When I was growing up, I lived in a small house with my mom. Though there were only two of us, there was stuff EVERYWHERE. No matter how hard I tried, there always seemed to be piles paperwork in eyesight. It took over our kitchen table, the countertops, the living room floor, and even my room while I was at school. I swore when I got my own place that I would choose a minimalist lifestyle.
In 2015, I met my boyfriend and we moved in together soon after. The only thing I didn’t anticipate; my boyfriend loved to collect things that we would never end up using.
Soon my counters were once again filled with clutter. After being inspired by The Minimalists on Netflix, I decided to put my foot down and and take on a minimalist lifestyle approach to my cluttered apartment in Brooklyn.
1. Minimalist Closet
One of the things that annoyed me every morning was trying to pick an outfit. I would always rack through the same clothes that I never wore. After looking for awhile I would pick from the same ten outfits I liked at the time.
One Saturday, I took all of my clothing from my dresser and I piled it on the bed. One by one I went through each piece and if I hadn’t worn it in six months, I donated it.
This made mornings so much easier for me! If you want more tips on closet organization, check out how to clean out a closet and make some money too!
2. Minimalist Kitchen
Just like my clothing, I was tired of having pots and pans fall on me every time I wanted to boil pasta. First I took out everything from the cabinets and drawers.
I was surprised by how many doubles we had of certain things. There were so many pots and pans were never used that were taking up precious space. All of the extras were donated as well.
I used this pan organizer to separate my pans and made it easier for me to take them out. No more pans loudly clattering to the floor.
I also used these cute wall hanging produce baskets that show off my healthy eating and keep my countertops clear. For me, it was all about maximizing space and getting rid of extras.
The minimalist lifestyle was looking good on me. Now I can cook more efficiently than ever because I can find anything I need in a matter of seconds.
3. Pictures & Paperwork
This one was my childhood nightmare, and I’m sure is a pain in the butt for many other people as well. Besides taking up a bunch of space, you are also in danger of losing photos and important information if you have a fire, flood, etc.
I solved this by scanning all of my documents and photos onto my computer. For scanning documents, I like to use Adobe Scan. It’s free so you don’t have to worry about buying an expensive scanner, and it does the job just as well. It also works for both Androids and iPhones.
Afterwords I stored them both on the cloud and on a flash drive. Now, I can pull up any of my info from anywhere in the world in just a few clicks. Definitely better than using a filing cabinet!
4. Phone & Email
These two things we use everyday. And while they are super useful, they can also stress you out. Start by clearing out any apps that you don’t use on your phone.
After that, organize your apps by most used first. Then go through your subscriptions and cancel anything that you don’t use that you might be getting charged for.
For the email, take an hour or so to unsubscribe to any emails that you never read. Just by doing this I went from getting over 200 emails a day to only getting about 50.
This task made going through emails so much easier and I responded to people that much faster.
Having a minimalist lifestyle doesn’t mean getting rid of everything you have. It means that people naturally thrive better when they have less clutter.
You can always go to extremes with minimalism, but starting with these four things can really help decrease stress in your life, help the needy, and bring you closer to your life balance.
What are some minimalist tasks that work for you?