Room by room, go through your home and make a physical inventory of your possessions. Make note of everything from furniture to clothing to decorative items. Then for each item, ask yourself why you own it. Does it fulfill some utilitarian purpose? Did you buy it on a whim? Was it a gift or is it a treasured heirloom? Do you have some emotional attachment to an item – if so, why? Do you like even it? Do you need it?
This process will be very eye opening. You will realize how many of your possessions serve no useful purpose to you. You surely once had reason to acquire these things, but they may have outlived their usefulness. Or many things no longer represent your evolving sense of style. So why keep them?
Gather together all the items that you feel you don’t really want or need any more. Clear out a room, or a part of a room, or garage, and start making a stack of things to rid from the household. If some items are under debate, put them in a separate pile, but keep the process going and the “out” pile growing. As the house starts to empty, into this growing pile, it will become cathartic. You will realize your home feels a lot bigger without so much “stuff” filling the space. You will also realize how much money you have spent, over the years, on things that you didn’t need or even like.
You can recoup some of your investments by selling items of value. You could consider consignment shops, Craigslist or even Ebay to make a few extra bucks. You could use that money later, to redecorate the newly emptied spaces, without impacting your budget.
Whatever you don’ t sell, give away. There are many fine charities, such as Goodwill, who would love to have the donations of clothing and household items. You could also ask your local friends, via social media, if anyone knows any local families in need. In this way you may end up helping young people just starting out in their first home or even people whose lives have been devastated by a fire or other natural disaster. However you give, it will give you a joyful feeling to be able to help others.
Now that shelves, walls and floors are a lot more empty, it is the perfect time to do a thorough cleaning. Dust, shampoo the carpets or scrub the floors and every kitchen or bathroom surface. If you have a furnace or air conditioning system, change the filters. Ridding your home of dust and allergens can have a great effect on one’s health and well being.
Now it is time to treat yourself. Minimalism does not mean nothingness. Now you can peruse the pages of design magazines and websites for inspiration and make a plan. Because of the steps you have already taken, you have given yourself the freedom to reinvent your surroundings. Go room by room and make a design plan for your new color schemes and decorative style. Be sure to use your tape measure, so that you buy items that will fit your rooms and still leave enough negative space to give you a minimalist feel. Large department stores such as belk have extensive collections of items that match each other by color and style. Utilizing such places can save you much time and money on shipping.
This process, you will find, can be transformative, not just for your environment, but for your emotional state. There is a saying, “You don’t own your possessions, they own you.” Doing something like giving away half or more of your possessions will not feel like any sort of loss. It will loosen the hold materialism has over you. Your spending patterns will change and you will find that it is easier to stick to a budget and save for the future. Your priorities in life with move away from what things you wish you have. You will be more focused on the amount and quality of time you have with your loved ones and the experiences and adventures of which you can fill your days.