So, you’re looking to declutter your space, eh? An excellent choice. But, where to start? It can be an intimidating prospect, ditching the clutter. Thankfully, you don’t have to do it all at once. There are a few baby steps you can take to make the process go more smoothly.
Where to begin? How about with these five items that you can likely afford to get rid of.
The kitchen is a prime place for clutter and coffee or tea cups are a great place to start. We know, we know. The coffee mug is a go-to gift for many people. If you’re like us, you’ve probably found yourself on the receiving end of more than one coffee mug with a cute, kitchy, or hobby-related phrase, saying, logo, etc.
Sure, when it comes to gift giving it’s the thought that counts. Well, now it’s time to think about getting rid of all those novelty items tucked away in your kitchen cabinets. After all, how many coffee mugs do you really need? Probably just a few.
Keep your lucky coffee mug, the one you got from your kids, or a few that might have legitimate sentimental value. All together maybe you need 4 or 6 in case company drops over. The other 37? Donation time.
My mother always told me that “books are our friends.” She’s not wrong. However, today we have things like Kindle to take care of that for us. Beyond being undeniably convenient, many amazing books are actually FREE to download and read on Kindle, especially classics. Having an impressive bookcase is nice, but you can ditch the analog days and move over to the digital age.
Music and Movies
Speaking of digital vs analog… Yeah, it’s current year. If you’re not hanging on to an old vinyl collection there’s really no excuse to have a stack of CDs and DVDs lying around. Not in a world where you can stream or download just about anything. Unless you’re a serious collector of vintage CDs (and who is?) take another step into the digital age.
Another go-to gift idea is the dreaded “gadget.” From novelty items to the halfway practical, your home is likely loaded with gadgets. In the kitchen, garage, and even the closet. Everything from glow in the dark frisbees and shrimp de-veiners to electric apple peelers and handheld personal fans, etc. Some of these things you may have even purchased for yourself on a whim, but we won’t tell anyone if you don’t!
The question is: how many of these items do you actually use? Probably not that many. Time to give ‘em the ol’ heave-ho.
Bags and Luggage
There comes a time in every person’s life when they have to ask the question “how many bags do I actually need?” Accumulating bags is easy enough. You probably have a piece of luggage you use to take trips. And then you started flying on a budget airline that has luggage size restrictions so you bought a smaller bag. Then, of course, you needed a carry-on bag so you obtained one of those. Of course, that bag wasn’t big enough for your laptop so you needed another bag.
Satchels, purses, messenger bags, the list goes on. Before you know it, you’re one person with ten bags and maybe, just maybe, you use two with any regularity. Time to ditch the other eight. If you’ve accrued a collection of purses or personal bags, this might be even more painful.
The truth, however, is that you likely only really need one or two of these. And before you start in on the “but that’s last year’s style” argument, pause it! You know what never goes out of style? Black. Get a black bag. Problem solved.
Time To Prioritize
It isn’t that we’re advocating a lack of choice or a boring fashion sense. Just a different way of looking at it. One that advocates a prioritization of functional practicality. If you’d like to own a few purses, by all means own a few purses. If you truly need more than one piece of luggage, then go for it! You do have that freedom, even if you’re going minimal.
The same principles apply to coffee mugs. You have a coffee mug or two that you like and use, use them. Done deal. No worries. You don’t lose your “minimalist card” if you own more than one of anything.
Minimalism is not a one-size-fits-all equation. Some practitioners take it to an extreme level. Others enjoy a light dose of decluttering freedom. The point of minimalism, however, is to advocate for a more stress-free, less noisy environment.
There is freedom in removing clutter. If you have a bag that suits your needs and that you like, use it. You don’t need to worry or stress over it. That question is also answered. Ditto, coffee mugs.
In a Medium post from 2013, writer Lindsay Schauer outlines eight things you can live without. Number 8 strikes us as a perfect way to sum up downsizing your space with minimalism.
“Things that are neither useful, nor beautiful”
Everyone needs a dose of both usefulness and beauty in their lives. Downsizing your space and ditching excess doesn’t mean you need to throw away the beautiful things. Rather, you can ditch the less useful in favor of the more useful. Along the way, you’ll create space for the more beautiful things in your life.