Updated: Jan 18
The New Year is just around the corner, and you know what that means: resolutions. The New Year is an excellent opportunity for new beginnings and big goals. What better time to get fit, pick up a new habit, or finally declutter your life – once and for all? If that last resolution sounds familiar, you’re not alone.
Although clutter can feel overwhelming, you can kick it to the curb in the New Year by bringing more minimalism into your current lifestyle.
First Things First – What is Minimalism?
Don’t worry – being a minimalist doesn’t have to mean living with barren, white walls, or ensuring all your belongings fit into a backpack.
You can adopt elements of the minimalist lifestyle without moving to a tiny home and without forsaking your beloved shoe collection.
Instead, minimalism means limiting the things you own to what you value and refusing to allow junk to control your lifestyle.
Employing the tenets of minimalism will enable you to…
Get rid of things that don’t add value to your life
Be happier and less stressed
Become more environmentally-friendly
5 Ways to Minimize Your Junk This Year
Here are five smart ways to get started:
1. Start With Why
If you’re going to change a habit, you need to understand why. What do you hope to achieve? Do you want to spend less time cleaning? More quality time with your family? Make more room for the items you love? Minimize your carbon footprint? Whatever your why may be, keep it front and center throughout the process.
2. Downsize Your Wardrobe
Most of us have way too many clothes, most of which we don’t use, don’t like, or have never worn. This is understandable – we hang onto things for emotional reasons. Still, the clutter in a too-cramped closet creates stressful mornings and makes it virtually impossible to find anything.
To prevent this, go through your closet and make two piles: one of the items you love and items you feel “meh” about. When you’ve finished, donate the “main” items and keep the ones you love. If you want to take it even further, you can consider using the Kon-Mari method, or developing a capsule wardrobe.
3. Consolidate Memories
Many of us have a big, cluttered box of memories taking up space on a shelf somewhere. Packed with kids’ art projects, photos, cards, and mementos, these boxes are meaningful, but inconvenient nonetheless.
Don’t worry, though – you don’t have to throw them out. Instead, look for ways to consolidate these memories. Arrange loose photos into a compact photo book, for example, and digitize art projects and cards. Place everything else into a small box you can cherish.
4. Edit Your Bookshelf
Even if you love having books in your home, chances are good you’ve got a few volumes sitting on the shelf that you won’t read or don’t like.
To clear up space, go through your books and collect everything you don’t love or wouldn’t be willing to re-read. Donate these books to a local charity or used bookstore.
Keep your shelves neat in the future by checking books out from the library rather than buying them or downloading electronic copies to your tablet or Kindle.
5. Start Small and Get Rid of Duplicates
Pick a spot in your home – any spot. The junk drawer is a great place to start. Pick an item and employ the 90/90 rule. Have you used that item in the last 90 days? Will you use it in the next 90? If not, then let it go.