I am by no means a minimalism expert.
I’ve just been on a minimalism journey and have learned a ton along the way. About myself, my possessions and the reasons why I purchase things.
I have seen the freedom and joy that comes from a more minimalist lifestyle. I believe our culture is so caught up in consumerism and it is stealing joy and overwhelming moms all over North America!
So if I can encourage you and help you out a bit, it would fill my heart. Because when our eyes our less focused on stuff and the distractions of this world there is so much more room to focus on what is really important.
So here are the “rules” I made for myself which are a combination of reading books, watching videos about minimalism and just plain ol’ experience.
Start in the room that overwhelms you the most
For me this was my 6 and 7 year old daughters shared bedroom. I was constantly nagging them to clean, tripping on stuff and just dealing with overwhelming frustration at the state of their room and the state of my attitude towards them about it.
Secondly, work on a small space.
Once you get some momentum and are feeling better about the room the overwhelms you the most move on to a small room. In specific a room that doesn’t hold a lot of sentimental items like a bathroom or office. (I suggest bathroom because depending on your situation paperwork can be crazy)
Mama. Listen up. You got into this overwhelm because of “what ifs” and “I might need that thens” If you have not worn it or used it in 6 months its got to go. Unless it is seasonal or super expensive, or has a specific usefulness it’s got to go.
Aim to get rid of some furniture.
This was a huge change for me. I look at all the furniture I got rid of and I wonder how I fit it all into my house before. This rule is simple. The less furniture you have the less room you have to store stuff and the less surfaces you have to let clutter overtake. Check out the blog post about what I got rid of on my minimalism journey for more information.
If you are unsure and it costs less than $20 get rid of it.
I believe I heard this rule from the minimalists blog. But it has made those more difficult keep or go decisions so much easier. And yes there has been some things I have tossed and then repurchased because of this rule but more often than not, it does not need to be replaced.
Go Room by Room – Then Category by Category
I have said this many times in my minimalism journey videos. Start in one room and go room by one and just keep making the rounds. I’ve been through every room at least 6 times and each time it’s easier to get rid of things, especially when I realize I haven’t touched that “thing” I was holding on to since the last time I decluttered. It makes the decluttering easy. I know Marie Kondo’s book the life changing magic of tidying up says to go by categories but that didn’t work for me because paperwork was in every room of my house. I had to declutter and organize room by room then category by category.
Don’t try to organize at first.
Just declutter. You are going to be constantly reorganizing if you have the mindset of “I need to declutter and organize.” The first or second round of every room, juts declutter.
A spot for everything.
Everything needs a spot. Group like minded things together. All paperwork in one spot. All pens in one spot. All toys in one spot. I went as far as to label things to keep my family on track with where things go. But that might not work for everyone! I am the type of person who needs strict guidelines to follow or my enneagram 7 dreamer self will wander away with my head in the clouds. I need the structure. Without the structure comes overwhelm. It’s why I give myself cleaning checklists and chore charts for my kids. Without it I just can’t adult well.
I hope these rules and guidelines help if you are looking at embarking on a minimalism journey. When we free our self from “stuff” it is amazing to see what God will do with our lives.