Minimalism is a movement that's catching on with homeowners. Downsizing, moving to tiny homes, decluttering and living with minimal belongings has grown in appeal. After years of excess stuff and the square footage to store it all, it's hard not to see the allure of living with less. But, you don't have to pare down your home to its bare bones to benefit. With thoughtful attention to your belongings and possessions, it's possible to strike the right balance in your home that's comfortable without feeling spare.
Everyone has their own idea of what living minimally means. For some, it's a room that has very little furniture and decor. For others, it's relieving their overstuffed drawers, closets and cabinets. Yet for others, a minimalist lifestyle can also mean downsizing their home. Understanding what minimalist living means to you and how you envision living, is the definition that matters most.
An important first step in minimalism is to remove excess. After clearing the tops of furniture and counters of extra decor items and unnecessary appliances, you may find that you like the look because you don't use or need certain items. Duplicates especially create unnecessary accumulation and clutter. If you have five specialty spatulas, you may find that you really, truly only use one or two of them on a regular basis.
This approach is a good way to help you edit your items. Keep only those things you use frequently. A specialty item, like a cherry pitter or strawberry huller, can be replaced by a quality paring knife. Look, too, at personal items, removing only those things you use most and enjoy the most. A good example of this in a bedroom or bathroom is fragrances. If you find that you wear the same two scents all the time, give away the other six bottles that are gathering dust.
Other areas that are prone to over-accumulation include holiday decor, office supplies, clothing, and beauty items. It's easy to over-accumulate with the abundance of accessible, inexpensive items, warehouse shopping and an ingrained belief that owning more stuff equals success. Instead of buying in bulk, buy in love. Truly love what you purchase and allow into your home. Fill your home and closets with only those things that you use and most enjoy. By doing so, you'll do what minimalist maven Marie Kondo, author of "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up," says sparks joy. Her belief is that every item in your home should give you a deep and abiding pleasure.
Love and appreciation
As you begin to live with less, you may find you appreciate and enjoy the items you do have instead of dealing with the pressure that comes with overabundance and excess. Before making new purchases ask yourself if you really, truly love or need a particular item. If not, don't buy it; over time, if you do this combined with continued and regular editing, your home and life will be filled with less stuff but contain much more enjoyment.
(For more information, contact Kathryn Weber through her website, www.redlotusletter.com.)