When you looked into your future, did you imagine something completely different from your current life? I think this is true of most of us.
Maybe you wanted to have a family, but you never imagined it would be so much work. Or, maybe you wanted a big house, but now you realize how much time it takes to maintain.
This was me a few years ago…drowning in my own life. When I was in high school and college, I dreamed about my future, which included a family, a house, a career, weekends volunteering, as well as vacations, and hobbies.
But then I had the family and the house and I just couldn’t keep up! There was no time for anything else. I had no time for the people I loved, and definitely no time for me.
This is when I began to remove all of the “stuff” from my life that was taking up more of my time and energy than I ever thought possible. I stopped caring about what other people had, and I cut out what was holding me back from the life I wanted.
This is when I began my journey towards minimalism…without really knowing what it was.
Minimalism, in the end, is precisely what allowed me to get my life back. My life is finally my own again, and I am living out my own unique purpose. I am able to find so much more joy in life because I no longer have to set aside my best life for an okay life. And I don’t have to settle.
I would love nothing more than for you to come on this journey with me. Truly, I long for you to experience peace, contentment, and joy. And guess what?! All of that is more than possible when you simplify your life and begin to live it on purpose.
I am going to show you how you can begin your minimalist journey today by simplifying your life.
What is minimalism?
Obviously, you won’t want to begin your minimalist journey without having an understanding of what minimalism is and what it looks like in real life.
In short, minimalism is choosing to live with less so that you can live more. How much less is up to you, just as what you want out of life is up to you. Only you can know what a full life looks like for you. So, only you can know what is holding you back from that life!
In essence, minimalism is about only having and doing what you need and love. It’s about taking back control in the areas where you have let other people and things take over and dictate how you spend your time.
How can minimalism help me?
Oh man, where do I begin?!
Minimalism helps you:
- find and live out your purpose
- give who/what you love more of your time
- feel less stressed and overwhelmed
- be intentional with your money
- experience more freedom!
When you first begin your minimalist journey, you will see glimpses of these benefits for yourself. Over time, the glimpses of these benefits will turn into your day-to-day reality. And I can’t wait to hear all about it!
How to Begin Your Minimalist Journey
You begin your minimalist journey by taking steps to remove the clutter from your life. You can declutter your home, your schedule, and even your mind. And, a decluttered life is a free life!
How do I declutter my home?
To begin your minimalist journey, I recommend starting with decluttering your home. When it comes to our jobs or just our lives outside the home, we have little control. Oftentimes, our home life is causing us a ton of stress, AND we have a decent amount of control over it!
In order to declutter any area of your home, simply follow these four steps:
- Remove anything from your home that doesn’t serve an important purpose (i.e. you don’t love it or use it often).
- If you come across something in your home that’s broken, throw it away or fix it ASAP.
- If you decide something in your home needs to go, take care of this right away by throwing it away, donating it, or selling it.
- Find a home for everything you decide to keep.
I go into more detail on how to declutter any area of your home in this post.
What should I declutter first?
When you are just getting started, you want to think about what will have the greatest impact. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to tackle the biggest project first.
I often hear that people are simply unable to relax in their own homes due to the amount of clutter everywhere. They look around their home and only see things that shouldn’t be there.
Because of this, I recommend doing a quick sweep of the entire house before you do anything else. So, instead of being distracted by all of the stuff around you, deal with it. Walk around the house and box or bag up anything that’s not serving an important purpose in your home.
You may pick up twenty, or even fifty, things just taking 15 minutes to walk the house. And, you will probably find that it’s addicting. Once you get started, you just might not want to stop!
Next, focus on an area that’s causing you the most stress. For us women, it’s often laundry or cleaning. If that’s the case, figure out what needs to be decluttered to make your life easier.
Are you drowning in laundry or dishes? Begin by decluttering the amount of clothing in the house or the number of dishes that can get dirty.
Does vacuuming take too long or do you always push it off? Focus on decluttering the things that tend to get left on the floor. Most likely, these are toys, shoes, and possibly clothes.
Do you never get around to thoroughly dusting because of all the stuff in the way? Start by decluttering decor, knick-knacks, and other items that take up valuable surface space.
If you choose to declutter an entire room, that’s great! This may sound weird, but I actually recommend that you practice maintaining this clutter-free zone before moving to another room.
That’s because the hardest part about decluttering is actually maintaining it. After all, there’s a reason your home got to the way it is currently. 😉
How do I stay motivated and keep going?
Once you begin your minimalist journey, you may struggle to stay motivated. Decluttering and maintaining it is a lot of work in the beginning as you are reforming healthy habits.
First, you can stay motivated by doing small tasks that give you a quick win. These small wins help you gain momentum and want to keep going.
Second, remember the kind of life you want. When you have a clear purpose for your life, you are able to put in the work that you know will get you there.
For more great tips on getting (and staying) motivated decluttering, check out this guest post by my friend Melissa at Simple Lionheart Life.
The Simplify My Life! Starter Kit
Want even more tips and advice about how to begin your minimalist journey? Get the “Simplify My Life” Starter Kit!
The Simplify My Life! Starter Kit will help you simplify your life so that you can live the life you’ve always wanted!
This starter kit will help you:
- find a clear vision for your life and home
- declutter your home so that only what you love is left
- maintain and organize your newly decluttered home
- simplify household chores such as cleaning and laundry
- create a meal plan that’s simple and sustainable
- declutter your schedule and get your time back
- establish an effective routine that lines up with your priorities
- learn to use your time more wisely so that you can begin living the life of your dreams!
Begin your minimalist journey today by getting clear on your purpose in life and decluttering anything that doesn’t fit within that purpose or is holding you back. With a clear purpose at the forefront of your mind, you CAN live a more minimal life that you actually love!
Theresa Bedford is a syndicated freelance home and travel writer with regular contributions to the Associated Press wire and MSN. She helps everyday people love the life they have through simplicity, organization, and prioritization.