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Declutter and De-stress: Three Steps Toward a More Minimalist Lifestyle

  • July 7, 2016
  • By Grace
Declutter and De-stress: Three Steps Toward a More Minimalist Lifestyle

When it comes to modern living, the motto is slowly but surely becoming “less is more.”

The minimalist movement is growing across the nation as more people are looking for fulfillment by eliminating clutter and unnecessary expenses. The evidence comes in the increasing popularity of the tiny house movement, as more and more of the population opts to live “small,” in spaces under 500 square feet. Likewise, Marie Kondo’s bestselling book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up has provided a blueprint to millions of those looking to get by with, quite frankly, less stuff.

Minimalist living is more than just a fad, as the benefits of living with less are well-documented, from increased mental clarity and productivity to having more cash in our wallets to spend on what really matters.

However, the idea of living with less combined with the sheer amount of energy required to declutter can be incredibly intimidating. Fortunately, making the jump toward a minimalist lifestyle doesn’t have to be a massive leap. If you’re looking to get by with less but aren’t prepared go fully minimalist, consider the following three steps as a means of simplifying your home and life as a whole.


Simpler, Smaller Spaces

The average size of a home in Canada is almost 2,000 square feet, which most minimalists would consider to be absolutely massive. Keep in mind that the more space you have available to you, the more likely you are to accumulate unnecessary possessions and clutter. While it may be tempting to turn spare rooms into project spaces, it may be more prudent for your mental health and wallet to simply consider a smaller space.

Finding a small home can be tough, especially as many building regulations require new homes to be of a particular, often larger, square footage. Therefore, it may be best to pursue an apartment as a means of scaling down. Small apartments can be found just about anywhere; for example, Rentseeker notes numerous Toronto apartments which have a smaller square footage for minimalist living. Regardless of where you’re located, consider a smaller space as a means to force yourself to accumulate less clutter.


Wants Versus Needs

The key to decluttering is understanding wants versus needs. There are numerous strategies of organizing your personal items to determine what’s worth keeping and what isn’t. As you decide what to keep and what to throw out or donate, consider…

  • Tiering personal items based on how often they’re actually used (ex: if you haven’t worn a pair of jeans within the past year or used that old waffle maker since Christmas, are they really worth keeping around?)
  • Nostalgia can be your enemy when it comes to decluttering: while there’s no harm in keeping personal mementos, letting such items pile up isn’t good for you or your living space
  • The less you have, the less you have to keep track of; therefore, less clutter means less stress in your day-to-day life

One Step at a Time

It can be tempting to dive right in when it comes to decluttering; however, without a plan in place you’ll inevitably become overwhelmed.

Most minimalist experts recommend decluttering room by room, often starting with the smallest spaces first. This allows your cleaning to seem more like a series of small steps rather than an torturous, never-ending project. By cleaning room by room versus trying to tackle all of your clutter at once, you can slowly chip away at the mess day by day and provide yourself a realistic path to decluttering.

Think of minimalism as a lifestyle rather than a massive, one-time clean-up. The process of decluttering and de-stressing is a marathon and not a sprint; however, the benefits of a minimalist living space can be reaped by anyone, anywhere.


By Grace, July 7, 2016
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