Moving to Minimalism: Declutter and Destress

Living with less not only can make your physical surroundings less messy, but it can clear your mind as well.  The idea of “minimalism”, living with very few material possessions, can be intimidating, as over time we become attached to items in our lives and accumulate more and more junk.  But, don’t fret, you don’t have to take your house full of clothes, furniture, home décor, and sentiments and do a full clear out to start from scratch.  Practicing this idea of owning less can start small in a way that fits your lifestyle and priorities.

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1. Start with one shelf per week. Pick one small area in your house to dig through completely.  Remove all of the items from the shelf, pick out what you really need and use, and go ahead and dust while you’re at it.  This will not only eliminate clutter but dirt and grim as well, one shelf at a time.

Source: Pixabay

2. Minimalizing is not only relevant to physical things, but can stretch to the digital world as well. Cull through your phone and delete apps you don’t use.  Organizing the devices you utilize day in and day out can definitely help clear your mind.

3. Go through your beauty products and toiletries; toss what has expired. There is no reason to keep around a year-old mascara. For the sake of hygiene and clutter, it’s time to evaluate your skin care, makeup, and more.  Without realizing it, our bathroom cabinets and beauty storage can fill up quickly with products that expire or that are only used once or twice and then forgotten about.

Photograph by Rene Asmussen

4. The dreaded wardrobe clear-out…If you haven’t worn something in a year, chances are you won’t wear it again. Pull your clothes out of the closet and sort items into piles: jeans, skirts, dresses, blouses, etc.  This will give you an idea of what types of garments you need more of and what you can give up.  While digging through clothing can be a nightmare, it’s a win-win.  Not only are you giving yourself more space in your closet, but you can also help those who are less fortunate by taking your unneeded items to goodwill or charity shops.

5. Give it time and start small. The goal isn’t to turn your house over in one day to rid yourself of your favorite belongings.  Owning less, organizing, and decluttering over a long period of time can make your lifestyle much less stressful.  By working room by room, minimalizing will be less of a chore and more of a way to give yourself a little bit more space and clarity, one square foot at a time.

A little summer cleaning never hurt anybody.  It’s time to begin to declutter and throw away stress.  Fill your life with what you need, use, and love.  That’s a way to make a start towards minimalism.

Allison Strang

UCA Epsom Fashion Journalism Student