Ahhh, it’s Fall purge time again! Personally, I like this version better than “Spring cleaning.” The Summer to Fall transition has always been one to represent a true release of things that are no longer serving us. So it’s a time of year I so look forward to physically, mentally & emotionally. But this year, when I opened the closets at home with trash bags in hand & ready to go ham, I found only a handful of things in need of new homes! Pretty cool, and it got me thinking. Over the summer months, I found myself slowly, but surely, transitioning towards more of a minimalist lifestyle. After re-organizing our only storage closet in the apartment and throwing away/donating 6 trash bags full of old clothes, shoes, decorations, etc, I felt relieved. Since then, I’ve truly started to believe that less is, in fact, more. It. Felt. Amazing. After the downstairs closet, I moved onto the bedroom closets, under the bed, even our dog's stuff got wiped mostly clean (I mean, Q, how many bones do you need hidden in one spot?). For the first time since we moved in, our tiny apartment felt spacious and open.
This extra space was a game changer! It gave me room to breathe, move and think more clearly while allowing my creative process to flow more freely. After reading about the hype of minimalism for so long, I finally understand why people really gravitate towards this transition.
What's Happening As I Become More Of A Minimalist?
My thoughts are more clear- the more I declutter my surroundings, the more I simultaneously declutter my brain. Coincidence? I think not.
Our house is less dusty- less random stuff in every corner means less surfaces for dust to settle on! Less clutter overall generally calls for less time spent cleaning up.
I am more productive- Speaking of time spent cleaning, aside from keeping the bathroom and kitchen nice and fresh, I barely have to set aside time to clean the house! And I’ve been using this new found free time to dive into more productive things. Think about it— how much time do you waste straightening up knick knacks?
I felt a release of built up stress- It almost felt like I was personally carrying around the weight of all our extra, unnecessary stuff in a backpack, and once it was gone, the backpack was emptied! Relief.
I'm saving money- It became a lot easier to put money away when I stopped spending it on needless objects, decorations, etc.
Traveling is easier- I am a seriously light traveler now! Packing the car or jamming around the airport is no longer a stressful event when you’ve got your groove down with one, small suitcase :)
I’m starting to love our space- I used to obsess over home decor. Our apartment never felt up to my standards and I thought throwing MORE stuff into the mix would achieve the perfect high-vibe home I was aiming for. But truthfully, our space became much more appealing to me after a thorough home decor purge. Now, I still switch up the decor every so often, but always keep it super light, inviting lots of open space and room to breathe.
Annnnd not to mention, minimalism is better for the environment! The less we consume, the less damage we do to the planet. Just think of it as a huge added bonus.
So, yeah. I’m totally down with this lifestyle. At the end of each day, a life with “less” results in so much more. More space, more peace of mind, more connection, more freedom. If you’re curious about this mystical minimal lifestyle and would like to test the waters, try starting with one of these actions below—
7 Ways To Transition To A Minimalist Lifestyle
1. Clean out your closets seasonally- or MONTHLY! Make it a point to keep up on clearing out the clutter. Donate any clothes you don't wear and reorganize what's left.
2. Cut out unnecessary expenses- stay committed to only purchasing items you actually NEED. But really.
3. Replace, don't collect- when you do make a purchase, ask yourself if the item could replace one you’re ready to part with. If you buy a new pair of sneakers, go home and toss your old, worn out ones right away! Donate them if they’re still in fair condition. This strategy is muuuuch better than letting things collect over time.
4. Don't waste money on seasonal decorations- instead of investing in random Christmas objects to later take up space in a closet, find other ways to make your house festive. Example— Diffuse essential oil combos to lift holiday spirits or even go on a baking spree!
5. Clean out your phone- take some time to delete all of the pictures and videos you can live without (or if you think you'll want to return to them later on, store them in a virtual cloud, such as drop box). Delete any apps you no longer use. I recently discovered I was paying for 3 different music apps each month, though I only use one!
Pro tip— turn off your social media notifications for a more internal cleanse.
6. Designate areas of the house to certain things- our apartment become much more organized/less crowded when I designated a small space for my yoga mat, a different space for Mike's guitars and even a corner for Quincy's cot and toys. No more random objects displayed across the living room floor, couch, kitchen table, etc!
7. Unsubscribe from unwanted marketing emails and paper bill statements all together- Declutter both your email inbox and your snail mailbox! Honestly, how long do those paper statements sit on your kitchen table, anyways?
How I feel since beginning my minimalist journey
Having less honestly makes me a happier human. I'm able to really appreciate and connect with everything that I do have, and truly value it. I feel less attached to “things” and more clear. I don’t feel weighed down or distracted by clutter. I feel open. My creativity is flowing like never before, almost like a blockage has been removed. I’m more productive and motivated, and I’ve become a LOT more thoughtful about what I purchase and what I throw away at home. I’ve found that this transition has been best made over time, slowly but surely. It takes some mindfulness and energy, and I’ve got a million more miles to go on the journey, BUT after witnessing what it’s done for me and our household so far, I’m stoked for it!