You don’t have to sell everything you own and live out of a suitcase containing only thirty items to be a minimalist. You don’t have to live in a tiny house with only 150 square feet to be minimalist either.
You can live in a 6000 square foot home. You can own 50 pairs of shoes.
Anyone, with any number of possessions, can be a minimalist. Minimalism is a process, and it’s a process that doesn’t have to happen overnight.
Minimalism is a growing trend, especially among broke millennials who realize that life has great meaning and purpose without all of the stuff.
Throw away the need to keep up with the Joneses, and you’ll be able to focus your time and money on the things that really matter. By keeping and using only the items that you need on a daily basis, you’ll be able to rid yourself of the excess and reclaim your space. By getting rid of the clutter, you’ll be able to rediscover the important objects in your life.
Minimalism isn’t some unattainable goal. Has your living situation has forced you to become a minimalist? Or do you just want to get started because you realize you waste your money buying too many shoes?
Anyone, at any time, for any reason can become a minimalist by just getting started. To give you an idea of how you can get started today, here are 20 easy ways that you can start practicing minimalism.
Donate or sell
Pick a drawer, a closet, or a cupboard and pick just two or three things that you don’t use and could donate to charity. Anything you give to a local or national non-profit can be used as a tax write-off, so get started before Decemeber 31. Here are ten things you can probably find time to get rid of before the end of the year.
1) Movies you’ll never watch again
How many dusty DVDs sit in your TV room collecting dust? Do you really need Chucky’s Revenge? If you haven’t watched it in a year or more, the answer is no. Just donate it.
2) Books you don’t read
This is my biggest struggle. I have over a thousand books in my house, but I’m currently working on paring down my titles \to donate\ or submit back to Amazon as a trade-in. If I’m likely never going to read it again, then I would rather other people get use out of them or get some money for them.
At one point, I had two cherry pitting tools in my house. Who needs two cherry pitters? I certainly didn’t, considering the one was still in its original packaging. I also had over 40 wine glasses in my house…I admittedly love wine, but that’s just a tad excessive. If you can think of any duplicates off the top of your head, and you know you don’t use them, then get up right now, and put it in a bag to drop off at Goodwill or Salvation Army.
4) Coats you don’t wear
Did you know that families with children make up 35% of the homeless population? Every year, 3.5 million people experience homelessness. As the weather gets colder, these people and families are at risk. Go through your closet and donate the coats you know you’ll never wear again. Make space in your closet, and change someone’s life this winter by donating just one warm coat.
5) Dusty sport equipment
Do you have dusty sporting equipment piled in a corner of your garage? Donate those old lacrosse sticks or tennis rackets to your local Boys and Girls Club where they can get some use.
6) Work clothes that don’t fit
If you have business clothes that don’t fit anymore or you simply don’t wear them, consider donating those career clothes to Dress for Success or Career Wardrobe to help people who are in the interview process and trying to get back on their feet.
7) Shoes you don’t wear
Drop off a bag of shoes to your local Goodwill or Salvation army.
8) Dusty kitchenware
Remember that extra cherry pitter? Yeah…in the box it goes, along with the souvenir margarita glasses you got on your trip to Hard Rock Café.
9) Leftover project supplies
If your house is like mine, craft supplies are falling out of every available cabinet space. Just trash the stuff that’s old or donate the supplies you don’t need to a local Girl Scout Troop or community center.
10) Old technology
Sell your old technology to Gizmogul. You’ll be able to make some extra cash, clean out our office, and help the community. For every transaction, Gizmogul donates $1 to help build schools domestically and abroad.
Some things need to just go straight to the dump or recycling center. Trash these five things to de-clutter and start living a more minimalistic lifestyle.
11) Socks without matches/with holes
Go through your sock drawer and pitch any sock that doesn’t have a match. You’ll be amazed at how much more space you have.
12) Pens with no ink
Clean out your desk drawer and junk drawer of old crappy pens that don’t work. Only keep the high-quality ones in a place where you’ll always be able to find them.
Magazines that you have already read can just go straight to recycling.
14) Junk mail
I don’t know about your house, but in mine, junk mail gets mixed in with the important paperwork. Streamline your office storage and toss any junk papers into the recycling bin. Only keep the papers you need to records, taxes, or business purposes.
15) Freezer burned food
Minimalism applies to your freezer too! Toss out old food that has been ruined by freezer burn.
Minimalism applies to more than just material things. You can pare the clutter in your life by getting rid of electronic excess as well.
16) Old favorites
Go through your internet browser and delete old favorited pages that you don’t need or use anymore.
17) Useless photos
Clear out your photo storage of duplicate, blurry, or irrelevant pictures.
18) Old contacts
Swipe through your phone and delete contacts you don’t have contact with anymore.
19) Facebook friends
Does your second cousin’s best friend’s aunt need to be your Facebook friend? Probably not. Streamline your newsfeed by deleting the people who have no need to be on your page.
20) Old emails
Old emails are the junk mail of your online world. Spend just 5 minutes a day going through and deleting irrelevant emails so that you will eventually have an inbox filled with only relevant and completely organized emails.
Pick just one of these and you’ll be on your way to minimalism. Start donating, dumping, and deleting the clutter from all areas of your life. As you begin to see the value in decluttering, you’ll see what the hype about minimalism is all about.
You don’t have to get rid of everything you own. Just get rid of the things that don’t matter, so that you can focus your energy and attention on the things that do.
Do you try to practice minimalism? Which of these items would you be willing to do today to become more of a minimalist?