The minimalist lifestyle has really been trending these past few years as more people decide that less is more or don’t want to be seen as clutter bugs. But how do you go beyond the trend and truly dedicate yourself to the art of minimalism?
Decluttering Is a Cleansing Ritual; Perform It
Most of us have too much stuff, and it’s cluttering up our homes. Research shows that decluttering can improve mental health in many cases. That same article also mentions how self-storage occupancy rates are spiking to all-time highs in recent years due to the pandemic. People are just moving around their clutter rather than dealing with it once and for all.
Physical belongings are not inherently bad, and you shouldn’t necessarily be trying to get rid of as many possessions as you possibly can. For a healthy minimalist approach to decluttering, here are some things you should give yourself permission to discard or donate:
- Functional items that don’t work properly anymore.
- Outdated belongings that don’t match your current decor or tastes.
- Things you’ve wanted to “get around to” but haven’t touched in a year or more.
- Those “once in a blue moon” items that you only use once or twice ever.
Learn the Secrets of Texture, Shape, Color, and Light
“Clutter,” in the sense of loose physical items, isn’t the only antagonist of minimalism. Minimalism also involves the interconnectedness of things. In fact, when the qualities of a room aren’t connected, this too creates a kind of “clutter” even if there are no loose items lying around.
But what connects the different things in a room? It is their textures, surfaces, shapes, colors, and lighting. In this way, tiny little details that you might never think about can actually become very important to crafting a harmonious space. Here are some tips to help guide your journey of discovery:
- Unify your decor around a thematic goal, such as geometric aesthetics, and reflect this theme in the items that dominate your use of the space, like geometric silverware for the dining room.
- Choose clean, crisp gripping surfaces like handles, knobs, and pulls that don’t draw attention to themselves.
- Create visual contrasts and accents through thoughtful lighting arrangements.
Add Furniture Fearlessly
Minimalism isn’t just about subtraction. Making thoughtful additions to your home is very powerful too. By strategically adding a little bit of furnishing to a room, you can actually make that room leaner and more peaceful.
Furniture multiplies the usefulness of a space and is a tried and tested clutter-killer. And the most important type of furniture in this respect is anything that adds flat space above the floor — like shelves, chests of drawers, and tables. This creates extra storage space for the items you want to keep and gives you the option of doing more activities and living more fully when you’re at home.
Make Your Bathroom a Sanctuary
Our bathrooms are intimate spaces where we are reminded in many different ways of our existence as natural creatures of the Earth, but they are also notoriously “busy” rooms: junk is always accumulating, and we’re often striving to get in and out as fast as possible.
You can change this vibe completely by redesigning your bathroom decor to something more zen — reclaiming and recultivating it as a space where you can retreat, relax, and recenter yourself.
Cherish Your Yard
If you’re fortunate enough to have a yard, your minimalist lifestyle has a lot of opportunities here. Forget about that boring green lawn. Even if you live in one of the few places where water conservation is not an issue, water still costs money — and in return, you’re getting a generic, forgettable yard.
So unless you or a furry friend or family member really get a lot of use out of that plain grass, consider planting native plants instead. Native plants naturally require minimal maintenance yet will do a lot of heavy lifting to make your yard more environmentally friendly and better integrated into the local ecosystem. If you’re in an arid climate or a well-drained location, you can also explore xeriscaping your yard, which is the ultimate expression of outdoor minimalism and a great resource conservation technique.
Live that Patio Life
Lastly, don’t forget your patio if you have one. These days people simply do not use their outdoor spaces nearly enough, and it’s a genuine shame. Break that trend in your home, and spend more time in your “outdoor room.” To make it more appealing, add a little bit of furniture (fearlessly!) and, like with the bathroom, transform your patio into a place of sanctuary.
Written by Jordan McDowell
About the Author
Jordan McDowell is a writer and content strategist. He specializes in technically-oriented B2B and B2C content for a number of digital companies and clients including Los Angeles’ N/S Corporation.
You may also like