Since Easter Monday I have been decluttering each day. This is my version of spring cleaning.
There are a lot of YouTube videos and blog articles on the topic of minimalism. I always tell people that you don’t have to be a minimalist to get useful information, tips, and advice from minimalists. Minimalism isn’t for me at this time, but I seek out information from minimalists because they don’t just show you how to declutter; their approach removing things from your space involves looking at reasons why you have a difficult time getting rid of items, why you purchase certain things, and why excess of anything (material goods, food, physical space, etc.) is a part of your life.
By the time I ended my first day of mass decluttering I ended up getting rid of 35 books. Some of these books had been a part of my life since 2005, some, for less than a month. I also threw away two standard recycle bags full of paper (research and journal articles) that I had used over the years to write various papers for my graduate courses. As I sat down and looked at these bags I wondered why I had kept these books and papers; what a waste of much needed space. My bookshelves and paper piles were not messy, instead, they were neatly ordered by topic and area of research. Sometimes having a tidy space gives the impression that because everything is neat and orderly, it somehow has a purpose; it gives the false impression that it belongs in the home.
Here are three great values that I have learned from minimalists in the past week. I highly recommend seeking out information from different types of minimalists for when you are ready to declutter, spring clean, go shopping, or make lifestyle changes about the material goods you want to keep as part of your life.
“Find what works for you. Everyone has a different motivation, goal, or style. Figure out what yours is, and stick to it. For me, the results were my motivation. The thought of walking into a clutter-free home where everything had its place and was hand-selected because it brought me joy, was very appealing.” Tania McDonald from, Thefinancialdiet.com
“No matter what your conviction is about living with less, just know that it doesn’t have to look any one way. One of the most beautiful aspects of a minimalistic lifestyle is that you can shape it however you like. Items other people need may not be items you need. The role stuff plays in our lives is solely based on the needs of the owner.” Melanie and Jeremy Scroggins from Winnebago Life
“Decorations. Many of the decorations in our homes hold no personal value to our lives. They just simply happened to match the color of the carpet or be on sale when we walked into the store. Unfortunately, they are distracting you and your guests from the decorations in your home that share your story and highlight your values. Take a moment to walk through your home with a discerning eye. Leave only the decorations that are the most meaningful and the most beautiful. Your home will begin to share your story in a beautiful way. And your old decorations will likely end up on sale at your next garage sale.” Joshua Becker from Becoming Minimalist