The Minimal Home – Declutter your house by following these 5 easy rules

If you are anything like me, you’ve fallen victim countless times to the “Oooh, that’s cute!” syndrome while walking through Target. Whether it’s home decor, shoes, or coffee mugs (guilty), we fill up our basket with things we don’t need and probably already have.

But if it’s one thing I’ve learned over the past few years, it’s that stuff doesn’t make you happy. In fact, it leads to stress and clutter more than anything.

Whether it’s the overflowing cabinets or the stuffed closet, if you’re ready to throw out the excess and get down to the bare essentials this post is for you.

Rule #1: Does it still work?

Pretty obvious but still easily ignored. Are you holding on to items that you ‘intend’ to fix? Or maybe you have a junk drawer full of old phones with broken screens. Find the things in your house that don’t work anymore and toss them. If you haven’t fixed it by now, then it’s time to let it go and accept the fact you might never fix it.

Rule #2: Are there duplicates?

No one needs 20 coffee mugs, but it’s easy to find yourself with quite the collection. Find the things in your home that you have duplicates of and clean it out. Cut the number in half, then in half again. Keep only the amount you need for yourself + guests. If one get’s broken, then go buy one to replace it. Apply this rule to all the items in your household. From pillows to pens, reducing the amount of items allows you to keep the few you do have organized and within reach.

Rule #3: Do I need it?

This one is probably one of the hardest to adapt to, especially if you live in a country ruled by consumption. If you find yourself out in the store ask yourself that question, “Do I need this?” In most cases you’ll probably be saying no. Right now it may be difficult, but in time going to the store will be a breeze. You’ll find yourself writing a list, tackling it, and getting back to what you enjoy doing. Saying no to buying things you don’t need reduces the amount of accumulation in your home resulting in a less cluttered lifestyle.

Rule #4: Take Things Digital

I good way to declutter the home is by taking advantage of the online homes we have these days. An example is getting rid of the cook books crowding your shelf by scanning them into your computer, or even using online sources like Pinterest. Same goes for receipts, documents, and journals. Obviously some things need to stay printed like family portraits or meaningful articles, but for all the other little things you could put online, do it. There are plenty of online storage sites like Google Drive, Dropbox, iCloud, and external drives are great for extra storage too. Remember, never leave all your digital items on your computer without backing them up!

Rule #5: Downsize

Probably the hardest rule and the one most people will ignore, but I honestly think it is one of the most essential ways to live minimal: downsizing.

“Your home is living space, not storage space.”

Do you have multiple cars? Downsize to one. Do you have a large house? Downsize to a smaller one. When you reduce the amount of places for you to store junk, you’ll find yourself living with only the things that you need.

It Isn’t Easy

America especially is all about the celebrity lifestyle. Fancy cars, huge mansions, and a makeup counter overflowing with products. But when you really look at these people, do these things make them happy? More importantly, when you look in the mirror, do the things you own make you happy?

Life is so much more than having “things”. It’s about experiences, people, and happiness found in just that. Decluttering your life allows you to focus on the things that are truly important. Resulting in a more peaceful and grateful attitude toward life.

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