Decluttering and the Minimalist Lifestyle

The minimalist lifestyle has been fascinating people for a long time. Few people, however, actually commit to it for good. Are you fed up with a lifestyle that's all about consumerism and material goods? You may be the perfect candidate for an existence that tries to break free of that as much as possible. Minimalism can be a wonderful approach for people who want to streamline their worlds and enjoy neat and clean living environments. Does clutter give you focus and concentration problems, or make you feel unsettled and uneasy? Time to get rid of it.

So, how do you go about getting a minimalist lifestyle?

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Assess Your Needs and Wants

Organizing your home can be pretty intimidating at first. It can be hard to figure out what to throw away and what to keep. You can begin the process by asking yourself about the things that you need versus the things that you simply want. Look around your home. Pay attention to your closets, desks and beyond. Be 100 percent honest when you survey everything. If you see a figurine sitting on your dresser, ask yourself if you truly need it in your life. Is it of any value to you? Is it serving any purpose? If you say no, don't hesitate to get rid of it as soon as possible. Life is too short to waste time on things that are just that. "Things" have nothing to do with who you are as a human being. You shouldn't feel an obligation to hold on to them indefinitely.

If you go shopping, prepare a list in advance of what you want to get. Pre-commit before you to not buy clutter, even if it looks good. If you're really tempted to get something you know you don't need, don't buy it right then. Wait until you get home. If you still want it even after getting home and waiting a few days, then you can allow yourself to reconsider.

Think About the Last Time You Used Your Belongings

If you're having trouble figuring out whether or not you actually need something, you can take it easy. Ask yourself a simple question. Ask yourself when the last time you actually used it. If it was longer than six months or a year ago, chances are you may never use it again. Don't keep things just in case you might use them again in the future. That pattern of thinking never ends. If you have a dress that you haven't worn in two or three years, consider whether you'll be likely to wear it again. (The answer is no.) Take all extra clothes to a nearby charitable group that requests clean apparel in good condition -- someone else will enjoy them.

The decluttering doesn't end once you've stripped your home down to the essentials. As human beings, we have a tendency to collect. If you want to maintain minimalist lifestyles, get used to decluttering your living spaces frequently. Make it a routine. 

Don't Buy Things, Buy Experiences

Studies have shown that new experiences make people happier than new things.  You're more likely to be happy making memories with the people you love than buying yourself something new. This is because the things that genuinely matter are not actually things, but people. Things can always be replaced. People cannot be, and memories once made will last a lifetime. 

The minimalist lifestyle focuses on getting rid of excess stuff in your life, but the whole point of decluttering is so that you can focus on something else more worthwhile. Minimalism is a means to an end, not an end in itself. When you get rid of stuff, you leave an empty space. Fill it with the ones you love.