How I Vanquish Clutter and Reap the Benefits of a Minimalist Lifestyle
As you’ve undoubtedly noticed by now, I can be kind of tight with money. But here’s another thing I’m tight with….space.
I guess I’m what you would call a minimalist. Not in the sense of I’m going to live in a tent or I’m going to live off the fat of the land, but more so in the sense that I love clarity and hate clutter. It’s really as simple as that.
If you were to walk around my house, you’d probably notice the lack of decorations. Especially on the walls. It’s not that we don’t want them there, it’s just that neither my wife nor I like the feeling of having a bunch of stuff around. I’m not sure if this caused my frugality or if it’s a direct result of it, but there’s almost nothing in our house that doesn’t serve a direct purpose. So with decorations, I guess we just look at them and think: “So it just sits there? It doesn’t actually DO anything?” Now that I think about it, our dogs fit into this category pretty well, but I digress…
For everything I buy, I figure out something else of similar size or value that just has to go.
This whole methodology has also led me in the direction of a “one in, one out” system of purchases. For everything I buy, I figure out something else of similar size or value that just has to go. You’d be shocked at how much that lessens my buyer’s remorse! Things never pile up and it always feels like there’s a proper place for the new belongings. Plus I force myself to question whether I need something. If I’m not willing to give something up, it probably wasn’t worth the purchase to begin with. And let’s not forget how selling old items can offset the cost of new purchases!
But my absolute favorite part of my minimalism is getting rid of the “I might use it one day” decisions to keep anything and everything.
This anti-clutter mentality started with my workshop. For a handy, fix-it-yourself person like me, it can be quite a struggle to keep a workshop free of junk. There are nuts, bolts, wires, and screws to the thousandth degree. However, the added storage and cleanliness of my shop has FAR offset the only handful of times I needed something that I had already gotten rid of. Even then, it’s likely only a purchase of a few dollars. Now, the same attitude I have in my workshop extends to everything else. If I don’t know exactly when I’ll need it, it goes! No second thoughts and no remorse.
Just because I’m a minimalist doesn’t mean I don’t make a good mess every now and then (my wife is probably nodding along right now). I always feel like I have a method to the madness, and that’s the difference. I haven’t always been like this, but the more I get into it and the more effort I put into it, the more soothing and calming my surroundings feel to me.
Have you successfully eradicated clutter and unnecessary purchases from your life? Which methods to you use to keep your work and home environments in tip-top shape?
Be sure to check out Lauren’s response to this post as well!