As one’s home becomes more than a place to sleep, people look for ways to make it more of a sanctuary from the outside world. The shift from being inside all the time made everyone take a second look and ask if they can bear spending most of their time inside, with how their house looks like. Does the living room feel cluttered with all the stuff stacked on top of the other? Has the carpeted flooring always seemed so welcoming and relaxing? Thank the stars for that past urge of buying houseplants for a piece of nature at the corner.
While renovating can give the house a second life, one approach is by adopting a more minimalist lifestyle. Minimalism means being intentional in what you’re bringing to the house. The items inside have a purpose that’s more than clutter. In the words of Marie Kondo, the queen of decluttering and organizing, it is keeping the things that spark joy and throwing away those that only distract.
The popularity of minimalism can also be explained by today’s economic and environmental situation. There is financial turmoil worldwide as rates of unemployment increase, wages continue to be stagnant, and stock prices fall. People are more sensitive and discerning on what is a necessity and something that’s only a want. It is also more manageable, more affordable, and more eco-friendly to take care of a house that is smaller, has fewer things, and produces less waste.
Here are a few ways people can adopt the minimalist lifestyle to have a stress-free house:
Remember your why
Deciding to be minimalist is only the start of the battle in adopting the lifestyle. Like any permanent changes, it takes time and practice for it to stick. Knowing the reason why you shifted to minimalism will help when temptations like impulse buying come knocking. You’ll be more motivated in creating that capsule wardrobe and saying no to space wasters when you remind yourself that you’ll be happier and stress-free in the long run. Short-term benefits are sacrificed to reach that long-term goal that you’ve been eyeing.
Throw away the duplicates and items that haven’t been used
There will be moments of weakness when you thought you needed that portable Bluetooth speaker or extra sweater but in a different colour. Only to find out that it’s been months since you’ve used both items. Don’t be too hard on yourself when you see that you bought them impulsively. Instead, learn to let go and give them as gifts to people that will use them. Your niece, who’s into dancing, will appreciate the speakers while your close friend will put that sweater to good use.
Implementing the Use It or Lose It Rule is an effective way to ensure everything inside your house is used and has a purpose. If the item hasn’t been touched at all for six months and counting, the chances are you won’t do so for the foreseeable future.
One of the most annoying clutter is paperwork. That pile of contracts, bills, and notes can suddenly become tall and overwhelming if you’re not mindful of throwing them away. However, if all of that paper is important, then you can always try to digitize them. It’s easier to keep digital files and look for the ones you need than actual physical paper. There are also a lot of mobile applications that can turn your phone into a scanner with a few easy steps.
Shifting to a minimalist lifestyle can save space and money, as well as improve mental health — resources one needs aplenty for a more stress-free house. Always remembering your why, discarding items you don’t need, and using digitization tools are some great ways to start the change.