9 Easy Steps to Become a Minimalist This Year
Posted by Dave Jury at
As the holiday season comes and goes, you may notice extra stuff around the house. Your gifts are opened, sweets are still on the counter, and you’re not sure where to put your new coffee maker.
What better way to start the new year than with some downsizing?
In the era of COVID-19, you’ve been asked to spend more time in your home than ever before. While being at home can be comforting, it also can start to drive you a bit crazy.
What many people have come to find is that adopting a minimalist lifestyle has helped decrease the stresses that come from living and working in the same space.
Living minimally is all about simplicity and having solely what you need to function in your daily life. It doesn’t mean restricting yourself to a certain number of possessions. Instead, it focuses on freeing yourself from the desire to acquire unnecessary items that clutter your life.
Becoming minimalist requires making changes and taking steps to simplify your life. By doing this, you can save time on cleaning and organizing. It can also improve your budget and increase your productivity.
Practicing minimalism is an ongoing process and it's a journey that looks different for everyone. Taking one small step at a time will help you adopt this approach and start to declutter and simplify things. It’s time to explore different ways you can begin living a minimalist lifestyle and reinvigorate your life by having less.
Getting Started with Going Minimalist
Making lifestyle changes of any type can be intimidating at first. It’s hard to know where to start and how to keep up with the shift.
This process takes some introspection and planning before you can take action. Maintaining intention in every purchase made or item stored away is another key aspect of transitioning into the minimalist lifestyle.
1. Reflect and Write it Down
To start, evaluate what currently serves a purpose in your life. Start to pinpoint items that don’t bring value or have intentional use. When you come across an item you don’t need, set it aside for donating or throwing away.
Next, write down why you’re making this life adjustment. Having your “why” will give you more drive in making changes and may help you make tough decisions as you begin to go through your things.
Also, write down the goals you have for adopting a minimalist lifestyle — maybe you want to improve your finances or spend less time on cleaning and organizing. Hold yourself accountable by checking in with yourself along your journey.
2. Eliminate, Eliminate, Eliminate
You’ve identified what’s not serving a purpose in your life — now it’s time to get rid of it. Look at each item and think about whether or not you’ve used it in the last 6 months. If the answer is “no” you should probably get rid of it.
If you want to take a softer approach to this, you can always hide away the items you’ve identified for 30 days. If 30 days have passed and you haven’t thought about them, you know it’s time to let them go.
3. Shop Quality, Not Quantity
Invest in high-quality products that last longer. The higher price tag may not be ideal now, but cutting down on purchases will save you money in the long run.
Another perk is that you’ll cut down on your waste, especially when you buy clothes that don’t tear or shrink after a single wash. Clothing alone contributes 13 million tons of textile waste to landfills each year.
4. Invest in Reusable Goods
Swapping out plastics and disposables — bottles, Tupperware, and coffee filters — for reusable items will reduce the clutter in your home. This is also something that can save you money down the road.
Use these items when you’re out of the home, too! Get your coffee in a thermos, pack your lunch in a glass container, and hit the grocery store with reusable shopping bags.
5. Have a Home for Everything
One of the easiest ways to be a minimalist is to make sure you have a place to store every item in your home.
Whether it’s your bedroom, office, kitchen, or bathroom, there shouldn’t be anything left out that doesn’t have a place to go. Drawer and cabinet organizers are excellent tools in helping keep things tidied up and in their correct spot.
6. Decluttering Room-by-Room
You’re probably familiar with the Marie Kondo method of letting go of items that don’t spark joy. While this approach has been proven to work, you may want more structure.
Writer and minimalist Joshua Becker suggests his method that focuses on room-by-room decluttering, starting with the easiest, most lived-in areas first. When you begin this way, you’ll immediately notice the benefits of your cleared spaces, which will motivate you to work on more difficult areas.
7. Arranging Your Kitchen
The kitchen is one of those areas that require constant attention. With how often it’s used, you want this chore to be as simple as possible.
Once you’ve removed all of your non-essentials, it’s time to give the remainders a place to stay. Items like spices can easily become cluttered — by adding a quick drawer insert you can keep them neatly stowed away.
Pots and pans take up a lot of space and easily get in the way. Give them their own spot in their drawer by separating them with a wooden peg system. Keep your counters free of utensils of all sizes by installing a silverware organizer in your drawers.
8. Organizing Your Office
As a workspace, you want this area to stay as tidy as possible. Nobody wants their physical space clouding up their mental space.
While cooking utensil organizers are great in the kitchen, they can also help keep your pens, paperclips, and other office supplies stored away neatly and off your desk. Our customizable drawer inserts are also an option for finding just the right fit.
If you need help decluttering your office, try out these tips and tricks >
9. Sorting Your Closet
Your closet may be one of the biggest culprits for clutter and disorganization. Old shoes, clothing that’s out-of-season, and sweaters that shrunk in the dryer take up a lot of space. You don’t want to waste time searching for a coat or scarf in the bottomless pit of your closet.
Once you’ve freed yourself from unwanted items, get everything remaining sorted by grouping things by item. You can use adjustable dividers to keep your shirts, pants, and coats all separate from one another. Keep your jewelry and other small items safely stored with a jewelry tray insert in one of your drawers (these are also perfect for the bathroom!).
Check out our 6 DIY hacks for organizing a small closet >
Find the Perfect Drawer for Everything
As you go through the journey of downsizing, decluttering, and freeing your home of unnecessary items, you’ll need to keep up with your minimalist lifestyle with new habits and daily practices.
You’ll find your transformation into how to be a minimalist will evolve over time, but purposeful organization will help you maintain these changes. When you work every day to cut down on your waste and stay organized, you’ll find that life gets easier.
Drawer Essentials values keeping it simple. That’s why the heart of what we do is all about organization that fits you. Your home is unique and so is your experience of living minimally.
For many, making the choice to begin living a minimalist lifestyle changes every aspect of their lives. We hope that as you embark on this mission, you’re able to find more happiness and fulfillment within your home.
As you take this step-by-step, we’re here to help you along the way.
Find your perfect drawer or organizational insert to keep your home free of clutter >