5 Ways to Ease into a Minimalist Lifestyle

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  • Effortless ideas to embrace a minimalist lifestyle.

    how to embrace a minimalist lifestyle

    I never realized I was a minimalist. Honestly, I still feel like I have too much “stuff”, but I’m always purging, letting go of things that only clutter our home and minds.

    When I envision minimalism, I think modern. Reflecting on comments I receive and how I feel when our home becomes too cluttered, I realized that you can live a minimalist lifestyle with traditional taste and apparently, I’ve been doing so all along.

    “Clutter smothers. Simplicity breathes.” {Terry Guillemetes}

    Some of our minimalism has sprouted out of need. My grandma always said “waste not, want not” and for years, it was an essential part of our lifestyle as Chris was in medical school and residency. We didn’t have money to spend on extras, like decor.

    As years passed and we could, I found myself to be more thoughtful with my purchases. Rather than purchasing something to fill a space, we made a commitment to save and purchase what we truly loved, which means that three and a half years after purchasing our home, we’re still decorating.

    Purging is also a constant. It’s how I begin each organization project. There’s a misconception that I don’t have messy closets/spaces. I just might take a photo of what our guest bedroom has become this winter. The difference is, I don’t let it spill over into other rooms {there’s an invisible caution tape over the door and the fear of me screaming “don’t go in there” running through the girls’ heads until I have time to tackle it}.

    “Organization isn’t about perfection. It’s about efficiency, reducing stress & clutter, saving time and money, and improving your overall quality of life.” {Christina Scalise}

    If you want to embrace the less is more lifestyle, here are 5 ways to ease into a minimalist lifestyle:

    1. Designate a “safe” space for a little chaos. Nothing in our home is perfect. The basement is another example for that. You have to allow chaos to live somewhere when you have children. Or at least I do. The basement is that one place where kids can be kids, get creative, make a mess and I don’t have to repeat myself 9 times begging them to pick it up. In fact, I rarely ask them to. 5 minimalist ideas to embrace
    2. Get everyone involved. We try to make de-cluttering and organizing an adventure. Like “girls, you received so many great gifts at your birthday parties, wouldn’t it be fun to give some of our toys to kids who may not have very many?” They get excited to let go of their things. I assign each kiddo a task like “collect all the markers”, “see how fast you can fill this trash bag” or “all dress up clothes in this bin”.
    3. Take it one space at a time and ask yourself these questions: 
      1. Does it serve a purpose?
      2. Do you use it?
      3. Does it bring you joy?
        • if you answered no to any of these questions, let it go. Pare down to the things you really love and need. The rest is just “stuff”. ideas how to pare down with a less is more approach
    4. Assess how you use the space and how you can use it better. Our bookcases are valuable space that were under-utilized for some time. Rather than decorate them with trinkets, we added baskets which hold household items like batteries, our dvd’s, manuals, etc. The platters were just consuming space in a kitchen cabinet, but can be used when hosting get togethers. We frequently mix drinks at the bar cabinet as well! 
    5. When starting a project, consider how you can blend design and function. I always loved the way a wardrobe looked in a family room, but it consumes a significant amount of space, so it needs to be functional as well. We removed the coat closet in our foyer so in the winter it accommodates coats and in the summer, the same side is filled with throws we’re not using. The drawers hold games, candles, and pillow covers. Another example of this is the lead image – my most frequently used platters and bowls are stored in the hutch for easy access, but also serve as decor. Any time a piece serves multiple purposes, it’s a win in my book, er, home.5 ways to ease into a minimalist lifestyle

    I hope you enjoyed these tips to ease into a minimalist lifestyle. My friend Christina recently sent me a list of questions and paired with reader questions, I have so much more to share! Please, if you have any questions or tips, leave them in the comments below. I love hearing from you!

    My final tip to embrace a minimalist lifestyle is to realize less can be so much more.

    Originally published January 12, 2018.

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