As part of our efforts to keep an orderly home, we do some "spring cleaning" around this time of the year. I have the tendencies of a hoarder, but my husband keeps me in check (aka, he throws stuff away).
I have my reasons. There are just some things you couldn’t bear to part with because you always think you’d find a use for them again somehow: clothes, broken appliances, half-used makeup, tons of microwavable plastics. Wrong. This year I did my annual decluttering and found this same pile exactly where I had left them last year. They were still waiting to be re-used.
But what if you didn’t have to purge your closets and storage rooms periodically? It’s actually possible, if you follow a minimalist lifestyle.
In an Instagram post, expectant mom Anne Curtis posted a photo of her living room which has a minimalist feel. She captioned it, "What nesting season has done. All of a sudden, I just wanted everything to be clean and minimal. Can other mum’s relate? It just happened overnight."
Minimalism, as the name suggests, is living only with the most basic needs. It is the opposite of acquiring, buying, and, yes, hoarding. Those who have adopted this kind of life attest to the following benefits: peace of mind (there’s less things to worry about and less stress), priorities are re-focused (more time for themselves and the people they love), and happiness (finding contentment inwards than placing value on material possessions).
For many, it’s unthinkable to shift to this kind of life. However, if you would like to reap the benefits of a minimalist lifestyle, here are some steps to get you started:
If you have clothes in your closet you haven’t worn in months (or years), or have to rummage through your drawers to find something you need, you probably have too much stuff.
2. Sort your stuff.
In order to make life simpler, you need to declutter, which means getting rid of stuff you don’t really need. To help you out, here’s a simple rule we follow: if it’s broken, throw it away, because really, when will you have the time to get it fixed? The clothes and gear your child has outgrown? Give them away. Check those personal care products since some of them may already be expired. As you go along it will be clearer to you what things to keep and which to clear out (especially if you already did the same thing with the same items last year).
For stuff you can’t part with, be purposeful about what you intend to do with them and store them properly until it’s time to get on that project.
3. Think before you buy.
Becoming minimalist won’t work if you keep buying stuff to add to your collection. Resist the urge. If you feel the need to purchase, sleep on it the first time. Chances are you’ll have forgotten all about it the next day.
4. Find contentment in what you have.
Minimalism is more than just decluttering; it’s a mindset and a way of life. When you believe that time spent on organizing, keeping, cleaning stuff could have been time spent having a conversation with your loved ones, you realize that owning so much actually makes you poor in what really matters. Less is more -- and that’s what minimalism is really all about.
* This story originally appeared on Smartparenting.com.ph. Minor edits have been made by the Preview.ph editors.