Once you’ve decided that you want to simplify your home, it can be tempting to “information gather” as opposed to just getting started. While it is GREAT to read about other people’s successes and tactics, it is also wise to get started as soon as possible.

Here is a quick guide to creating a minimalist home from Zen Habits. I’ve followed it loosely, but it is very helpful.

So, where to begin?

After you have determined your “why” or goal, it is time to get started.

There are two approaches you could take:

1. Conquer a Room

Pick a room that seems manageable and get a quick win. In other words, find a room that doesn’t overwhelm you and clear everything out of it that you don’t NEED in it. Have a box or bag for donations and one for garbage. You may also find things that you wish to sell, designate a place for those.

Now when I say clear everything out, I mean everything except large furniture pieces. Pull out small furniture like end tables and ottomans. Remove decorations including picture frames and throw pillows.

The room will feel bare.

But just sit in it for a little bit and allow your brain to adjust.

Now, only put things back into it that you need. If you haven’t used it in the past year, most likely you don’t “need” it. Plus, you could probably borrow it or replace it if you actually do need it some day.

Put back one or two decorations. For both our living room and family room we have a few throw pillows and one piece of artwork on the wall…and that is about it. BUT, these rooms feel peaceful and tranquil and take no time at all to pick up or maintain, and that is the goal.

Now, there will probably be things that you don’t feel comfortable parting with yet.

And that is ok! Put them in boxes and store in the garage or basement. Make sure when you package them up that they are “donation” ready, meaning all of the pieces are together and everything in the box could be donated together when the time is right. The goal is not to not actually have to open and look in the box or bag again.


The other approach for a quick win:

2. Fill three bags

When it came to my home, I did a couple of rooms in one day, but mostly I did several sweeps through the house looking for things to get rid of.

So set a goal. Maybe it is to fill three bags to donate and three bags to throw away (not everything in my house was in good enough shape to donate or sell). Again, if you find things to sell, designate a place for those as well.

Now, go room by room picking out things until you have all of your bags filled.

I really like this more gradual approach, but you have to decide what fits your personality best. I read about one family who rented a dumpster and spent one whole weekend getting rid of everything they didn’t need…I think that sounds awesome, but it wouldn’t ave been practical for my family at the time.

I had to show my husband the value of paring down our possessions and then he was on board and more willing to help.  But if your spouse, significant other, or housemates are all on board, GO ORDER THE DUMPSTER NOW! A couple of days from now you could be basking in your simplified home, enjoying the peace that comes with it.

So, whichever way you decide to go about it, my encouragement is to just get started! And if at any point you start to feel overwhelmed just think back to your goal and think about how nice your home is going to feel when you are done…you can do this!



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