The concept of living simply can be difficult for some to grasp. Pure “stuff’ has become such a large part of peoples’ lives today that getting rid of it seems almost impossible. Minimalists are often made fun of for their lack of material things, yet hoarders are critiqued for their habits as well. In a society where there is no “normal”, I say, do what’s right for the kind of lifestyle you want to live. Shake off what others say about you, and merely make decisions based on your own opinions. If living simply is something you’d like to try, go for it. Take it one step at a time, and you’re already on your way to a simpler lifestyle.
The reasons for switching to a more simple lifestyle vary from person to person, but what I’ve found is that it makes life less complicated and decreases stress levels immensely. It can help you save or make money, start fresh, and change the decor. Whether you want to live a more minimalist life for purely aesthetic reasons, or because you feel like it would lower your anxiety levels, it’s not going to be as easy as throwing away all of the things you own.
Once you’ve decided that you want to live minimalistic, it’s time to start sorting through your things. I think it’s easiest to start this in the closet. Clothing can overwhelm your morning and make it more difficult to get ready for the day. I know it may not seem like it, but owning just a few interchangeable pieces really keeps your getting ready time short. With fewer options, you are simply less overwhelmed. Try taking all of the clothes out of your closet. Sort through the ones that you want to donate, throw away or keep. Keeping things easy and systematic will help with the process.
After the closet, try cleaning up the rest of your bedroom, house, office, locker, etc. Material things are not the only object that can clutter your life either. There’s also your life online. Your email, photos, folders, apps, and countless other pieces of data taking up space on your iPhone, are also cluttering your day. Taking the time to “clean out” these items is important to remember as well. You use them every day, so why leave them be?
Take this one day or week at a time. It can be time-consuming, so make sure you’ve dedicated enough time to one project before you start. You don’t want to start sorting and have to abandon your plans.
Keeping everything simple and clean long after decluttering might be the most difficult part. Be sure to place aside a few minutes of your day to put away anything that might be too much. This could be going through your purse and placing everything in the correct pocket, or moving the multiple mugs that have accumulated on your bedside table to the sink. I find that taking on small tasks like these throughout the day is the best way to keep clean after a deep decluttering.
It’s difficult for every person to go on living their lives in the same exact “minimalist” style. Not every aspect of your life needs to be minimalist to be more simple, it’s just about narrowing it down to the point where you’re comfortable. There are countless blogs, charts, and all sorts of informational things out there to assist you in your transition into simple living, but none of them are necessary. There is no specific route or formula for everyone.
Words by T.D // Photography by Juliette Bélanger