Declutter Like a Minimalist
Why does it seem like no matter how much you declutter your home, you always end up with more clutter? Whether it’s clothing, toys, or just items around the house, the items begin to build up leaving you trapped in your own belongings. Clutter can negatively affect your mental health and can leave you feeling overwhelmed. The best way to get rid of clutter for good is to declutter like a minimalist.
What is minimalism? Minimalism is a lifestyle of owning fewer material possessions. You may be thinking to yourself – why would anyone want to give up their possessions? Essentially, the thinking around minimalism is that the fewer items you own, the freer you will feel. You will be free from clutter, from overwhelm, from indulgent purchases, etc. The idea is not to deny yourself important possessions, but rather to lessen what you possess to allow yourself to enjoy the items you do own. Just like the Konmari method, you should keep the items that spark joy, and get rid of the ones that do not.
Minimalism and decluttering go hand in hand. You may not be ready to go full-blown minimalist yet, but there are a lot of little steps you can take to rid yourself of unnecessary clutter and add some freedom back into your life. We’ve compiled 20 minimalist things to get rid of in order to live more like a minimalist. These are things most people have in their home, and they are generally easy items to cut down on and declutter for a cleaner home.
Think of how much clothing you have versus how many items you actually wear. We tend to buy things because they are trendy, on sale, or we like the way they make us feel. When we put them in our closets, they either go out of style or get lost in all the other clothing we have. Go through your closet and pull out all of your clothing. Pick the few favorite items that you notice yourself wearing often. Get rid of things you haven’t worn in months or that no longer spark joy. If you are really interested in decluttering like a minimalist, try your hand at a capsule wardrobe.
You do not need to own tons of jewelry to look fashionable. Instead, invest in a few good pieces of jewelry that will last you a long time. These pieces should be able to go well with a lot of different outfits. Take all other jewelry that you never wear and donate it.
It’s so easy to buy lots of different styles and colors of shoes. Realistically, you likely only need a few pairs. You’ll need a pair of sneakers, one or two pairs of high heels, and up to 3 other shoes. The rest are just taking up room and wasting your money.
4. Purses and bags
It’s fun to own a lot of purses, but they rarely see the light of day. Invest in one to two good purses, a solid backpack, and one multi-purpose bag. If you are someone who likes to change purses often, consider a purse with changeable covers, rather than multiple purses.
Go through your makeup and get rid of anything that is broken, empty, or past expiration. While it’s fun to have lots of different products, you really only need the basics. Keep the shades of eyeshadow and lipstick that you typically use, and cut down on the ones you don’t.
6. Hair creams and treatments
Do your bathroom counters and shower surfaces look like the hair care aisle of Target? Cut down on all of the products you use on your hair and stick to a smaller regimen. Your hairdresser may have some good suggestions of products that encompass the benefits of several haircare items.
7. Everything from Bath & Body Works
Let’s be honest, you go into Bath & Body Works with one coupon, and you leave with half the store. They do a great job of presenting sales where you are tempted to buy more than what you need. At the time you think you’ll use it all, but realistically, you have eight bottles of lotion, four candles, and a ton of scented sprays you’ll likely never use.
8. Nail Polish
You really only need one or two bottles of nail polish in your home. Because nail polish is so cheap, you can easily find yourself with every color of the rainbow. Go through your nail polish and get rid of every color you haven’t used in the past year.
9. Blankets and pillows
Blankets and throw pillows are items that add up over time. Many people purchase throw pillows for every season. Blankets are often given as gifts, and while they are comfortable, you do not need more than one or two per sofa or bedroom. Throw pillows are bulky, so if you really want to swap per season, consider buying pillow covers instead of full pillows.
Mugs are also items that are often given as gifts. They are a very inexpensive, but attractive item that can be easy to collect. Realistically, you don’t need more than one mug per person. Take the time to go through your mugs and get rid of any you don’t need or rarely use.
Toys can easily take over your household and lead to overwhelming clutter. Kids are incredibly creative and can find a million uses for just one toy. Cut back on the number of toys they get and keep new toys to holidays or birthdays. Conversely, if you add a new toy, make sure to donate one as well. This helps avoid a constantly growing collection. For minimalist toy storage, try switching to the toy rotation method. It’s a great, minimalist way to allow your child to own toys in a way that doesn’t clutter your home.
12. Water Bottles
This is a two-part decluttering challenge. The first part of the challenge is to stop buying disposable, plastic water bottles altogether. While they are convenient, they are also expensive, wasteful, and take up space. Instead, use a reusable pitcher or water bottle. Next, go through your reusable water bottles. Companies and sports teams love to give these out, and you often end up with a pretty large collection. Dispose of any that are not BPA-free, then choose your favorite and get rid of the rest.
Knick-knacks serve no real purpose other than as a decorative item. They can easily cause clutter and tend to be very hard to dust and maintain. Unless they are your true passion, it may be time to part with them.
14. DVD’s and CD’s
In the digital world, unless a DVD or CD holds a sentimental value to you, it’s probably time to get rid of it. Most movies and TV shows can be found on Hulu, Netflix, or Amazon Prime. You can either sell your DVD’s and CD’s to places like The Exchange or donate them to a local thrift store.
15. Cleaning Supplies
Many people buy cleaners for every type of item they need to clean. In general, you only need a few multi-purpose cleaners to do the trick. Next time you are in need of cleaning supplies, consider buying just one cleaner with multiples uses than many specific ones.
16. Kitchen Gadgets
Do you really need a niche gadget for every item in your kitchen? While these items may seem convenient, they can easily clutter your drawers and countertops. Pair down your kitchen tools to the essentials to save space.
We’re not saying you should throw away all of your precious memories, but rather think about getting them digitized. This not only frees up a ton of space in your home but also keeps your photos safe. Physical photos can become discolorated and take on water or fire damage. Put them somewhere like DropBox or Google Photos to have access to them even if something happens to your computer.
18. Impulse Buys
Impulse buys are things you bought because they were on sale, looked good, or you thought you would use. While they may have seemed like a smart investment at the time, they are now taking up way too much room in your home. Next time you see a sale, remember to think twice before buying.
19. Seasonal Décor
There is truly nothing better than taking out your seasonal décor and getting the house looking nice and festive! But when those decorations have to come down, there is nothing worse than trying to find room to store them all. Using the Konmari method, take all of your seasonal decorations out of their bins. Then, go through and get rid of anything that doesn’t spark joy. This will get rid of unnecessary clutter and leave you with the décor that you truly enjoy.
When you travel somewhere, it only makes sense to want to have a memento to remember it by. That being said, these souvenirs usually just end up in a box or shelf somewhere and no longer bring back the fun memories of your trip. Not to mention, souvenirs can be very expensive. Instead, relive the memories through pictures or videos taken on your trip. You can even invest in a digital picture frame that cycles through all of the photos.
These are just some of the things you can declutter to live like a minimalist. Instead of decluttering by room, try to declutter by category, like the items listed in this blog post. This will help avoid fatigue and overwhelm. If you are not quite ready to give up all of these items but want to declutter your home, consider renting a storage unit to store things like out-of-season clothing, seasonal décor, outgrown toys, and large outdoor equipment. This will free up space in your home and gives you more time to decide what stays or goes. Let us know your favorite way to declutter in the comments!