Looking back, I think I’ve always been a minimalist at heart, even though I haven’t always been disciplined enough to fully pursue it until recently. While other kids had their rooms painted bright pinks, deep blues, garish yellows or gentle lilacs, I wanted my room white. I loved organising and reorganising ( repeat x 10 ) the shelves in my room, colour-coding the contents of my wardrobe ( within their categories, of course ) , and arranging the carefully-curated collection of cushions on my bed so that they looked welcoming without being overwhelming. My colour-coded school jotters sparked so much goddamn joy, I was pretty much a seven-year-old Marie Kondo.
So whilst I didn’t consciously decide to become a minimalist one day, there are certain tips I’d give to anyone looking to give their lifestyle and surroundings a clear-out and once-over. So whether you’re right at the start of your minimalist journey, you need a bit of a mindset refresh, or you just need some KonMari-spiration, I hope this post points you in the right direction.
DO take time to consider your goals
There are so many branches to this concept and it’s very easy to get carried away and, quite frankly ( and ironically ) overwhelmed by it all. I’d suggest writing down what it is that you want to change and achieve from becoming a minimalist - whether it’s streamlining your wardrobe, organising your kitchen cupboard so you don’t end up with Nutella that expired two years ago ( don’ t try to pretend you’ve never been there ) , or upping your organisation ( even if that’s simply adjusting your morning routine for an extra half hour in bed ) . This will help you stay focused on exactly that, so you can begin by working solely on the elements of minimalism to introduce into your lifestyle.
DO dispose of anything you’re getting rid of properly
When you throw things out, take a moment to consider where ‘out’ is for the objects you know you don’t want to keep. If you can, please do take a couple of minutes / hours to recycle, remodel, donate and resell! Let’s face it, landfill’s a bit of a b*tch.
DO wait until you’re in a good mood to tackle the clutter
Please, please take this one into account. If you’re having a down day or feeling frustrated, you’re far more likely to do the whole ‘get rid of everything you own’ thing’ … never a good idea - you’ll end up feeling even more stressed after, especially if you’ve chucked something sentimental or expensive.
DON’T put pressure yourself
There is no specific length of time that it should take you to become a minimalist, whether you want to totally transform your day-to-day lifestyle or just want to buy less sh*t. Take your time and learn to love the process. It’s a fun and rewarding one, and there’s no finish line you’ve got to reach - just do what works for you, when it works for you!
DO be gentle with yourself
It’s okay if you don’t want to get rid of anything when incorporating minimalism into your life - maybe you want to focus more on what you’re consuming - and that’s okay. There’s no right or wrong when it comes to minimalism - everyone has their own ever-so-slightly-different definition, and I’m just here to point you in the right direction and tell you what I’ve found helpful.
DON’T get rid of everything you own
One of the biggest assumptions about becoming a minimalist is that you have to grab as many binbags as you can and shove everything you own into them. Trust me: this is not minimalism. Becoming a minimalist - no matter which ‘type’ you see yourself as - is not about straight up owning less; it’s about living more, with less. Sure, you might eventually be the type of minimalist who doesn’t own an oven, television or even bed frame, but If you throw away right at the start of your journey, you’ll find yourself questioning why you ever thought it would be a good idea to get rid of your kitchen table. Long-term, you’ll find yourself spending unnecessary money to replace things you should have kept. Moral of the story: take things slow.
DON’T lose sense of your taste / personality
As I mentioned earlier, it’s never a good idea to just chuck out everything in the hope of your worries heading out with them. This will happen naturally over time, trust me. I’d suggest making three piles to figure out what to keep so that you’re able to express yourself through your belongings and curate them to suit you - whether it’s homeware, clothing, or your taste in cooking spices - start with things you’ve got to keep [ e.g. official documents + home essentials ] , then things you want to keep because you like the way they look or make you feel [ e.g. photos / artwork ] then things that fit into neither of these categories. The latter can get the chop and take the nearest exit from your life. Bye Felicia!
DON’T buy a hundred books about minimalism
A classic minimalist rookie error. You don’t need stuff to tell you to get rid of stuff. There are so many publications, newsletters ( spoiler ) , podcasts, social media accounts + blogs ( hello ! ) out there to point you in the direction. Save money and space and check them out ( and stay tuned on my blog for a whole lot of upcoming recommendations in each category ) !
DO watch Marie Kondo on Netflix
This series is so motivating, therapeutic, heart-warming and an all-round hygge watch. Also Marie is basically the David Attenborough of minimalism and needs to be cherished at all costs.
DON’T expect change overnight
This one speaks for itself.