So you’ve gone through part 1 of the posts on easy steps to begin living a minimalist lifestyle. You have you’re why, and what makes you happy all figured out. You’ve gone through the other post, and you’re ready for more! These next tips are more focused on getting rid of what you don’t need, but I promise they are still easy!
You can do one of them, a few of them, or even all of them. It’s entirely up to you. This is your journey, and I am just here to help you with tips and tricks that have helped me. The Mister and I sat and talked one night and made the decision to do full-time RV living. It’s definitely not for everyone, but for us, we missed the time we spent living in our travel trailer during the last move we made.
And not to mention all the stress from when our household goods finally got delivered a month after we got here and finding a lot of missing and broken stuff. That really made us unhappy. Seriously, the shelves for my bookshelf made it from Colorado to Alabama, but somehow the bookshelf itself got lost. And the claims process… 😡 UGH. We were spoiled with the last duty station and lived in Colorado for 6 years and bought a home for our time there. We thought it would be easy going from owning to renting again. Not so much for us. We still have around 10 years left of moving every few years ahead of us, so still a few more moves to come.
Declutter Your Home
Wants vs. Needs
This can be the tricky part for some people but is very important when you begin living a minimalist lifestyle. The good news is, this doesn’t have to be done in one day or one week even. Depending on how much you have, take your time and be intentional with it. In a world of conveniences, we tend to get a little too focused on material things. This is where your mindset shift will play a significant role. Grab your list of Why’s and look at it as often as needed to help break the cluttering mindset.
Go room by room as you do this. Is it a need? Does it bring you joy? Grab 3 bags and/or boxes and start filling them up. Trash, donate and sell. All that paperwork clutter around your house, shred or trash! And make it a point to do that daily as part of your daily quick clean up. Letting that stuff pile up will make you feel overwhelmed.
When going through your closets take a good look at all your stuff. Do you really need that dress you bought a few years ago and only wore once? What about those shoes you bought on sale and still have never worn? What about those jeans you are working your booty off to fit into again? Do you really need to keep them? Or, would you rather wait until you lose the weight and spoil yourself with a new pair you’ve been wanting? Don’t forget the one in and one out rule (here in part 1), as you buy new clothes that fit, donate the old ones that are too big for you now.
Getting your kids on board.
If your kids have a lot of toys, their rooms can take a while. Especially since they may not be as willing to part with stuff as you are. When you begin living a minimalist lifestyle, your kids may not be as excited about this part as you are. But if that is the case, doesn’t that make it more important to do this? That played a big role in me deciding to take this jump. When we made our last move, Little Man was all about getting a new bed. That is, until he realized that it meant he couldn’t also keep his old bed too. He wanted a new one but wanted the old one still in his room. Seriously, there were TEARS over getting rid of his old bed. Tears. Over a bed. And clothes that were 3 sizes too small? TEARS.
He has an attachment to things that don’t hold sentimental value. Happy meal toys he has a hard time getting rid of. I didn’t like that he was putting so much value on things. That was a big eye-opener for me. I want him to live life as an adult not spending his time and money on things, but instead on experiencing life and enjoying it. What’s he gonna do when it comes time for college, cry because the bed can’t go with him??? Seriously, the mattress isn’t even comfortable now so I can only imagine how much worse it will be in 10 years.
When you begin living a minimalist lifestyle set the example for your family.
This is something you will have to take the lead on. Declutter your own stuff and let your kids see you do it. Let them see how much peace it brings to you. When your kids start to declutter their stuff, offer lots of praise. Let them see you continue with the decluttering by keeping paperwork clutter down and by keeping everything easily organized. The fewer things you have, the easier it is to keep them organized and put away. The fewer toys they have that they barely even play with, the less time it will take for them to clean their room! Kids always hate having to clean their rooms. Let them see how much less time you spend cleaning as an example. How you get to have more time for the things you love to do!
You can even make a vision board with them. I have my lists as well as the travel trailer we decided we want to buy to live in on my board. I have my goal trackers on there with what needs to be done to reach our goals. A timeline of when every step needs to be completed as a countdown to the move from house to travel trailer. As we complete a task, I get to mark it off and see how we are one step closer to our goal! Getting to do that brings me so much more joy!
Dress with less with Project 333.
Have you heard of Project 333? The basics are 33 items for 3 months. The rules for it are pretty simple, choose 33 items for your closet for 3 months. These items include clothing, accessories, outerwear, shoes, and jewelry. Things that aren’t included are wedding rings or another sentimental piece of jewelry that you never take off, underwear, pajamas, lounging clothes you only wear at home, and workout clothes (but you can only wear your workout clothing to workout). If this is something you want to try, you can find more information about it at Be More With Less and their Project 333 post here.
Get yourself organized
Go through all your paperwork clutter and toss/shred what you don’t need anymore. Organize what you do need in files or a binder. If you have sticky notes everywhere and pieces of paper scattered all over your house with reminders and to-do lists, get a planner and get those organized. A desk full of random sticky notes can make you feel overwhelmed. You can buy a planner with all the pages set up or download a free printable planner here. However you do it, just get it done!
Don’t wait, make it a point to start today.
Be consistent with this. It isn’t something that will happen overnight. And it may have its ups and downs. Just be patient and be patient with your family during this time. If you find yourself getting frustrated, pause and take a step back. Take a deep breath. New habits take time, and this one won’t be any different. Grab your list of Why and your list of pleasures. Let them be a reminder for you as to why you want to do this. These lists are your motivation. Keep them handy at all times.