How to Be a Minimalist in 2018

Now that the new year is in full swing, it’s the perfect chance to make positive changes in your life and within your home. One way to check that box in both departments is to begin living a minimalist lifestyle. Learn below what this lifestyle entails and how to do it in your own home starting in this new year!

What Does It Mean to Be a Minimalist?

The idea of being a minimalist is defined as those who are committed to decluttering their lives, living with less, and being happier with a simpler life. Much of this recent trend can be attributed to books such as The Art of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. This book in particular details Kondo’s philosophy surrounding decluttering. Her method to tidying up is two-pronged: first, she denotes, you must put your hands on everything you own and get rid of things that don’t spark joy within you. Second, she states that you must place all of what’s left in a visible and accessible space, making it simple to clean up from there on out.

What Are the Benefits of Being a Minimalist?

While following Kondo’s regime may seem a little outlandish, there are some benefits to embracing the minimalist lifestyle. As mentioned above, the less clutter that exists in your home, the easier it is to keep your space neat and tidy. That means less time cleaning and more time for other activities and priorities.

Another benefit of this lifestyle is a lessened focus on material possessions and a more magnified focus on what’s really important in life. Less stress, more productivity, an enhanced sense of freedom, and a more aesthetically pleasing home are all up for grabs when it comes to this movement.

How to Become a Minimalist in Your Home

Figuring out where to get started when you’re moving towards the minimalist lifestyle can be intimidating, but there are a range of ways to kickstart this venture. Some of the most effective are explained below.

Pare Down Your Wardrobe

A woman going through her closet.

Whether we want to admit it or not, we all have clothes in our closets that we could live without. Paring down your wardrobe is a great first step to becoming a minimalist in 2018. Go through your closet and get rid of clothes that you haven’t worn in a year or more, items that have gone out of style or that no longer fit, and clothing that is worn out. Make piles of items to donate and a pile of clothes that can simply be thrown away. Remove it from your home as soon as possible and enjoy your more organized and decluttered wardrobe.

If you’re having trouble getting rid of things, set a number goal or limit for certain items. For example, decide you're only going to keep your 10 best t-shirts—and stick to it.

Declutter Your Kitchen

A drawer with kitchen utensils.

It’s not uncommon for individuals to accumulate extra items in the kitchen that create clutter, so this is a great room to focus on tidying up. When it comes to the kitchen simplicity reigns, however, many of us end up with duplicates of cooking gadgets and utensils. Commit to getting rid of duplicates and purging your drawers and cabinets of items that are unnecessary. If you’re debating whether you should get rid of certain items, put them together in a bin and place them out of sight. If the need to use them doesn’t arise within a month or two, get rid of them altogether. You’ll love cooking in your clutter-free, simplified kitchen.

Another way to declutter your kitchen is to clear off your countertops. This part of your kitchen is prone to attracting clutter, but you’d be surprised how freeing it can feel to have clear counter space! Everything sitting out on this space is just vying for your attention, so an abundance of room eliminates distractions and allows you more time to focus on other more important things, like cooking healthy meals. Try completely clearing off your counters, throwing away items that aren’t needed and stashing other items in drawers, cabinets, closets, and pantries. A week later, replace only the items that you found yourself frequently pulling out for use. It’s a safe bet that your counters will end up much less congested after this experiment.

Cut Down on Furniture Pieces

This is a way to become minimalist that might not seem intuitive, but you’d be amazed at the good that it can do. Remove excess and perhaps rarely used furniture pieces like end tables, ottomans, chairs, and so on from the rooms within your home. This will make a big change in the airflow of your home, opening up a significant amount of space. Talk about a great way to remove some of the largest pieces of clutter from your home!

The road to becoming a minimalist is one that takes some effort to travel down, but it’s certainly worth the undertaking. Even small changes can make a large difference in your attitude, the cleanliness and organization of your home, and in your productivity and happiness levels.