Have you ever tried cleaning an empty house? It’s almost fun. When you take ‘stuff’ out of the equation, cleaning becomes a breeze, which is a great way to simplify your life. Having a minimal home not only saves you time, but gives you the chance to enjoy your space without feeling the overwhelm that comes from clutter and chaos.
These 6 simple tips will help you remove unnecessary clutter from your life to clear the way for a cleaner home.
MINIMAL HOME, MAXIMUM CLEAN
1. Let It Go
Do you hang on to things? There’s nothing wrong with a little nostalgia, but the lifetime of stuff that you’re hoarding might be cluttering your space and weighing you down.
Set aside time to sort through your belongings and identify items that you don’t need in your life. Nothing is more cathartic than a cull of worldly possessions.
There’ll be some items you can’t live without; but you’ll also find things that you forgot you even had. My rule of thumb: if it hasn’t seen the light of day in more than five years, time to ditch it. I’m also the first to admit that this can be hard. I am reforming my hoarding ways, one old possession at a time!
2. Giving Is Living
As you sift through your long-forgotten possessions, deciding what stays and what goes, think of creative ways to gift, donate, sell or recycle those items you don’t need. Some things will have to go straight in the bin, but others can move on to a happy new home.
You don’t have to turf everything at once. Colleen Madsen set herself a 365 day resolution to declutter her whole home by giving away, throwing away or selling one item every day for twelve months. You may not want to commit to something this big, but you will surprise yourself with how much you can downsize in a single declutter session.
One of my favourite methods of decluttering is my one box method. Have a box floating about… fill it with your unwanted stuff.
3. Think Inside The Box
To achieve an uncluttered living space, every item should have its own home. Once you’ve culled, create a storage system that neatly accommodates the things you can’t part with.
When it comes to clutter, toys are often a main offender. Stock your shelves with opaque containers labelled with photos that illustrate what’s inside. This will help you achieve a minimal home even with messy kids.
Store your own odds and ends in more uniform storage boxes, simply labeled with numbers to indicate contents. Keep an index of which items are stored in each box.
4. Don’t Climb The Walls. Use Them.
As you look around the house, finding homes for your possessions, don’t overlook your bare walls. You can expand your home’s storage capacity by optimising your wall space.
Decorative shelving is a great way to turn empty wall space into a practical design feature. Do your research and find out what kind of screws, anchors and hardware best suit your wall type.
Wall-mounted racks, hooks, and railings are also great for storing things like magazines, hats and coats.
5. Hamper Your Style
Do the kids leave dirty clothes strewn from one end of the house to the other? When you return from a hard day’s work, dirty laundry is the last thing you want to find on your living room floor.
The best way to cut down on laundry clutter is to put a laundry hamper in every bedroom and in the bathroom. When the hamper is right there, at arm’s reach, there is no excuse to dump those dirty layers on the ground or furniture.
6. Go Digital
Before the digital revolution, life was one long paper trail. Mailboxes overflowed with bills, bank statements, junk mail and the occasional letter (if you were lucky).
Email has changed all that. These days, if your counters, desk and fridge door are swamped with clutter, the solution is simple: go paperless. Contact your insurance company, bank, utility providers, and anyone else who still sends snail mail – and tell them to stop. Most paperwork can now be sent via email.
If your music, photo and movie collections are taking over your space, consider digitising them. You should be able to fit everything on a single hard drive.