Starting a minimalist life is not always easy. Starting to declutter and setting different priorities can be very overwhelming. You might not know where or how to start and that’s totally understandable. If you do too much at once it might seem too much and will make you want to give up. Here’s a list of different ways and minimalist methods that can help you ease into this lifestyle and that help making this shift more fun and enjoyable.
Project 333 is one of the most famous minimalist practices. Started by Courtney Carver, this method suggests you use 33 items or less for 3 months. Pick 33 clothing items including accessories, shoes, and jewelry, and box everything else up and put it away for the duration of the three months. There are a few items not counted toward the 33 items. Underwear, sleep-wear, workout clothing (only if you actually use them to workout), in-home lounge wear and sentimental jewelry like a wedding ring or a necklace you always wear that your grandmother gave you. If during the three months one of your clothing items breaks or does not fit anymore, replace it, but stick to 33 items in total. After the 90 days are up you can keep going or create another capsule wardrobe with 33 items for a different season (e.g. summer and winter wardrobe).
This is one of my favorite games. It worked really well for me. Start at the beginning of the month. On the first day get rid of one item. It can be whatever you want. Clothes, decoration, accessories, furniture, tools, equipment, etc. Any item you don’t need. Start small if you have to. On day two get rid of two items. Three items on day three and so on. It might seem like a slow way of decluttering but after 30 days you will have gotten rid of 465 items. You can always keep going or just start again with one item. It’s also fun if you get a friend or family member to join and make a little game out of it. Whoever can go the longest wins.
This one is an idea from The Minimalists. Pretend you are moving and pack all your belongings into boxes. EVERYTHING. Label it so you know where to find which items. Over a time period of your choosing (the Minimalists did three weeks), unpack only what you need. For example, you will need your toothbrush and tooth paste, so start there. Only unpack what you really need over that time period. If you really stick to the essential stuff you need, most of your items will probably still be packed after the time period is over. For the Minimalists, 80% of the stuff was still in boxes. This will show you, what you actually need or want and what does not bring any value to your life. Sell it, donate it—if you did not need it during the three weeks you probably won’t need it in the future.
Hangers in your closet
If you are in the process of decluttering your clothes, but think: “Oh, I am sure I will wear this again soon” (but never do), this method might be for you. Hang all your clothes on your hangers in the closet with all the hangers facing towards one direction. Now, once you wear an item and you hang it back into the closet, hang the hanger the other way around. If you wear the item again during the time period of this decluttering method, keep the hanger that way from now on because you obviously wear that piece of clothing frequently. Do this for 30 days and everything that is still facing the original direction after one month you can confidently declutter. If you haven’t worn it at all in a month the likelihood of you wearing it anytime soon is very slim.
As you can see, there are many fun minimalist methods that can help you start your journey to a clutter-free life. Not every method works for everyone, so choose whichever works best for you. It’s not a race and it should be fun and enjoyable, not cause you stress or discomfort. Please remember that. Did I miss one? Let me know!
Also by Rebecca: The Essential Iceland Travel Guide
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