Minimizing clutter can seem impossible in the endless world of stuff. And, living in a consumer-driving society, we sometimes tend to buy things we don’t really need. We keep doing it until we have our closets stuffed with clothes we don’t want and our desks are covered in an array of clutter. Bringing more joy and life into your lifestyle is easier when you get rid of what doesn’t matter. Minimizing clutter doesn’t necessarily mean becoming minimalist, but it does mean learning new skills.
This isn’t an unusual thing. If this sounds like you, know that you aren’t alone in this. Plenty of people are faced with clutter, at home and at work. In fact, clutter has driven popular television programs showcasing extreme examples. Not just savers, but hoarding disorder has been exploited. Even if you’re not at the extreme end of the stuff scale, though, chances are good that the majority of the things you buy and keep are not things you actually need.
True minimalism is a more extreme avenue of decluttering your life, but there are practices and methods that many minimalist people use that anyone can try. Minimalism can help us more honestly decide whether we really need to buy yet another pair of sneakers just because we feel like picking them up, or picking up that secondhand ukulele despite already having a guitar they haven’t learned to play.
Begin With Quality Over Quantity
One of the big tenets of minimalism is built around the idea of keeping only what you need. One of the worst areas for overdoing it can be clothing. We aren’t always aware of what we actually need with our wardrobe, what we are actually using, and how this changes as we buy more and more clothes. This is where the idea of quality over quantity can be established. Chances are if you have lost track of how many jeans or shoes you own, you probably own more than you actually wear – or you’re buying items that wear out too quickly. Aim for fewer, but better garments that will last you a long time and can be worn more often.
Invest in shoes. Not a ton of shoes, but good, solid shoes. Your shoes might end up costing you a few hundred dollars — but it would also be the only pair of shoes you actually need for years. Plenty of mompreneurs are constantly on their feet and the right pair of shoes can make a huge difference in day-to-day comfort and physical strain.
The choice of quality over quantity isn’t just for clothing. Do you really need twelve different styles of pots in your kitchen? Or can one or two well-fashioned ones easily cover what you need?
Before long, you’ll start minimizing clutter and begin thinking about quality. When you begin shifting your focus on the best, rather than the most, you more easily reduce clutter and let things go. This brings us to the next point.
Avoid Sale Merchandise
Sales are compelling. It’s truly hard to pass up the allure of getting a good deal. And, it’s no surprise that items labeled as ‘On Sale’ or ‘Limited Time Offer’ are more likely to be purchased. It doesn’t even matter if the item actually is a value – people see something that they think is cheap, and they snatch it up before really even thinking if they need what they’re buying. It’s these sale items that tend to get people covered in clutter.
Think about it – if you weighed every financial decision on a true, as-needed scale, would you be buying that random chapstick with the unusual flavor or eight pairs of flip-flops?
Something In, Something Out
You may be pretty minimalist and control your purchases, but chances are good that you’ll eventually buy new things again. In fact, the Law of Expansion nearly guarantees it. Unless you plan to live off the land in a cabin in the forest, you’re likely going to buy something new once in awhile. (After all, ax handles don’t last forever.) This is why one of the better practices that you can establish is getting rid of something old whenever you buy something new. New shoes? Throw out the old ones or if they’re still in wearable condition, donate them.
Use Everything You Have
Use everything you have. Have a place for everything. And if you just can’t live without something that you won’t use for a while – being a minimalist is hard, after all – send it on its merry way.
The old adage is, if it’s not beautiful, useful or meaningful, let it go. Minimizing clutter is easier when you have a plan and figure out what is most important.
The TSSI can help you minimize clutter by knowing what’s most important to you. Check it out here.
I’m excited to share a recent article written by Jenny Young. Jenny is a blogger, who occasionally writes for Uncle Bob’s, a self-storage company. When not writing about storage and organizing, she can be found beautifying her home.
Welcome and thanks so much Jenny for sharing this post!