If you spend a lot of time reading and watching videos online, then you may have heard about the trend called minimalism. The idea behind minimalism is simple -- you live only with what you need, getting rid of anything that does not serve a specific, needed purpose in your life. Now, many minimalists take this to the extreme, paring their collections down to 100 items or what they can fit in a backpack, but to experience the mind-freeing benefits and simple lifestyle that come with minimalism, you don't have to go that far. Here is a look at three ways to take a moderate approach to minimalism and pare down your possessions without completing overhauling your entire lifestyle.
Have a general clear-out day.
Is your basement filled with remnants from old remodeling projects you're never going to use? Old paints, pieces of tile from the old bathroom floor, extra molding from the kitchen -- items like this don't really serve any purpose, but for some reason, they tend to accumulate in homes. Have a general clear-out day on which you load up a dumpster with all of these no-purpose items. Include the scraps of things and old, broken tools in your garage, too. Extra landscaping stones, pieces of wood, those cracked flower pots -- it all has to go, because it's just filling up your space.
If your basement, garage or yard is filled with a substantial amount of junk, you may need to dedicate more than one day to its removal. Tackle one area per day so you don't get overwhelmed and burn out early. Hiring a professional junk removal service is a good idea if you're having trouble parting with these things. The professionals can come take them away, so you don't have to experience unease. You can click to read more about junk removal services near you.
Set a "donation goal" each week.
This method works well if your junk is not localized to one space in your home like the basement, but rather is scattered throughout your many possessions. Paring down your clothing, decor, and kitchenware all at once might be overwhelming, but this method allows you to do is slowly, so it is less traumatic. Place a big bin near your door, and label it "donations." Tell yourself that every week for the next year, you are going to place 10 items that you no longer use in that bin. At the end of each week, take the items to a local donation center.
It's important to keep up with taking the items in the bin to the donation center weekly. If they stay in there too long, you may be tempted to take them back out of the bin. You may want to focus on gleaning donation items from one area at a time, or you may want to just toss things in from whatever area as you come across them.
Have your friends "go shopping" in your home.
Perhaps you have some younger relatives who are starting off in their first apartments or heading off to college for the first time. They could probably use some of the kitchen gadgets, decor, linens, and other accessories that have become useless in your life. Invite these people over to your home, and let them browse through your closets and cupboards.
Let your friends pull things out that they like, and ask you whether or not they can have them. Say "no" to things you definitely use, but make sure you're willing to let them take things you honestly don't use anymore. Letting them browse through things in this manner forces you to make decisions regarding whether to keep items in a split second -- which makes you less likely to second-guess yourself and keep too much.
The great thing about any of these approaches to paring down your possessions is that you can take them as far as you like. Get rid of just a few things, or take a seriously minimalist approach and get rid of everything you don't use on a daily basis. Either way, you'll be left with more space to think and breathe in your new home -- and that extra space, as minimalists are discovering, will bring with it freedom from worry and stress.