t work that way. Like any program, when starting to live a minimalist lifestyle you’re going to want to start small and comfortable, then work your way to bigger decisions for reducing clutter, maintenance, redundancies and emotional attachments.
Living a Minimalist Lifestyle – Where to Start
The easiest answer is to start where there’s pain. Is your wardrobe a pain. Do you spend a ton of time trying to coordinate clothes? Start by eliminating the oddball items and streamline your go to style. Have you heard the rule that you wear 20% of your clothes 80% of the time. Why not just keep the 20%? Your answer is probably because the 80% contains the special items like dresses you wore once to a wedding. As a minimalist, you will get in the habit of borrowing clothes for those kinds of occasions. Or buy secondhand and sell third-hand. Learn more with New Year’s Resolutions for Minimalists.
Minimize Your Emotional Attachment
I worked with a guy who told me that he returned from a vacation to find his apartment building had burned down and all he had left was in the suitcase he’d taken with him. True story. And I was like all empathetic with my, “how awfuls.” Meanwhile he was like, “it was totally liberating.” In fact those were his exact words. He said that most of the stuff in his apartment was temporary possessions that he’d eventually get rid of anyway.
Look at what you have through the lens of temporary. No, you’ll never get rid of the silk scarf your grandmother gave you, but the concert t-shirts and board games and candle collection – that can go.
Look for Repeats
This is a numbers game. How many do you have of a particular thing? Like house plants that you have to water and keep alive on a daily basis. Remember in Along Came Polly where Ben Stiller’s character calculates how much time he spends putting on and taking off throw pillow adorning his bed. Yeah, it’s kind of silly.
Where is it all Going to Go?
You don’t want to stuff all this excess consumption into your garbage tote. The point of minimalism isn’t to be wasteful. Hello! This is your opportunity to make money. This is why you’ll need to work slow and methodical. Look at what you can upcycle into something more useful.What is worth selling? Chances are a lot. The best places I’ve found to sell second-hand goods are Craigslist and Consignment Shops. Both are local and don’t involve the hassle and resources of shipping. And if the weather’s nice, have a garage sale to make money off your smaller, knick knack type items.
Need more direction?
Here is a video I did for eHow on how to go minimalist and live with less. This video is in short the battle cry of Eve of Reduction. I was honored to be the one to present this topic for eHow.
How to Live With Less Stuff & Go Minimalist —powered by eHow.com
What are you hoping to downsize?