Feng shui gurus teach that living in
clutter disrupts the flow of chi, or vital energy, leading to frazzled, tired
nerves and even negative health outcomes. Who hasn’t watched a particularly
huge pile of laundry grow to the point that tackling the mammoth task seems
Many people now seek a more
minimalist approach to life in which de-cluttering leads to time for more
important tasks than cleaning, such as ongoing learning and deeper career
pursuit. If you feel like you need more time to pursue the things you love, why
not look into the minimalist trend a bit?
Minimalism involves more than
hosting a yard sale to free up closet space. It requires a fresh mindset in
which habits, not possessions, bolster self-esteem. Discarding outdated
clothing and furniture matters not as much as forsaking the thought processes
that cause people to define their personality by the stuff they own.
One Closet at a Time
Establishing a more minimalist
lifestyle takes time. Many people possess multiple closets and cabinets full of
clothing and other objects sitting unused for years, which creates a gargantuan
list of things to clean.
As the cliche goes, Rome wasn’t
built in a day. Instead of trying to eliminate an entire house worth of clutter
in one frenetic Saturday, choose one extra chore or unorganized closet to
tackle each cleaning day. Within a few weeks, a whole abode can transform
itself into a minimalist masterpiece.
Financials and Utilize the Cloud
If stacks of bills and financial records cover
nearly every surface or box after box of receipts use up valuable storage
space, switch to electronic bill pay or, better yet, put bills on autopay to
save time, cut clutter and spare trees. Likewise, upload important financial
documents using cloud storage such as Dropbox to eliminate the need for bulky
file cabinets as well as the risk of losing vital records in an emergency such
as a fire or flood.
a Few Sizes
This tip refers not to losing
weight, but rather to saving only your most treasured possessions and moving
them to a smaller space. Smaller homes take far less time to clean and maintain
than McMansions, and they also cost less to heat and cool.
Begin by going one room at a
time, starting with the room containing the most clutter or the
highest concentration of knick-knacks. Sort items into three or four piles:
must-haves, wants, items to give away or sell and objects to scrap. Spend time
evaluating whether those items in the “want” pile truly bring you
the Replacement Principle
The best minimalist plans oft go
awry when the urge to partake in a bit of retail therapy strikes. Avoid
cluttering newly cleaned spaces by practicing the replacement principle, which
states that for every new item brought into the home, another has to be
Practicing the replacement principle
works more easily for groceries than for large purchases like furniture. Still,
using it with each shopping excursion further trains the mind to differentiate wants and
impulse buys from carefully selected items that fill a need or
fill the heart with love.
The average American spends a full 11 hours each day staring
at a screen of some sort. Not only does this practice make many people feel
isolated from meaningful interaction, but it also results in exposure to hundreds,
if not thousands, of advertisements.
Minimalism involves training one’s
brain, not just giving the house a thorough cleaning. Limiting screen time
results in more time for other activities, like playing with the kids or
lunching with friends IRL (in real life).
In addition, consider cutting the
cable. Digital streaming services cost far less and also limit the time spent mindlessly staring at the
boob tube instead of spending leisure time with friends and
family. Make it a family challenge to find low- and no-cost entertainment that
brings people together.
With today’s hectic pace, adopting
minimalist principles into one’s life allows everyone more time for what truly
matters. Whether or not they agree with feng shui masters, everyone benefits
from reducing clutter, both physical and mental, from their lives. Make 2019
the year to omit frivolous expenditures and instead welcome only that which
results in less stress and a more meaningful existence.
Image Credits: iStock