Simple Living : 7 Tips for Minimalism
Living simply has been my way of life for as long as I could remember. Granted, it was more of a necessity than a trendy lifestyle when I learned how to make the most of what I had. Growing up, we just didn’t have a lot and mountains of birthday and Christmas toys were not a norm. Leftovers were reincarnated into a million different meals and hand me downs still had that shiny, new car smell since they were still new-to me. It taught me to be resourceful, less wasteful and truly enjoy what I did have.
As an adult, I realize more and more that what society deems as “necessary” just isn’t the case for me. I don’t feel the need to collect things to bring me satisfaction. Moving to St. Croix has further solidified this for me, having arrived on island with no more than 3 pieces of luggage between me and my husband. We currently make a home in a 400 square foot space. Folks often guffaw at my way of life but somehow, I make it all work and I find pleasure in simplicity.
Even if you’re not interested in minimalism, the following are great tips to implement if you’re trying to declutter or organize and streamline your life.
- Clearly define your objections and goals. What is it that you’re trying to achieve? What would you like your end game to look like?
- Take an inventory. Do you really need several duplicates? If you’re a single person, you probably don’t need 15 beach towels.
- Start small. You don’t want to get overwhelmed before you even begin. Try just getting rid of a few things. It’s a small start that will have you feeling motivated. Afterwards, foocus on one or two larger items you want to get rid of. It doesn’t have to be all about elimination, rather it can simply be about downsizing.
- Make a want and need pile. Have you used the item recently or even in the last year? If not, toss it into what I call a “giveaway box.” I’ve found that it helps to designate a box that you can easily toss items into as you come across them. Afterwards, donate it to a person/organization that needs it more than you.
- Limit your buying habits. Try waiting a 24 hour period before purchasing an item. Afterwards, are you still thinking about it? Do you still want it?
- Consider swapping versus adding. If you recently purchased something new, try replacing it rather than holding onto both.
- Create a clutter-free zone. It can be refreshing to begin to see your vision take hold. This is also part of starting small/tip #3. This can be a kitchen counter/coffee table/etc. For me, something I employ is making it aesthetically attractive. Example: I’ll place a cup of wildflowers on said table and keep the surface free of anything else. Every time I walk past, the flowers make me smile instead of groan with all the “stuff” that could be haphazardly piled on top.