How many of us head out to the stores just because we are bored and end up buying much stuff that looks nice but that we don’t need and will never use? Or even worse, raise your hand if you spend your free time filling up your cart on Amazon and clicking the “buy now” button, only to find that you don’t even have room for it? Maybe it’s time to start thinking before you begin buying. Impulse buying is a big no-no in the minimalist world.
If that is you, commit yourself to only buying what you need. Start by going on a 30-day spending freeze, in which you do not buy anything except for groceries, gas, and necessities. You will get a better idea of what you need in your day-to-day life so that you can start avoiding reckless purchases that add clutter to your home. It will also help you save some money, so it’s really like a win-win! Your house, and your wallet, will be thanking you.
Don’t stay on the endless treadmill of buying low-quality garbage that will wear out quickly. This is one mindset you’ll have to change to achieve a minimalist life. Instead, start investing in items that will last for a long time. Pass up the $20 shoes that are on sale for $10. All that you will have is a rack full of cheap shoes that won’t last. So much for minimalism. You’ll end up having to spend way more money than you’d like over time and not have much to show for it. No one wants to live like that if they can help it.
Instead, buy high-quality shoes that won’t wear out. Look for tennis shoes that you can wear for a casual Friday at the office, and that will also dress down a cute leisure outfit. Same with jeans, shirts, kitchen utensils, pretty much everything. Invest in high-quality items that will last so that you don’t have to keep replacing them with more cheap garbage. You and your wallet will be thankful that you did when you look at your bank account at the end of the month.
Which rooms have good light? How can you use that light to serve your needs and the needs of the other people in your household? Look beyond the clutter that may be filling up some rooms. What storage options are available that you can take advantage of for this current situation? If you want to minimize your life, what helps is to look beyond getting rid of junk. You must see your home’s potential for better serving your own needs. What will your home look like when all of the clutter and debris are gone?
By getting rid of anything and everything you do not need and organizing things to declutter your space, you can make your home look new and feel refreshing when you walk in the door. Donate anything you have no use for, or gift them to those who could make use of said things. Make a box of things to get rid of and do a walk-through of each room in your home. Soon your home will be clutter-free and have endless possibilities of jazzing it up.
Use Window Seats, Stairways, And Other Hidden Spaces For Storage
Have you run out of closet space and are finding that you require some extra storage space? The first thing you should probably do is clean out what you need and separate it from what you don’t need. What you don’t need should get donated or tossed out, not put away into storage. Once you have pared down the number of things you need to store in the first place, look around your house for creative spots to store items. Do you have a window seat? Turn it into a chest that stores blankets and pillows.
Do you have open space under the stairway? Turn it into a bookshelf. A minimalist life sometimes requires you to be creative with less storage space. Putting things into totes will also help with storage and help make the area look tidier than a plain old brown cardboard box. They come in an assortment of colors, can be easily labeled to help organize things even more, and are easy to stack on top of each other in corners, shelves, and cubby spaces. You can use totes as storage for anything you’d like, such as holiday decorations, games, puzzles, seasonal clothing, and even canned goods. Totes come in all sizes and can fit just about anywhere, which is very useful, too.
Skip getting a whole bunch of pieces that serve only one function. Next time you need to buy more furniture, how about getting pieces of furniture to double or even triple their duty. Look for ottomans that have built-in storage and dressers that can double as a desk. This is necessary to living a practical minimalist lifestyle. Not only are there ottomans that have built-in storage spaces underneath, but they also make stools and benches with space underneath as well. Get a small dresser that can also be used as a bedside table or a bed frame with built-in drawers underneath.
There are endless options available for furniture pieces that can serve multiple functions. You don’t have to stop looking at your local furniture store. Check out thrift stores and flea markets. You may even find some pieces that you can modify yourself to make them serve double duty. Just because you can’t find what you’re looking for doesn’t mean you can’t become creative and make them yourself. For example, you could put bins for clothes under your bed that you can easily pullout if you don’t have space for a more oversized dresser in your room.
You probably already own some pieces of functionality that can serve multiple purposes. Why not take some time to figure out new ways that you can use them so that they can do even more? Use a coat rack also to hang umbrellas. And while you’re at it, make sure that those multifunctional pieces serve an aesthetic purpose, as well. Paint them to look elegant or to have a shabby chic appeal, whatever you are using as the mode of décor for your home. After all, a minimalist home does not need to be ugly!
By adding a little bit of paint, you can make anything look new, and it also adds personality and creativity to any item. Have a boring little white basket on the counter and mail piling up near the door? Paint the basket, maybe put a cute small label on the front or side of it, and put it near the entrance to start collecting the mail you bring in. It helps organize, declutters your counter, and it even adds a little cuteness to your home as well.
If you are trying to create a minimalist home, one of the first things you should probably look at is how many shoes you have. Many people could quickly get rid of half of their shoes and still be comfortable. Do you have any shoes that don’t seem to fit you quite right anymore? There are probably shoes that you don’t seem to wear these days. Maybe you have shoes that don’t go with any of your outfits? It’s time to get rid of those. After getting rid of your shoes, you may need to look at a creative way of storing them.
One idea is to use a shoe rack to hang against a door so that it doesn’t take up any floor space. Another idea is if you have a trundle bed, take the mattress off it and store shoes in the trundle. Just pull the trundle out in the morning, take out your shoes, and you are ready to go. You can also buy a multi-mesh shelf that can hang inside of a closet. Making it easy to put pairs of shoes on each mesh shelf keeps your shoes off the floor and out of the way.
Does your home lack closet storage? Many apartments in large cities are so small that closets are woefully inadequate, so the minimalist life is almost mandatory. You can make up for this deficit in closet space by turning your clothes into decorations! Get some wall hooks that you can use to hang your clothes from and organize them neatly and on display. You don’t need to bother with one of those unattractive clothes racks to get tucked away in the back of the room. Hanging your clothes on the wall will save floor space while simultaneously turning them into decorations.
By hanging your clothes up like they’re on display, you’re making it easier on yourself to see what options you have to wear. Hang up cute outfits, switch them up, get a feel for what you plan on wearing to important events or a fun night out. Not only is it creative and helpful with space, but you get to show off your new outfits and cute clothes to any of your friends who come to visit.
Suppose your clothes don’t fit because you’ve recently been trying to lose weight, congratulations on your journey toward a healthier life! Get rid of the clothes that no longer flatter you. The same goes for if you are trying to shed some pounds and the clothes that you already own no longer fit. Get rid of everything that doesn’t work. It doesn’t make any sense to keep any clothing that you don’t plan on wearing anymore. It’s only taking up space that you don’t have to begin with.
Why? Because you only have so much storage space in your home and don’t need to be weighed down with things that are not helping you in your daily life. When you do lose that weight, reward yourself by buying new clothes that accentuate your new figure. Updating your wardrobe will give your room and yourself a fresh feel and look. Clothes also stretch or shrink in the drier over time. Have a sweater that doesn’t fit right anymore? Toss it or donate it. It’s only taking up space in your closet.
Plenty of people held onto their parachute pants and neon-colored windbreakers from the 1980s, positively sure that they would come back into style. And guess what? They did come back into fashion. The result was atrocious. Never again. Never, ever again. To avoid being part of the next fashion re-catastrophe, get rid of the clothes you no longer wear. You may think that nobody will ever want to wear them, but you will be surprised at what high school students with an eye for flair can pull off with your discarded pleated pants.
There’s no point in keeping clothes that you no longer plan on wearing, even if they were to come back into fashion. You could always buy something similar to that sweater you got rid of years later if that style came back and you wished to wear it again. Hanging onto clothes that you are no longer wearing does nothing to help you or your closet space out. Donate any unwanted clothes to your local thrift store or even a shelter. Someone else would love to wear them, even if they don’t seem to be “in style.”
Do you have a standing, full-length mirror? Put hooks on the top or along the sides so that you can hang necklaces and bracelets from it. Do you like to wear hats, belts or scarves? Instead of trying to throw them into the closet, put hooks on the wall and hang them up. Not only does it help clutter up a shelf or drawer, but it will give a room a whole new look as well. Like two for the price of one!
Do you have pots and pans that don’t fit in the kitchen cabinets? Put hooks up on the kitchen walls. Hang some utensils, such as a soup ladle and spatula, alongside the pots and pans. Not only will hanging things from wall hooks save you space, doing so will bring some built-in, minimalist décor even in the kitchen! You can do the same for coffee mugs as well. If you have wine glasses, buy a wrack that’ll let you hang the glasses upside down and hang them over your refrigerator or counter.
Keep in mind that everything needs to be pretty in a minimalist home because the essential goods you use every day double as decoration. There’s no point in having a sack of flour and a sack of sugar behind those boxes of cereal. Why not put all of them into separate but matching containers? You can find cute but pretty containers that come in matching sets at some department stores, as well as home decor stores.
Do you prefer things to be mismatched and a bit wonky? Take complementary matching sets, as they won’t be too different from each other but will add an extra pop. Ensure that you keep everything as clean and straightforward as possible so that you don’t overwhelm the aesthetic with busy patterns. However, if you wish to add a little flair to your home, you can always get things with different colored stripes that would compliment each other. Remember, though, polka dots and lines don’t go well together.
A minimalist home needs to have a minimalist feel, and nothing says minimalism quite like a simple color scheme. Aim for one base color and one accent color, and try to get as much of your furniture and walls to correspond to that singular color scheme. A more complex color scheme will look busy and distracting. And remember, nothing says that the colors you choose have to be a dull color though, go bright and bold if that’s what you’re into.
Also, instead of loud patterns, stick with simple geometric shapes or even straight lines. Having too much going on distracts from the minimalist aesthetic appeal of multifunctional furniture and using your accessories (such as your hats and scarves) as wall decorations. Stripes make for a great pattern, can be more than one color, and go horizontally or vertically. However, you don’t have to add a design to the look if you don’t wish to. Nothing says you have to either.
If you have a desk, you probably have either clutter on top of the desk or in the drawers. As a result, when you need to sit down and get work done, you may have to sift through piles of junk to find what you need! Which can take time away and also be a distraction from your work. Baskets and folders can be used to help organize the top and inside of your desk. Try a desktop organizer for your paper clips and pens if they are lying loose inside your drawers.
Another idea you could try would be a grid clipboard. With a grid clipboard, you can turn your desktop clutter into wall decorations. Use as many clips as you need to hang scissors, pens, paperclips, and anything else that you may need. Your office supplies will always be right at hand, and the chic look will make the whole desk area feel cleaner and more accessible. Also, be sure to have a small wastebasket near or under your desk for easy access so that you don’t have to worry about unwanted or useless papers or pens taking up space in or on your desk as well.
A pegboard is the quintessential feature of minimalist storage. These are readily adaptable to changing storage needs, as you can easily add or remove shelves, add or remove pegs, and move them to any room in the house! They are sturdy enough to store heavy coats yet accessible enough to hold your keys. Add a couple of shelves to it and put that small potted plant you have on top to spice it up a bit as well, giving it a chic look.
You can easily buy a pegboard that is already made or make one yourself that is even more suited to your own minimalist storage needs. All you need is a pegboard, pegs, and shelves to go on it. And, of course, a vision of how you want to use yours! You can keep its color plain or paint it whatever color you’d like to blend it in with your decor even better. Get creative and color the pegs a different color than the board behind them!
Bringing the outdoors in will help give your minimalist home a clean feel while also making it seem homier and inviting. Look for corners, windowsills, and unused spaces where you can put in a small plant. Consider herbs that you can use in the kitchen or aloe vera to use as part of your beauty routine. Not only will having a small house plant or two look nice and give your home a clean feel, but they will also help give it a refreshing smell as well.
If you aren’t experienced with keeping house plants alive, start with something simple that needs very little care. Stores like Target usually sell house plants that require very little attention. As you get used to caring for houseplants, you can work your way up to those that need a bit more TLC. Just be sure to do a little bit of research on any plant you buy before purchasing it, to make sure it is safe to have around any pets you may have, and to know the requirements it will need, like water and sunlight.
Utilizing floor space is a good idea in minimalist design, but only as much floor space as you can spare. Many people trying to create a more minimal aesthetic for their home have a very pragmatic reason: they don’t have much space to begin with. But you can still use floor space wisely to make sure that you have enough storage for everything. First, you will want to make sure not to leave anything lying around on the floor that does not belong there.
Consider furniture pieces that allow you to store things on the ground below them, such as end tables and beds. Maybe use containers, such as storage cubes, to place items before storing them under the furniture. Magazines can get moved from the coffee table to the floor underneath an end table, where they are still accessible but out of the way. You can also get small baskets or bins to put little things that could fit under furniture well for easy access.
First off, you probably have too much stuff in your drawers. If you spend time wondering where “up” is after knowing that you put something “up,” but are finding expired batteries and new mouse traps in your drawers, then you need to clean them out. Aim to get rid of half of the stuff in your drawers. You’ll probably want to start by grabbing a trash bag and going through each drawer to toss out anything that isn’t worth keeping before you begin to organize.
Once you get your drawers pared-down, use some dividers to keep the contents organized. The partitions can be as simple as boxes that jewelry comes in, or you can buy some. Do you want something more original than what chain stores have to offer? Head over to a thrift store and let your imagination determine what you can use as drawer dividers. You may find that even small and simple baskets, bowls, dishes, or trays work great when organizing random things inside drawers.
A considerable part of a minimalist ethic is repurposing or fixing things instead of buying new items, saving you money. If your furniture is tired or doesn’t fit into your minimalist color scheme, you don’t need to get rid of it necessarily. A paint job or a simple remodeling effort can enliven it and make it the perfect piece for your minimalist home. You can turn anything old and worn down into something that looks like new again if you work hard enough for it, and it won’t cost as much as it would if you were to replace it with something new from the store.
Take that plain dresser and add some fun knobs to the drawers for a charming accent. Give that old wooden table a paint job so that it fits in with all of your other minimalist furniture. And while you’re at it, look for ways you can add new features to your old furniture so that it can serve multiple purposes. You can even take an old bench and build a shelf to put underneath it for shoes to put by your front door.
Another critical aspect of the minimalist ethic is being grateful for what you do have instead of being envious of what others have. Practicing gratitude daily stifles jealousy and other unpleasant emotions will increase your joy and satisfaction not only in what you have but in your entire life. That can also help fill your home with more positive energy, making it feel more welcome to others. When you can, taking away objects in your home that create clutter and cause stress may help you feel more at peace, too.
Create a practice in which, every day, you set aside a few minutes to be thankful for the things that you do have. But more than material possessions, thank the people in your life. Be happy for who they are and how much they have poured into your life. By helping others, you will be helping yourself. It’s like the saying goes, “Let good out, get good in.” Don’t take things for granted, and just appreciate what you have in your home, no matter how big or small they may be.
Whether we mean to or not, we all end up accumulating more possessions and usually much more than what we need. These possessions could come in the form of birthday and Christmas gifts from friends who mean well or from changing tastes that no longer find polka dots as appealing as polka triangles. You may have started a collection of something, but a year later decided you didn’t want to collect it anymore and move on to collecting something else, pushing your old group to the back of your closet to collect dust.
At least twice a year, with the changing of seasons, purge your home to get rid of things you don’t need. Pay special attention to the clothing that just went off-season; if you did not wear it at all the past season, get rid of it. Don’t wait to see if you will wear it next year. Chances are you won’t. If you haven’t taken something out to either wear, play with, decorate with, etc., it’s probably time you got rid of it. Someone else may be hoping to find what you are willing to donate.
The first time you purge your home for a minimalist life will be a complicated process, as you begin the process of letting go of material things that you may have built your life around. As you go through the bi-annual cycle of purging your home, your perspective will change. Instead of focusing on what you need or don’t need, think about what you can’t live without, and it might make it easier to get rid of things. Also, ask yourself, have I needed this in the past six months?
Yes, you probably do need nice shirts to wear to work. But do you need 20? No. Which shirts do you need to maintain a professional appearance at work? Those are the ones that you keep. All the other ones need to go. If you find you got rid of a shirt and need one just like it months later, you can always buy another similar to it for that special occasion. However, there is no reason to hang onto something you will only wear, maybe once every five years.
As you pare down to a minimalist lifestyle, you probably won’t miss those random browsings through Amazon and all the times you mindlessly fill up your cart, either on an online store or in a brick-and-mortar store. Why? Because you realize that you no longer derive your value from material possessions. Not only will your home and closets be thanking you, but your wallet and your mind will be thanking you too. Having too much stuff and clutter has been known to cause stress, which isn’t suitable for anyone.
When you are no longer trying to impress other people with what you have and are no longer trying to have the latest shiny object, you will find that you are much happier. The substance of life is in your relationships, both with other people and with yourself. Life is not about what you own. It never was. So toss out what you don’t need, put away what you do, clear off your countertops and desk, and give your home and your mind a fresh start and a new beginning in life.
There is no reason to keep something that you aren’t using, especially if you haven’t used it in months, maybe even years! This is especially true if you’re interested in a minimalist life. And if you don’t plan on using it again, why are you still hanging on to it? Perhaps someone is out there looking for something exactly like what you are hanging on to that you’re not even using and would be happy to have just that item. Whatever it is that you are hanging on to, it’s just taking up space that could be used for something else you need the room for.
If it’s knick-knacks you’re hanging on to but don’t want, they’re just collecting dust in the corner. Clothes that aren’t being worn are just taking up space in your closet or dresser. Old jewelry or tools are just taking up room in those boxes you set them in that you are now just having sit around, getting in the way of other things. Having things around that aren’t useful to you anymore is pointless, and there’s no reason to hang on to it anymore, so get rid of it!
Do you find yourself hanging onto a shirt because it flatters you nicely, but you don’t like the way it looks? Get rid of it and find something that not only fits you perfectly but something that you also love the look of as well. Are you tired of looking at those old window curtains? However, you don’t want to get rid of them because it was part of a housewarming gift? They’re not going to care, and we are sure they would completely understand that you got rid of it and replaced it with something you like.
You wouldn’t buy something from the store that made you frown and feel unhappy with just to put out for others to see, would you? If someone were to gift you something that doesn’t make you smile, you are not obligated to keep it if you don’t want to. Explain yourself, you just don’t have the room for it, and you don’t care for it. They should understand and will maybe give you something useful that you like in the future.
When going through your things and deciding on what you want to keep and what you want to get rid of, you may be thinking about how you don’t want to make another trip to the thrift store to make another donation. So, why not have a rummage sale instead? One man’s trash is another man’s treasure! Not everybody is a minimalist; they’ll want your things. And you could even make a little money by selling some of your unwanted items as well. Just be sure that when selling your things, they’re not broken or trashed first.
When deciding how to set up your rummage sale, make sure you have plenty of tables and shelves to set up to put your things on top of first. You could either put notes on each table with prices and put little stickers with each item’s price. Alternatively, you can even put a sign out that says for people to give you an offer on what they would like to buy. You would also need to make a couple of signs to advertise your rummage sale so that people driving along know where it’s at so they can stop and shop!
So you may have some things lying around your house that you’re not sure what to do with, a holiday like Christmas or a birthday is coming up, and you don’t have much money to spend. Where do you go from there? You could always get creative and turn something of your own that you’re uninterested in anymore into something like new for someone else. It may be old to you, but it can be like new to someone else, and they’ll be sure to love that you put your heart and creative skills to work on something just for them.
Turn old pillows into new throw pillows. Just buy some cheap fabric and sew it on! Have an old picture frame just lying around? Clean it up, maybe paint or stain the frame, clean the glass of any fingerprints or dust, and put a photo in it as a gift to your friend. You could do the same with an old mirror, clean the glass, maybe paint the frame or add some gemstones around it to jazz it up a bit. It’ll look like you just bought it from the store!
Not All Of That Is Necessary for a Minimalist Life
Don’t buy things that aren’t necessary, and don’t take things into your home that you don’t need. Keeping your house simple inside starts by not having a lot of stuff to crowd it up inside. There’s no need to have 20 plates and 15 bowls if it’s just you and your significant other living in your home. And why do you have 17 blankets if you only ever have one friend sleepover every few months? 13 couch pillows for one loveseat seems a little overkill, too, don’t you think?
Hanging on to five pairs of shoes when you only ever wear the same two makes it seem pointless to keep the other three. They’re just taking up space. You may have a hundred things hanging on your living room walls, making it look a bit overcrowded. There’s no need for all that to be up on the walls. Maybe spread them out throughout your house, or only have a few things hanging up at a time. A lot of one thing isn’t always a good thing.
When you have your cleaning supplies all over your house, it makes it look messy and maybe makes it feel a bit crowded. Your vacuum may be stuffed into a corner, with the broom and paper towels in another. Maybe try organizing your cleaning supplies and putting them in a space that keeps them together and out of the way. It’ll also make it easier for you to find one of the supplies you’re looking for as well, and it’ll look neater in your home if they’re not scattered throughout.
If you have a laundry room, that is an excellent place to put all your cleaning supplies, but if you don’t, maybe a small closet or little corner tucked away? When organizing cleaning supplies such as cleaners, you could put them under your kitchen sink. Get small baskets or bins to put them in to keep them together and organized. It will also make it easier to pull a basket out to sift through your supplies when looking for something instead of crawl under your sink when searching for a specific product.
Are you finding yourself with too many clothes and not enough room? Perhaps you are unsure how to decide what to get rid of and what to keep. There is a fun and easy trick to figuring out exactly what clothes you wear and what you don’t. Because why keep what you don’t wear or use right? By following this simple life hack, you’ll be able to make that tough decision as easy as possible to help downsize your wardrobe at home.
If you hang your clothes in the closet, face the hangers all one way. Once you take a piece of clothing off the hanger and wear it, place it back on the hanger after washing it, but face it in the opposite direction. Whichever hangers are still facing the original way by the end of whatever deadline you give yourself, let’s say three months, get rid of them. Those clothes you haven’t worn in the past three months mean you probably won’t wear them in the next three, either. They’re just taking up room. Once you’ve cleaned it out, you’re one step closer to a minimalist life.
Minimalist Trick: Put Plants Where You Wouldn’t Think
Are you a plant lover but have no place to put them? Maybe it’s time you started to think outside the box! Plants don’t just have to sit on a table, countertop, or shelf.And plants seems to be a favorite in minimalist design. They can be hung up, strung up, slung up, whatever! It’s time you got creative with your houseplants and gave your home a whole new look and feel. It may even help keep your pets out of your plants if you had that to worry about as well. You can easily hang plants up from a hook in your ceiling, as you would see in a greenhouse or outdoor setting.
Another fun and different minimalist look for your plants would be to put them in your shower. Eucalyptus and other tropical shower plants would freshen up your bathroom and look fabulous in there. Give your bathroom and shower that natural feel with some plants that thrive in warm wet environments. Hang them from the ceiling, put them on a shelf or a windowsill if you have a window in your bathroom, or even hang one from your showerhead. Not only will your bathroom look refreshing, but it will smell fresh, too.
Nowadays, people mount their TVs to their walls, eliminating a TV stand, making more space in their living rooms for other things. While this is such a great idea, if you are looking for more shelving or cubby-like space, maybe a TV stand isn’t such a bad idea for your living room after all. It doesn’t even have to be an actual TV stand that is being sold specifically for your set, either. You can get creative with other things, too.
You could get a cubed shelf in your living room and put your TV on top of that. In turn, you are using the cubby spaces underneath to put other things, such as your game consoles, DVD player, cable box, movies, and games. Even pictures and small knick-knacks if you wish to. In the bedroom, you could use the top of your dresser for your TV instead of using a separate stand for your television, giving you more space for other things in your room, too.
While being organized and making sure you don’t have an abundance of things helps make your house feel more minimalized, keeping your home tidy will also help a lot. If you keep it messy, it will look cluttered, and no one will notice that you are an organized person. You may know that your cabinets or your closets are organized, but others won’t, and they won’t even guess they are if there’s junk lying around on your counters or floors.
Make sure you only have a few couch pillows out on your couch. Too many will make it look cluttered and tacky- not minimalist at all. Dirty dishes in the sink will make your kitchen look messy. Try to dry them and put them away soon after washing so that they also don’t take up extra space on the counter afterward. If your shoes aren’t tucked away, be sure they aren’t flung around the room. Straighten them up by the door so that they look neat and in place. Little things like that can make a big difference in the appearance of your home, too.