1. Define what simple living is for you.
I went on Pinterest for inspiration for how I would ideally like each room to look. I read a blog about “cozy minimalism” and I couldn’t agree more with them in the way I want to live a more simple life. I don’t think I could be a true minimalist and only have like 5 shirts and one pair of shoes, but I could definitely downsize and get rid of all my unused and meaningless crap (and this process has made me realize just how much I have). My simple could be different from your simple. Defining what it means to you is an important first step, and allows you to set attainable goals for each room.
Maybe for a true minimalist, there’s too much in this picture, but for me, this is cozy, relaxing and an attainable goal for me, I definitely recommend going on Pinterest to get an idea of what you want your house to look like and start setting goals for yourself, it’s what gave me inspiration and got me motivated.
2. Start Simple
This is a huge must if you want to avoid being stressed and overwhelmed. Every blog I’ve read on minimalism and has emphasized this. When I first decided I wanted to make this change I started to fill with anxiety. And then I realized I wasn’t going to tackle my whole house in one weekend. So I picked the easiest spot for me to get done: my car. This is probably the last thing you might be thinking about, but it’s also the easiest. From this process I’ve realized it’s nice to do the easiest rooms first, then you start to have all of these clean and clutter free places in your house (or car) to retreat to. It makes you feel more accomplished. I like to consider myself pretty clean and I really do try to only buy things that I think I will use. However, the other week I was driving my sister and her friend somewhere, and they found a plate in the back of my seat. Two things about this plate: 1. I was honestly shocked it was there and clearly needed to go through my car, and 2. that plate obviously meant nothing to me if I didn’t notice it was missing. This was the reality of every room in my house once I started to go through it. On my Pinterest, I’ve pinned multiple tips on how to get your car looking like new: https://www.pinterest.com/kirstyn116/life-hacks/
Once I had it cleaned I threw in a bath and body works car scent and try to vacuum it once every couple of months, it made for a great start and kept me motivated to have my whole house feel this clean and clutter free.
3. Start being more intentional with your money
This is also huge when you’re trying to declutter. There’s no point in putting all this effort in transitioning into a more simple lifestyle if you’re going to just keep spending your money on things you probably don’t need, plus you’ll save a lot more money. Since I’ve started doing this, I don’t believe I’ve really bought any clothes or things besides cleaning supplies and food. This wasn’t easy at first, because I am a complete shopaholic-which is why I’m in this position. However, I’ve spent so much time selling things and getting rid of things that I really have started to become more calm and relaxed and don’t really have a desire to buy as many things. Even things I really like at stores I have to consider where it would go and if it will actually get used. 99% of the time the answer is no and it gets put back on the shelf. Everything you own slowly starts to carry real value again.
4. If you’re going to upgrade, make sure you get rid of the one you have first
For example, I literally have a box full of cords and electronics. Over the last four years, I’ve gone through my fair share of different headphones, speakers and cameras trying to find the best ones, and instead of selling them or donating them for parts, I’ve let them accumulate in that box. That box was seriously overwhelming. I didn’t want to just get rid of it, I could’ve made a lot of money off of that stuff. I also realized I could have made a lot more money if I had just sold it when I got a new one. What’s the use of having four speakers, two cameras, two portable chargers, 4 different kinds of headphones, 2 aux cords and so many charging cords I lost count? Electronics are essential in this century, I get it, but we don’t need so many, and somebody else could be enjoying the things that just take up space in your house.
5. Realize this isn’t a Race
You’re not going to complete this in one weekend or even in one month. I’ve been at this for 6 months and I’m almost there, but still not quite. However, because of this I have never felt overwhelmed by the task. There’s no time limit, you can do this as slow or fast as you want. I like to procrastinate and I can be pretty lazy so I like to do a little bit at a time. So far I’ve made about $250 in extra cash by selling all of my extra stuff I didn’t even know I still had. That’s by selling things for $5 dollars here and $20 dollars there, your stuff adds up and can bring you in a decent amount of cash.
This week I challenge you to pick the place that you think will be the easiest to get clean and clutter free and comment or message me about what helped you and what habits you’re realizing you have to change if you want to live a more simple life!