We tend to live an over complicated and certainly over cluttered life, here are 24 tips to get you started on decreasing your possessions and becoming a minimalist. It may be difficult to start with but you’ll soon find yourself feeling a little more liberated with each item you donate or sell. The best advice we can give is to take it slow, give yourself time to adjust to having less around the home, you’ll soon be wondering why you accumulated so much in the first place.
We’ve divided the list up into sections to make it easier to work through. Try to set a goal to knock one item off of each list each week, this way you’re giving yourself time to adjust and breaking the workload up.
- Throw out all your expired food. Go through your cupboard and your refrigerator and freezer and throw out all of your expired food. While you’re at it, throw out any food which your family isn’t going to eat.
- Get rid of cracked or chiped crockery. Chips in plates, mugs and dishes are a breeding ground for bacteria and look shabby.
- Don’t collect mugs. Mugs are often given out as gifts and freebies and we hoard them. Trim your mug collection down to a set of 10-12, you don’t really need any more than one per person and a few for guests.
- Donate your unused appliances. Everyone knows the story, we try out a juice diet or go vacuum sealer mad for a while but inevitably we land up with a cupboard full of unused appliances. Donate any you havent used in the last year.
- Throw out duplicates. You don’t need three knife blocks, four measuring jugs or two can openers. A minimalist only needs one of each.
- Throw out the broken things. As you’ve done with your broken crockery, get rid of broken knives, appliances etc.
- Invest in some good quality pots. This is the only items which includes buying something but it is for good reason. Get rid of your light aluminnium and teflon coated pots and pans and invest in about three stainless steel pots and two cast iron skillets.
- Organise your finances. This may be a strange inclusion here but the kitchen is often a dumping ground for bills, letters and payslips. Follow this guide to organsing your finances.
- Throw out expired medicine. As you’ve done in the kitchen, throw out anything which has expired. Some areas require expired medicines to be disposed of through special programs, make sure to follow your local regulations.
- Cut down on toiletries. Go through your toiletries and throw out any products you don’t like using, including free samples and giveaways you’re never going to use. Go through your makeup while you’re busy.
- Donate your excess towels. You don’t need more than two towels per person, one for the bathroom and one clean one for the linen cupboard.
- Donate your unused appliances. Donate that old braider or curling iron you haven’t used in years.
- Donate any clothing you haven’t worn in a year. If you haven’t worn it through a whole season. chances are you won’t wear it again.
- Sell anything that doesn’t fit. If it doesn’t fit you then there’s no point in keeping it.
- Cut down on clothing numbers. You may have a collection of t shirts or skirts which all fit you and aren’t too old but do you really need so many? Your minimalist closet shouldn’t contain more than 7 of any item.
- Toss any damaged clothing. If it’s got a rip or tear which you can’t see yourself fixing, throw it away or take it to be fixed immediately.
- Cut down on your shoe collection. You don’t need more than one of each type of shoe.
- Keep one weeks worth of underwear. Go through your underwear, including socks and pick out seven of each. Throw out all the old and worn out ones.
- Stop using cable. Not much good comes from cable, you sit around wasting time and are fed hours of advertisements and rubbish. Stop using cable and switch to movies and a service like Netflix.
- Clean up your surface space. You may have one or two knick knacks which are sentimental but throw the rest out, they just gather dust and clutter surfaces, have a look at our guide on de-cluttering.
- Don’t keep a library. There really is no point to keeping a library of books, most are only read once. Donate them to your local library and you’ll still have access to them whenever you need it.
- Digitise your music and movie collection. Which the exception of vinyls, which are making a comeback. You should digitise all of your CDs and DVDs, you’ll save a whole cupboard and replace it with a single hard drive.
- Donate unused toys. If your kids haven’t used the toy in a month or so, get rid of it. Your kids grow up and toys become outdated and don’t stay age appropriate.
- Throw out the broken toys. Throw out any toys which are broken and can’t be immediately or easily fixed.
- Limited the stuffed animals. These seem to creep into any household and accumulate in numbers, limited each child to a few and make sure you donate the old ones often.
And that’s the list to get you started on becoming a minimalist. Print out this list and work through it over the next few months. You may also be interested in saving some money with a couple of tips on frugal living.
Do you have any other tips and tricks to becoming a minimalist? Let us know in the comments section below.
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