Taking the jump to become a minimalist and downsize your possessions can be overwhelming sometimes! Here are 5 ways to make minimizing your possessions easier. 🙂
1. If you have more than one of something, choose the one or two that are the most useful, bring the most joy, or have the most meaning.
When I was going through my kitchen (the first thing I tackled in my minimalist journey; still tackling off and on), I had about 10 casserole dishes that I accumulated from my bridal shower. I finally finished going through them a few days ago and I ended up keeping a Pioneer Woman casserole dish, a generic glass casserole dish, a circular ceramic casserole dish that I use for cobblers and such, a blue ceramic lasagna dish, and a red stoneware casserole dish with a lid from Pampered Chef. I had also had 5 silicone spatulas and I kept two. One accidentally broke in the mixer, so now I have one. I haven’t missed anything I’ve gotten rid of and I can honestly say that is one of the best perks of minimalism – only keeping what you need and not regretting letting go of the things you don’t.
2. The 6 month, 3 month rule
I’ve heard of people doing 3 months or one year, but I like to have the 6 month rule for items in my home. It goes like this, if you haven’t used it in 6 months and you can’t see yourself using it in the next 3 months, you’re safe to get rid of it and not miss it. In the case of seasonal things like clothes or lawn items, I am more apt to say if you haven’t used it in the past year and can’t see yourself using it in the next year. That way, you cover your seasons and know what you actually wear.
3. If you don’t love it, toss it
This one is pretty straightforward. If you look at something and think “bleh,” “eh,” or “hmm….” you probably don’t have too much emotional attachment or sentimental value associated with that item and will be better off without it. There’s no value in keeping something that doesn’t make you happy or make your life easier. I find I’m much less stressed when the things I own are things that are meaningful to me. This is why I believe that my version of minimalism isn’t about sacrificing things that you don’t want to part with in order to have “less.” Minimizing shouldn’t be suffering or stressful, it should be calming, freeing, and enjoyable because you’ll be eliminating what doesn’t make you smile and say “I like this in my life” and keeping what does. 🙂
4. Before you buy something, think of 2 things in that category that you can donate when you get home
This tip will help you a lot in the downsizing process, but it isn’t as helpful once you’re down to the amount of stuff that is comfortable for you. Once you’re in that place, you could just think of one thing to donate, or nothing depending on what works for you. But I find that in the downsizing process for me, especially in the category of shoes and clothes, it works out well to have two things leave the house when one new things enters.
5. Start small and make downsizing a process, not an overhaul
When I first became inspired to downsize the amount of things that we had, I wanted to do it all at once. I tried doing that a few days in a row until I realized that it just wasn’t working. You’ll wear yourself out, get rid of things you may not want to get rid of, and get overwhelmed by how much more there is to still go through. If you just pick one area of your house or one category and work at it until it suits your fancy for this stage in your life, you’ll feel much more refreshed and inspired to tackle the next section.
I hope this list helps you in your minimalism journey. I’d love to hear about where you are in the process and some tips and tricks you found helpful! Leave them in the comments for me to see!