What is minimalism, really?
As a way of life, minimalism can mean that you only live with the things that you need. When the minimalist trend started around 2016, many young people decided to downsize their wardrobes, donate their possessions, and move to tinier houses. Ushered by plenty of advice by Marie Kondo, the Japanese minimalist guru, people started letting go of the things that don’t spark joy.
5 years after the peak of the minimalist trend, it’s not yet too late to join the party. You don’t have to move to a smaller house to follow minimalism and buy minimalist furniture That is not the point of this whole movement. The goal is to live in a space that is neat, organized, and free of clutter. What you can do instead is look around you and start making small changes.
You need to strip your place down to the bare essentials and practice restraint. It means that you have to let go of the things that are there but don’t really play an important function in your everyday living. If you look around, you will see that you have accumulated a lot of things over the years, and they can be let go of now. Minimalism is far from being boring, it is functional and efficient.
How to make your current space more minimalist?
It can’t be stressed enough that you have to let go of things you don’t need if you want to start your minimalist journey. Start from the room with the most clutter. Since the kitchen is the space that is prone to the most clutter because of everyday cooking, you can start your journey here.
In the kitchen, just choose a few elements that you would like to define your cooking space. For example, keep all the boxes and jars away, stored in cabinets. It looks clutter-free if they are not on display. Just leave a few jars to keep on an open shelf, those that you commonly use from day to day.
After the jars, inspect your utensils. Do you really need that many? If not, let go of some of them. The same goes for kitchen appliances. That popcorn maker that you only used once in the past 6 months, it’s time to let that go. It is important that when you let things go, you think of the last time you used them. If it was a long time ago and you won’t be using them soon, it’s time to say good bye.
2. Living room
Remove all the shiny decors that are just there to, well, be decors. Focus on functional things that elevate your space like floating shelves. Floating shelves are a great addition because they are pretty and functional. These shelves can’t accommodate all your stuff, so keep the other things in cabinets, out of sight.
If you have the time and budget to do a paint job, then the most minimalist thing to do is to focus on a neutral color palette. Go for the classic white walls or go for the color cream. These colors make your space feel airy and spacious. Going for a neutral color palette doesn’t mean you have to throw away your bold yellow couch. Keep it. If anything, it adds depth and liveliness.
Since repainting is not a simple job, consider all the changes you might want to add to your living room before you do it. Maybe, you need a furnace revamp or installation or need your TV brackets reinstalled. Do these first before making any massive change such as repainting.
If you have a bookshelf in the living room, simply arranging your books by color and by size make it more pleasing to the eye. For things that you want to keep and can’t store out of sight, a little organization skill goes a long way. If you like arranging things by color and other properties, then the job is done.
Probably, the bedroom is where you keep a lot of trinkets and small stuff from your adventures long ago. It takes some form of emotional strength to let them go. This is why the practice of minimalism is more than just a fancy way of designing your house.
To make the elimination process easier, make a list of the things you do in the bedroom. These may include sleeping, resting, reading, and dressing up. If any item doesn’t play a role in these important activities, pop them into a donation box and bid your farewell.
Minimalism is a practice that you need to build slowly, especially if you are the type of person who clings to little things for memories. But once you get the hang of it, you will benefit from the mental clarity brought by living in a functional, mess-free space.