Minimalism 101: The small steps to take to create a life you love

I am a minimalist.  At least in the sense that I lighten my load where I can and I aim for simplicity in my life. I don’t want it to be cluttered with old ideas or old shoes!

I believe, strongly, in the idea of minimalism and the letting go of the stuff we have piled in corners of closets and stacked up high on counters and desks. Yes, that “stuff” is clutter.

And I also think letting go of the excessive things is important.  By excessive I mean the 3 extra sets of dinnerware, 5 brooms, hundreds of CDs or the storage bins filled with big, bulky winter sweaters {you know the ones that you haven’t worn in years?!}.

Owning excess is the opposite of minimalism.

People can do with less and there is a huge fear wrapped around the thought of it.

This fear tells you that you’ll have to do without when in fact it’s not about giving up all of your worldly possessions. It’s about questioning what you have, and what you really need and use, and being more conscious of not relying on stuff and possessions to bring you happiness or fulfillment in life.

It’s not easy to do…but worth the effort.

I recently stumbled upon a great blog by Joshua Becker called Becoming Minimalist and it’s all about learning about how to live with {a lot} less and the benefits of it. Joshua is a true minimalist, having really reduced how he lives, what he owns. And now he writes about the happiness he experiences because of it.

To be clear, I do not think everyone has to live in a 900 square foot home and own close to nothing to be happy, or to be a minimalist. To me, living minimal means recognizing what you own, making sure what you do own has a purpose, a real reason for being in your space and life.

While I know it isn’t easy and doesn’t seem appealing to really lighten your load to this degree, I am positive it enhances your life, improves its quality and likely its longevity.

Happiness resides not in possessions.  — Democritus

 

Joshua wrote an article and listed the 101 things that can be reduced in your home to help move you towards being more clutter-free.  He suggests that the road to minimalism is to start with reducing the excess.

He says:

This list is not meant to overwhelm or frustrate you, it’s simply meant to give you an idea of how significant a step this can be – just choosing 10 things on this list to start with would result in a noticeable difference in your home.”

Here are the first 20 things on the list he suggests {and I concur} you look at.  Pick 5 even and ask yourself: do I like, need or use all of this?  Donate, toss, recycle the excess!

  1. Glassware
  2. Cookbooks
  3. Kitchen gadgets
  4. Kitchen appliances
  5. Pots / pans
  6. Mixing bowls
  7. Tupperware
  8. Water pitchers
  9. Magazines
  10. Newspapers
  11. Books
  12. Over-the-counter medicine
  13. Make-up
  14. Barretts / hair clips / ponytail holders
  15. Cleaning supplies
  16. Personal beauty appliances (hair dryer/curlers, electric razors)
  17. Bottles of shampoo/conditioner
  18. Photos
  19. Photography supplies
  20. Sewing supplies

{A quick note about photos: it’s tough to toss them. If you are going to keep them, be sure you honor them by putting them in a book, hanging them on a wall, using them in some way.}

Let go of excess.  Question what you own.  Lean minimal. Let it inspire you and help you in your quest to create a life you love.

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Want to learn more about how to let go and create a life you love?  Sign up for my Newsletter and you’ll receive my Fundamental Facts on organizing – my best tips on living life lite and well.  Get your copy here!

Showing 8 comments
  • michelle @ this little light
    Reply

    Does your mom know you said “Tupperware?” Ha! I totally know what you mean though … even with my own stockpile I looked through it last summer and donated a pile. I just don’t have that many leftovers! xo

  • Francesca (www.verriwell.com)
    Reply

    I know! It actually caused me some pause when I read that suggested by Joshua and I allllmost didn’t write it. But, as I know you understand, so many people have more Rubbermaid and Tupperware than they know what to do with! My mom will understand…?? 🙂 xo

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