Minimalism Isn't The Lack of Something, It's The Perfect Amount: 4 Simple Tips to Start Decluttering Your Space
Minimalism is a hot word right now. So hot that some roll their eyes when they hear it or feel a cold sweat because the thought of organizing and getting rid of things feels overwhelming. Minimalism doesn’t have to be a temporary fad that's particularly on trend at the moment, nor does it have to feel like an impossible feat. If we boil minimalism down to what it’s really about, it’s about living simpler, and getting rid of the excess. Our possessions hold a lot of memories so no wonder it can be hard to let go. But we all know that not everything in our homes is meant to stay forever. There are shirts in closets, mugs in cupboards, lotions half-used under sinks that are just not serving us anymore. Read below for four wonderful ways to start decluttering your space – whether that be your entire home, your office, or just one room in the house. And don’t worry, it doesn’t require you selling all your possessions, quitting your day job, and buying a van – unless that’s your speed.
4 SIMPLE TIPS TO START DECLUTTERING YOUR SPACE:
1. Declutter 1% Every Day
In the book The Slight Edge written by Jeff Olson, the author makes the case that the happiest and most productive people are those that grow 1% every day. 1% sounds so small, so insignificant, but over time, it really amounts to an incredible difference. The same concept can be applied to decluttering 1% every day. This 1% can look different for every person so don’t pressure yourself to know exactly where to start. Just begin. Maybe it’s one drawer, one side of your closet, or one stack of papers that needs attention. The only real enemy of progress is never beginning. If you begin somewhere, anywhere, you’re already winning. Decide what your 1% will be, do it, and then be proud of the progress you’ve made.
2. Make It Fun
Sorting, decluttering, organizing, down-sizing, minimizing, spring cleaning, or whatever name you want to call it, can often be the last thing we want to do after a long day. It can also feel emotionally taxing because our possessions hold a lot of memories. However, it doesn’t mean we can’t also make it fun! As we begin to return to a more social life post-pandemic, invite a friend or two over to help you declutter. You may even start a trend, where your friends will begin inviting you over for decluttering aka Marie Kondo parties. Or plan some time when your spouse, kids, and/or other family/household members can join in. Make yourselves some watermelon margaritas, the perfect *healthier* cocktail drink for summer, (or watermelon juice for a non-alcoholic option), and maybe even some chips and watermelon salsa for a snack break when you start to get hungry (can you tell we're partial to our favorite fruit?) But let's not get carried away...just make it easier and fun with a family member or friend(s), and the most dreaded of tasks can become something you look forward to when done with good company.
3. Choose Quality Over Quantity
Some of the most stylish among us swear by investing in quality, classic pieces they look chic in many times over, rather than succumbing to fast fashion and buying a bunch of trendy items that are only worn once or twice, and it's a solid bet that most people prefer quality to quantity. However, we too often settle for the latter if it's slightly more accessible or less expensive. It can be cheaper or more convenient to buy most everything on Amazon, or grab all our essential items off the shelf while we’re already at the grocery store, but this can sometimes come at a cost to our planet, our counter space, and even our health when it comes to buying convenience items that are made with questionable ingredients.
At Fork & Melon, we pride ourselves on using healthy ingredients in all of our formulas, and it’s no secret that we value sustainability by providing product packaging that is minimal, refillable, fully recyclable, and non-BPA. This helps to cut back on clutter in our homes as well as the amount of waste produced. Our products are also multi-purpose, so you don’t need to buy so many different things. Our top two multi-use products are our Fine Cleansing Wash and Rich Hydrating Cream. Check out this post for all the different ways they can be used. Buying multi-use products means cutting down on extra clutter...less is more!
Becoming a more conscious consumer, by choosing higher quality items less frequently and/or in lower amounts over time, benefits our immediate space, as well as the environment at large.
4. Ask Yourself One Simple Question
Ask yourself, “when is the last time I actually used this or thought about this?” Then, give yourself a time frame to filter that question through. For some, three months is too long, but for others, it may be six months to a year. There’s no wrong answer. Just decide for yourself what’s a reasonable amount of time to let something go if you haven’t thought about it or used it. There will always be those special exceptions when we find an item that sparks joy because of the very fact that we did forget it was there! That’s a beautiful moment. Treasure it. For all the rest, use a time frame alongside the question and stick to it. And when it comes to food items in your pantry, beauty products in your bathroom, or medicines in your cabinet, check the expiration dates: anything past it's prime is an easy toss.
There's beauty to be found in the process of decluttering, as you start to appreciate how less really is more. At times, pairing-down may seem like the last thing you want to do, but the immediate and long-term benefits pay off as you start to feel the lightness and delight a more minimalistic space can bring. Don’t set out with unreachable expectations. Take it one day, one hour, one 15-minute increment, one item, at a time.
Our spaces hold stories, so let’s make the most of the story our space is telling.