Lately, I have become more and more aware of the impact clutter can have on you. I live in quite a small apartment, which is forcing me to consider what I have and need. When my space is tidy and clean, my mind is the same. But a minimal approach is not only beneficial in a small space, also people living in larger homes can find it helpful to minimize. For me, a minimal approach is not only to simplify and have fewer things but also to make sure that the things you have all have a dedicated space to live in your home. Making sure everything you do not use on a daily basis is stored away in a neat and tidy way to make it easier for yourself to find it, as well as finding joy in not having to own too many things.
On my quest to have a more minimalist home, here are some of my little tips:
// Downsize your wardrobe and practice a capsule approach
As someone who loves going shopping, I have most of my life had a very full and overwhelming closet. Because of this, items tend to be on top of each other making it hard to actually see what I have. Hence the “I have nothing to wear” thoughts popping up in my head most days. After moving quite a few times and downsizing the wardrobe drastically each time, I have started to see the benefit of a smaller and better-curated selection. The fact is that having a smaller selection of clothes actually makes the process of choosing an outfit in the morning easier instead of more challenging. Now, I tend to hang my selection of clothes on a rail so it is easy to see while the items I use occasionally are in the wardrobe. All of my winter items are in a storage box under my bed, and each season I open the box to create my new curated selection.
Advice, these SKUBB boxes from IKEA are very handy for storing under the bed unless you have a low bed with no room under.
// Do not buy things for a ‘quick happiness fix’
You might know the feeling, that instant happiness boost when you buy something. For me, going into places like IKEA or Flying Tiger could end up in wanting to get so many little things which would result in my home being full. I therefore always try to think “do I really need it?” before making a purchase, if I realize that it is not something necessary I will put it back. When I was young my Mum always used to ask me to list 3 reasons why I needed something if I asked her for it, and that way of thinking is still sticking with me today.
// No duplicates!
This was something I realized after a shopping trip with my boyfriend. I was looking at a stripey top, even though I have quite a big selection as most of us do, and asked him what he thought. He replied “don’t you have one just like it? You should only buy items that are unique.” It made me think, a lot of the time I tend to head towards items that are similar to what is in my home. This is when I end up with a lot of home decor items or clothes that I do not wear. So from now on, no duplicates are allowed through my door!
// Don’t be afraid of white space
Some might say that white interior can look a bit cold and not so homely, but in my opinion it is all in the little details you add to make it cozy. A small dark space full of clutter can affect your mood, making you feel stressed or depressed. More white space and less items however, will make a small home feel open and airy.
Advice, fresh flowers and plants are a great way to add a homely feel to a white and minimal space.
// Buy only the kitchen essentials
One place I try to be very strict about is the kitchen because having a tidy kitchen surface with no clutter is in my eyes a major part of not feeling cluttered. It is so easy to start adding items here and there before realizing that there is not really any space for cooking on the surface. I have quite a small kitchen so I have to be very careful and try to keep only things that I regularly use. Why buy an onion-slicer-device when you can just use a knife?
Advice, if you do need to keep some things on the kitchen surface I find that purchasing jars and boxes to keep these in makes your space look cleaner.
// Use what you have before purchasing it again
It can be quite tempting to stock up on your favorite candles, napkins, shower gels etc… but why should you? Keep instead an eye on these items so that you know when it is running low, and purchase when needed. I do however stock up on things I find on sale like toilet paper, dishwasher tablets etc, but only on things I know I have a dedicated storage space for.
Advice, if you find it hard to remember what you need practice list making. Have a list on your phone, in your daily diary or on the wall where you write down things that are running low.
Do you live a minimalistic life or are you more of a maximalist? I would love to hear tips you have gathered along the way if you do practice ‘less is more’.
// Photo credit: Ingrid Opstad