5 Easy Steps to A Happy Minimalist Life
In an alternate world, I will own only a few essential things! It's quite common for most of us to accumulate things over the years. As we grow older, it just keeps growing. Living in a smaller home before, I was practically doing a quarterly clean-up to make sure that I don't store too many things, and of course, because I simply had to!
When I moved in my current home, I actually thought that I only had a few things! Until I moved... hahahaha. That was an eye-opener! And shortly after that, I studied... and guess what, now I need a home office, and all that comes with it--storage, a desk... Now, I am slowly decluttering each room and trying my best to live a more meaningful, clutter-free life. Whatever your reason may be, I know decluttering is so therapeutic! There are literally tons of information out there that talk about decluttering and minimalism but I've found that Marie Kondo has one of the best guides in tidying up your home. It's called the KonMari Method. While I support most of what she advocates, here's my version for those with families (and along with it, a ton of accumulated things!)
1. Declutter your clothes first.
Konmari states that you should declutter by category. Well, if you're a busy mother/wife/driver/daughter/teacher/... (you get the picture) just like me, you can't really have it all in one go. So the easiest thing is to start with your own clothes. Like Marie Kondo says, keep only those that "spark joy." Think about it, what clothes do you love to wear all the time? Which ones haven't you used for a few months, a year... I know, you'd think you'll fit into those same clothes one day. That was my philosophy! Although, I have lost weight, I still haven't gone back to my clothes before. This isn't to let you down about weight loss but more because when you do fit in those clothes again, maybe you'd want different clothes or they aren't as fashionable as you once thought they were. Think of it as living a new life.
2. Continue decluttering per category, per room.
After cleaning out your closet, do each of your kids next. If you don't have kids, continue on to your spouse. Remember to ask first though!
Take it easy! It need not be all done in a single day. Start slowly and place them in your discard bin. Start with clothes, then books/magazines, receipts/papers, toys, decor, electronics, kitchen items, and garage.
3. Discard totally!
While you are putting away those clothes and other things that you declutter, you should already have a plan of when you are giving them away/selling/discarding. This is to make sure that you just aren't putting them back in your closet again.
Clothes can be donated to charity or to street kids. For those that live in Manila, furniture is accepted at Habitat for Humanity ReStore. You can also do a garage sale. Any unsold items can then be donated afterwards.
4. Each item should now have a defined space.
Think about it, all the items left should be the ones that spark joy with you. That means each of them should also have a proper space allocated to it. Now is the time to buy any storage containers or better yet, re-use old ones.
5. Be mindful.
Now that you have a cleaner and happier space, be mindful of your purchases. Always think whether it is just a trend that you'll soon be tired of or it is something that will bring joy to you in a longer amount of time.
Keeping a minimalist space isn't easy. It involves a change in mindset for this to last. Let us try to live more mindfully in our lives and our homes.