This website reaches a community of people who are united in our belief that life is too valuable to waste it by pursuing possessions. Some readers have already reduced your belongings in your homes and are working on bringing minimalism to other aspects of your life. Others are in the middle of your journey towards owning less or you are starting.
For those who have just started, welcome. Here you have 7 useful tips to reduce your belongings.
1. Start with something easy.Your first step in the right direction doesn’t have to be big. For example you can start by eliminating your car’s mess. You can still find parking tickets, old receipts or music CDs that you rarely use. It’s not much, but it will make you move in the right direction. Then you can continue with the living room, the bedroom, and your closet floor. Each room or closet is a little more difficult than the previous one. But you will find an important boost in the first steps.
2. Choose an area where you live to start.When you start deleting items from your home, choose an area that you use often. You will have more advantages if you own, because you can leave open spaces with clear areas free of distractions. You will enjoy quickly as soon as you begin to eliminate the disorder. And the best way to fully understand these benefits is to start cleaning up the mess of a room that is often used. This could be a living room, a bedroom, an office or a bathroom. You’ll love it. And you will find more motivation.
3. Touch each item. Your trip to minimalism is not a race. It took years to accumulate all the mess in your house and it will take more than an afternoon or weekend to remove it. We are four at home and it takes more than 9 months. And I still think we have belongings to reduce. You will not regret taking your time. And you won’t regret taking the extra effort to physically touch every item in your home. Physically, the management of each thing forces our minds to make intentional decisions about them. After touching each item, place it in one of these three batteries: hold, relocate or dispose of. From there, act immediately and repeat the process with another element.
4. Choose the donation before sale.You can get more money by selling your unnecessary belongings. And if you really need the money, go for it. There are countless websites that can help you. But keep in mind that trying to sell your belongings is slow, cumbersome, and often adds to the stress of cleaning up the mess. If money is not an immediate concern for your family, sell your valuables on Ebay or Segundamano.com, but donate everything else to a local charity. You will find the joy and satisfaction of generosity, and that experience will be important in the future as you get out of the trap of consumerism.
5. Read a book. The first book I read about cleaning up the mess was How to eliminate the mess with Feng Shui by Mary Lambert. While feng shui never became a guiding principle in my house, the thoughts in the book were useful for our purpose. This book or any others can be useful and motivating.
6. Recommend it to a friend. Joy is more rewarding when shared with others. Tell your story about your purpose of reducing your belongings. You will find people who will want to do the same. They will cheer you up. They will motivate you by accountability and ask you how things are going the next time they see you. As an added benefit, when you share your story, you will remember again the reasons why you decided to reduce your belongings in the first place.
7. Become a friend of imperfection.Don’t let “perfect” become the enemy of “better.” The first time you check your house, you will not remove all the mess. You will keep things that do not need to be maintained. You will find that it is very difficult to part with some articles. You can even remove one or two things that you will end up wishing you had maintained.
But you will have progressed. In just a few weeks (or even days), you will begin to feel different at home. You’ll enjoy more, as if you had lifted a load off your shoulders. It will not be perfect, but it will be better. And that is the best that any of us can expect in this life.