6 Ways to Live with Less in Your Home
As the year comes to an end, it’s a good time to look around your home and determine whether the things that you own add value to your life. It’s difficult to fend off materialism – especially when we’re constantly being bombarded with advertisements for new products.
Consequently, most of us end up purchasing things that we don’t need. Our wardrobes often tend to be shoved with sweaters and pants that we’ve never worn – and probably never will. Our drawers are less of a storage place and more of a hole where we dump all our unnecessary belongings.
Our possessions often become a source of stress since they must be taken care of to reduce clutter. They are a distraction from the responsibilities, experiences, and relationships in our lives that truly matter. And that’s where the idea of minimalism comes into play.
What is Minimalism?
Simply put, minimalism is a lifestyle that helps us find freedom from the consumer culture we find ourselves trapped in these days. The idea isn’t to deprive ourselves of material possessions completely. Instead, we’re encouraged to reevaluate the meaning we associate with these possessions. In the process, most people learn how to live with less. Doing so allows them to appreciate their lives.
If your home could use with some decluttering and organizing, read on.
1. Consider self-storage
The journey towards a minimalist lifestyle can be daunting. As you begin to sort out your belongings, you’ll probably come across a lot of things that are merely occupying space in your home – but can’t be discarded.
For instance, you’ll probably want to hold on to any vases, photo frames, or wine glasses that you’ve received from your friends. Similarly, you don’t necessarily have to discard the fancy teacups and saucers that you’ve inherited from your mother – they can come in handy when hosting family dinners. If you move houses frequently, you may also want to hold onto the packaging that comes with large electronics such as televisions and washing machines. In such situations, it’s best to consider opting for a storage unit in your region. If you’re in the neighborhood of Camby, Indianapolis, the Camby self storage offers a secure place to keep your belongings.
But the rule here is to avoid treating your self-storage unit as another endless pit of random objects. Use it for long-term storage or temporarily storing items you plan to donate or sell.
2. Focus on one room at a time
All too often, we set out on an ambitious mission of organizing our entire home in a day or two. We start out energetic but eventually become overwhelmed by all the junk we’ve kept for years. In the end, most of us tap out – and shove everything back where it was.
As simple as it may seem, the rule is to focus on one room at a time. If that’s still intimidating, you can even start with one section of a room at a time. Properly organize your belongings into labeled containers so that you know what to do with them – keep, recycle, or donate, for example.
3. Pause before making a purchase
Sorting out your existing belongings is only one piece of the minimalism puzzle. If you’re not mindful of future purchases, all your decluttering efforts will be vain.
This culture of consumption can be traced back to the Second World War. Instead of making products for their inherent usefulness, the primary objective of businesses is to maximize profit. Over the years, we’ve been conditioned into believing that consumerism and materialism can help us achieve happiness. But that’s hardly the case at all.
Therefore, it’s crucial to stop and think twice before purchasing things. Ask yourself whether you need the product that you’re about to buy. Think about the value that it’ll bring to your life.
It doesn’t hurt to splurge a little. Nonetheless, suppose you find yourself stuck in a never-ending race for the latest and greatest. In that case, it’s time to reevaluate your priorities.
4. Remember: quality over quantity
When you decide to make a purchase, remember that while quality products may cost more upfront, they’ll usually last you much longer. To stay competitive in this consumerist culture, manufacturers often use cunning tactics to keep prices down. These products might be affordable, but they’re manufactured with the intention that they’ll be replaced in a few years. And that’s especially true for consumer electronics. So, don’t rush purchases, and take the time to read reviews and ratings before you purchase a product.
This rule applies to furniture and decorations too. An airy home with quality furniture and tasteful décor is the better option if you want to live simpler.
5. Learn how to repurpose
By repurposing what you already have, not only will you help reduce waste, but you’ll also end up saving money. Besides, choosing the DIY route will prove worth the time.
Old wooden dressers and drawers can easily be repurposed as chic benches for your garden or patio. Shoeboxes can be used as storage boxes in your kitchen. Empty glass jars serve as excellent flower vases. A broken suitcase can be used as a vintage coffee table.
When it comes to DIY, there are no rules.
6. Try the KonMari Method
Any article on minimalism is incomplete without at least one reference to the KonMari Method. This method has been coined by the Japanese organizing consultant and author Marie Kondo. Simply put, Marie encourages people to discard material belongings that “do not spark joy.” The end goal, once again, is to surround yourself with items that genuinely add value to your life.
Admittedly, the KonMari Method can seem radical at first. However, given its success, we’d recommend exploring it.
Escaping the confines of this culture of consumption is difficult, but the result is an infinitely more fulfilling life. Minimalism doesn’t define a set of rules to lead a simpler life. Instead, it’s a lifestyle of its own. It’s a tool that can help people declutter their lives and focus on things that truly matter.
The first step towards a minimalist lifestyle is to declutter your home. Renting self-storage units and repurposing existing belongings can make the decluttering process effortless. Remembering to think twice before making future purchases and opting for quality over quantity can help keep your home clutter-free over the years. And lastly, the KonMari Method can help you dispose of belongings that do not add value to your life.