You will probably hear me multiple times say that I am new to this whole "minimalism" lifestyle which I am :). After watching the Minimalism Documentary on Netflix, I was so sold out to this way of living. It felt like a breath of fresh air and reminded me what my focus needs to be on and what it does not need to be on (money, material goods, the latest and greatest, etc).
My husband, Dan, and I always have been the type to go "extreme" and "all in" with ideas we love or support and the minimalism idea was no different. We knew that we wanted less in our life so we decided to clear a Saturday to eat breakfast, watch the documentary and go to town in our apartment. We did exactly that. If you feel the same, I would highly suggest to watch the documentary and then make sure you have enough time to go through your stuff because you are going to have quite the motivational boost behind you.
Dan and I knew we had way too much clutter in our home and unnecessary goods that did nothing for us. One of the concepts behind minimalism is to keep items that bring you joy and this was something we were constantly thinking of when going through our stuff and it really worked.
If you have a spouse or roommate, I would suggest trying to get them on board with you because it would make it so much easier and productive. It also gives you the ability to keep each other accountable. For example, I had Dan check out the closet after I got done with my stuff and he walked in, said that I had too much and threw some more items away. I trusted his judgement and it was kind of like ripping a band aid off except I could not do it, he did. But I was able to do the same with him. Like he has many pen boxes. Not pens but the original boxes they came in. Mind you, he has a case that he stores all of his pens in. He was thinking of keeping them and I asked him if they are purposeful and if they make him happy. He gave it a little time and then went into his office and was able to get rid of them because they were just taking up space. Accountability works!
This was me and Dan's game plan and it might look different for you but this could be helpful if you are trying to figure out, "where do I start"?
1. Watch the documentary and eat a big breakfast (you will need your energy ;))
2. Split up in the beginning. Dan and I were able to take two different rooms because we know it was mostly our stuff or one person would know more of what needs to go. Example, Dan took on his office and I took on the kitchen and the laundry room.
3. For the kitchen, think about these questions:
- What do you need?
- What makes your life easier?
- What do you use often?
- Do you have multiple items that are similar? (Pick your favorite and drop the other)
- Do you need 12 dinner plates, 20 bowls and 60 mugs (this is for my coffee drinkers ;))?
These questions can really help you think and narrow down your kitchen items. And trust me, it will feel amazing to open your cabinets and not see dishes and glassware stack upon stack on each other.
4. Then I moved into the living room. Our living room was not too cluttered. Mind you, we have a 1-bedroom apartment so that is not a lot of space. I did recognize that there was areas where "junk" could be stored in and I noticed that there was probably too many knickknacks that were taking up space but did not really make me happy. I cleaned out drawers and other storage containers like baskets, and they were pretty easy to clean. I mean most of the items that were tucked away in these areas were things that I did not even think about so it was pretty much a no brainer.
5. After the living room, Dan and I both cleaned out items in the bathroom. This was kind of hard for me because I always feel like I never know when I would want a styling product or a piece of makeup in the future but I could not let that be my main focus. If it is not part of my regular routine, if I used it so rarely or if it had dust on it, it needed to go. I also had a case of makeup that I have not touched in two years. I did not even open it and just threw it away because I knew I did not need any of it. Girls, let me tell you how freeing it is to have small makeup bag with the items you use daily. Your routine in the morning goes quicker and when you travel you know exactly what you will need to bring. Total game changer. However, I did keep my Urban Decay Naked palette because...hello this eye shadow is amazing even if I do not wear eye shadow everyday.
6. Bedroom and closet. Oh boy! We saved the best for last. For the most part, we did this together but I started mine first. With the clothes, this is a constant work in progress. I was able to really get rid of a lot but I am still every once and awhile getting rid of other clothing that I know I really do not need.
Here are some questions and thoughts to think about:
- Do I feel happy when I wear it?
- Does it make me feel pretty?
- Does it fit me comfortably?
- Have a worn it in the last year? Last 6 months? Last month?
- Is it high quality?
- Do I need 10 t-shirts, 15 pairs of jeans or 25 shoes? (*cough* *cough* Larissa. Larissa is my best friend that I helped clean out her closet. This girl LOVES some shoes haha.)
Dan and I did a good job with this but I think during the next season, we will be able to see what we truly wear and what we do not need anymore. Since it was summer, I do have a lot more winter items that I know I will be able to get rid of once the season hits. However, I did get rid of a good chunk of my winter items.
The closet was the main chore since our bedroom does not have too much in it. I did go through my desk and drawers and threw out items that I was not going to use or things I were saving on to for those just in case moments.
At the end of the day, we ended up with 23 GIANT bags full of clothing, shoes, knickknacks, old paperwork, dishes, appliances, electronics, books and much more. We were definitely worn out by the end of it but it was SO WORTH IT. I cannot tell you how good it feels to have less stuff. We can feel how less stress we are by not being surrounded by unnecessary clutter. It is like taking a breath of fresh air.
Let me know if you have any questions with this because I would be more than happy to help! Do you have any tips or suggestions on making it easier to get rid of items? I would love to hear any feedback to this post <3.