Could you be a MINIMALIST?

At this time of year, it’s time to put away heavy coats, boots, scarves, hats and mittens and bring out warm-weather clothes!

It’s time to “lighten-up” because most of us are holding on to too much stuff!

Did you know…a recent study found 72 % of millennials prefer to spend their money on experiences rather than on material things? This trend has retailers scrambling to adapt…or seeing RED!

It’s part of the reason there’s a lot of talk these days about minimalism – living with less. In order to live with less, you must downsize first and that’s where you’re faced with the challenges of figuring out what to do with all of the things you no longer want, use or need.

Once you decide to live with LESS, you actually get MORE – more time, space, money, balance, freedom and joy!

One of our favourite minimalists is Joshua Becker. In 2008, Joshua and his family decided to become minimalists and intentionally live their lives with fewer possessions. Since then, their story has inspired millions around the world to intentionally live with less and find more life because of it.

Joshua’s blog – becoming minimalist – provides lots of suggestions to incorporate minimalism into your life.

Regardless of how large your home is, it’s never too soon to seize the challenge of living with less. If you are obsessed with creating systems to maximize your storage space, ask yourself, “What if the solution was not creating more storage spaces, but owning less stuff?”

Think back to the last time you were on vacation and stayed at a fabulous hotel? Remember the feeling of walking into a room and seeing everything neat and tidy – without all the clutter?

It usually doesn’t take long to make that hotel room look and feel like home. Once your suitcases are unpacked, your clothes put away and all of your stuff placed on the bathroom counter and side tables, the hotel room takes on a whole new look. Yours!

Whether you have lived in the same home for years or have just moved to a new one, here are FIVE tips to help you simplify your home and your life:

  1. Start in ONE room. Rome wasn’t built in a day and you’re not going to get the “hotel-effect” immediately. Start small. Start today!
  2. Look at the BIG picture. Take photos of each room to help you see your home as others see it. Photos provide great feedback on what’s working…and what’s not!
  3. Work from the OUTSIDE IN. Begin by eliminating the obvious clutter from horizontal surfaces like floors, shelves, tables and bookcases. You’ll notice the difference right away.
  4. Now tackle the HIDDEN stuff. Once your home begins to take on that zen feel, don’t stop. Now is the time to deal with closets, cabinets and cupboards. Open one drawer or door at a time. Remove everything from the cabinet and only put back the items you want, use or need. Donate or dispose of the rest.
  5. Be INSPIRED by the “new” look. When you have successfully de-cluttered one room and you’re on a roll, keep the momentum going and create calm in the rest of your home.

It helps that there are garage sales happening every weekend at this time of the year! So, instead of heading out to buy more stuff, think about hosting a community yard sale or street sale. Round up your enthusiastic neighbours, have some fun and make a bit of money as you lighten-up!

As William Morris, the English Designer once said:

Have nothing in your house
That you do not know to be useful
Or believe to be beautiful.

Karen Shinn, Downsizing Diva