7 Easy Steps Towards Minimalism Without Decluttering

Angela | Arrow
by Angela | Arrow

Minimalism and decluttering often go together, but if you are not ready to commit to letting go of your belongings, this does not mean you cannot begin your minimalist journey today.

Today, I want to share seven minimalist habits that will simplify your life. Here is a beginners guide to minimalism without decluttering.

1. Become a more thoughtful shopper

If you want to eliminate excess clutter in your home, start by not bringing any extra in, and the best way to resist that urge is to avoid unnecessary shopping altogether.

Of course, we are still going to shop for food, clothes and other necessities, but not entering stores without need is a great start to shopping more consciously.

Another great way is to always make a shopping list, and only allow those items into your cart.

If you are an online shopper, being a thoughtful shopper may be even more of a challenge, with access to all those items day or night. A technique I recommend is to give yourself a day or two after you put certain items in your shopping cart but before you pay for them.

This will allow you time to evaluate if it is truly something you want to bring into your home.

Organized drawer

2. Find a place for everything

The first step to a simplified home is finding a dedicated spot for each item. This is easier said than done if you have excess, because those things might just not fit.

This is why I suggest starting small, by emptying a drawer or a cabinet, and decide what you want to house there, which might not be the same things you took out. It is very likely that you will have to jam things in there.

One of the biggest minimalist insights that you can gain from this is realizing that you have more than can really comfortably fit into a space, and that you want to have easier access to things.

Once you recognize this at a micro level like a drawer, this will give you the confidence to go to larger spaces, which may even lead to decluttering.

3. Clear something off

Whether it is a countertop, a table, or even a wall, adding in a little visual breathing room is a great way to practice minimalism.

Remember you can always add things back in, but seeing this completely clear area for the first time will help you recognize how much space you actually have, as all the clutter on your surfaces may be creating an illusion of not enough countertop or table space.

Whether or not you later decide that keeping those objects there is worth it, it is important to realize the full potential of the space.

When it comes to the walls, clearing off one or two can give you that blank slate opportunity to make some decisions about priorities that you have decor wise.


4. Practice financial minimalism

Getting control of your finances will definitely help to simplify your life, especially through becoming more mindful of the details.

Challenge yourself to keep track of what you spend and set limits, and as an additional layer try a low spend or no spend period, whether week or year.

Set reasonable guidelines that include sums for necessities, such as groceries and gas. This will allow you to become more financially aware, realize that our resources, such as money and space, are limited, and set priorities.

5. Develop minimalist homemaking habits

There are habits that will help make mundane tasks more efficient, and help your family enjoy your space more. I do not want to run a military operation here, but I do want to free up time I spend on daily tasks to be with my family more, and find-tuning my homemaking systems is what does it for me.

Laundry is a great place to start: some people find it most efficient to do a load every day, others like myself prefer a determined laundry day each week.

Cooking is also an area you might want to optimize: if you find yourself constantly cooking, perhaps consider batch cooked meals that you can heat up throughout the week.

The only way to find out what works best for you is to try different options until you find the system that suits you.

Playing board games

6. Clean up your calendar

Sometimes we plan so many things that we have no time left for spontaneous or enjoyable moments, such as reading a book, going for a walk, or playing a board game with your family. Having every minute of our life planned out can really become overwhelming.

This is also true for our kids: oftentimes they have a club or sports every night of the week, and even if they seem excited about those and have never expressed discomfort, they still might be overwhelmed by it.

Therefore, I would recommend sitting down with your entire family, talking about the priorities for your schedule and perhaps reconsidering some commitments.

Hopefully, this will help you be more present in the moment and enjoy life as it is.

7. Box up the excess

This is just one small step away from decluttering, but does not require you to physically remove anything from your home. Those things are still going to be available to you. This is what we call a “time will tell” bin or a quarantine bin.

Back when you were finding a home for each item, whatever did not find a place could be considered excess and can go in this box. I recommend labeling the boxes with a date and contents, and putting it away for a set period of time, anywhere from one month to a full year.

This way, you will still have these things available if you need them, but likely you will not, and then you will be able to declutter it without stress.

At the end of the period, I encourage you to take the boxes straight to the donation center without opening them.

Minimalism and decluttering

I hope you will give at least one, and hopefully all, of these strategies a try and see if living a minimalist lifestyle would be a good fit for you.

And if you do decide to turn to decluttering next, I do have plenty of declutter minimalism tips in store for you.

If you are already a minimalist, what is your best advice on minimalism for beginners? If not, what are you planning to start with? Leave a comment below!

Next up, here's Everything You Need To Know About Swedish Death Cleaning.

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