Marie Kondo challenged the world to tidy up and Spark Joy in order to declutter and improve their lives. Two years later, the conversation about minimalism continues. Countless documentaries, books, and videos promise that if we live with less, downsize, and simplify, we’ll be happier and more productive.
One of the issues with minimalism is that it seems to be all or nothing. You either have a sparse-as-a-hotel-room home, or you’re on the brink of starring in an episode of Hoarders. But making a few changes without going full-minimalist can improve your health and happiness, too. Here are some tips for minimal-ish living:
Don’t worry about making your entire home look Pinterest-perfect. Start with a section of a room like under your bathroom sink, in your linen closet, or behind the couch. Even clearing your coffee table or organizing your desk can make you feel accomplished. You might be inspired to tackle other parts of your home without feeling overwhelmed.
Put on your sorting hat
Whether you’re a collector (books, action figures, records), stockpiler (canned goods, paper goods, household supplies), or just have a lot of something like shoes or mugs, it’s time to go through your inventory and see what you can live without. You know your collection is out of control if you run out of storage space. What fun is a Funko Pop if it’s stored in a box under your bed? How helpful is a book that you have to dig out from the back of your closet because it didn’t fit on your shelf? Be sure to go through your collection especially if you’re thinking of adding to it.
If you have a hard time throwing away meaningful thank you cards, invitations, or other mementos, why not take a picture of them? Organize the pictures in a folder in your photo gallery or the cloud so you can refer to them at any time. For bulky instruction manuals, find the pdf online and save it on your computer, phone, or in the cloud. That way you can get rid of the clutter but still have the information handy.
Once you get the hang of leading a minimal-ish lifestyle, you can delve into deep cleaning or go even more minimal. Or you can simply maintain the gains you’ve made. What’s important is taking a more mindful approach. Spur appreciation for things you love. Get rid of things you don’t. Any dose of minimalism will do.