Living Minimally: Steps to Declutter Your Life and Save Money
by Elizabeth S.
Are you looking for ways to simplify your living space? Or life in general? Living minimally is often the best way to do so.
But, be careful. If you think “living minimally” means residing in a mundane house with white walls and a single couch while wearing the same thing every day, you’ve got the wrong idea.
Living minimally means different things to different people, but the overall concept is the same: removing clutter and things you don’t need in your home and life. Keep reading for easy methods to declutter your life and save money in the process.
Declutter Your Home
Decluttering your life means addressing several areas, but your home is the best place to start. Having a home free of clutter and purged of excess belongings provides an organizational foundation and creates a decluttering process that can carry over to other parts of your life.
Decluttering your home begins by going room to room, rather than doing it all at once.
The first thing to do is sort your belongings by what you wish to keep, reorganize, or throw away. Empty items out of drawers, desks, closets, or from under the bed, lay them out in an organized manner, and then separate them into three groups: keep, store, and toss. Decluttering is often centered around getting rid of things you don’t need, rather than being more innovative in how you store things.
Some questions you can ask yourself when evaluating your things:
- Do I actually like this?
- Do I need this?
- When is the last time I used this?
- Why do I still have this?
These questions can be applied to everything from electronic devices to clothing, and just about anything else you own. This is easier said than done for most people, particularly if you’re especially sentimental or like to keep things around “just in case.” After you’ve sorted your items, reintegrate what remains into the rooms in a more organized way, instantly freeing up space.
Need a little inspiration to help you toss more stuff? Take about 15 minutes to watch this TEDx Talk from the Minimalists.
So, what about the stuff you’re tossing? Any items that you’re no longer keeping can be thrown away, but if they are still usable and in good shape, you can donate them to any number of organizations, have a garage sale, list them on sites like eBay and Craigslist, or use apps like Decluttr to sell them.
Declutter Your Schedule
The next major aspect of decluttering your life is your schedule, and how you spend your time.
Spend a few minutes browsing social media and you may feel like you’re missing out by not staying busy. This can result in overcommitting on various levels, whether it’s work, your social life, or self-enrichment opportunities.
Learn to give yourself breathing room and avoid filling up every spot on your calendar. Your mind will be more at ease, you’ll have more energy, and you’ll also have more time to allot to other things as you see fit. Plus, scaling back your time commitments will often lead to spending less money, as well.
It’s one thing to go through initial decluttering, but it’s another to stay that way going forward. Here are some guidelines you can use to stay on track.
Be Intentional with Purchases
This tip not only helps you stay free of clutter, it also saves money. When considering a purchase, ask yourself if you need it, or if you’re just in the mood to buy something. Do you really need that new lamp, or are you just intrigued because it’s on sale? You get the idea. Your bank account will retain more money, and your home will stay cleaner.
One In, One Out
Should you go through with a purchase at some point, practice the simple rule of “one in, one out.” For instance, if you’ve purchased a new kitchen gadget, sell, donate, or throw away whatever it’s replacing, even if it’s something as minor as a new spatula. Apply this rule to new purchases, and you’ll keep your home clutter-free.
Choose Experiences Over Stuff
Living with a minimalistic approach to life means valuing experiences and relationships over physical things. Rather than rewarding yourself with purchases, consider using that money for trips and experiences instead. If recent studies are any indication, you’ll be much happier overall with this approach. In the long run, your spending habits will shift, and you’ll no longer be tempted by impulse buys, opting to use that money toward your next excursion or vacation instead.
If you’d like more helpful tips on saving money, budgeting, travel, and gift ideas, be sure to check out more from the Cash Store blog.
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