A Minimalist with a Husband, Cat and 2 Dogs!
Let me start off by saying that I’m not a master minimalist, just yet. I would put myself at intermediate though, which sets me apart from a lot of houses that I tour. I like the idea of someone saying, “hey, why don’t we leave everything behind and move across the world tomorrow” and I could say “yes!”
So…if you’re anything like me, read on for some of my tips and tricks on keeping a light house.
#1. Only have the amount of belongings that fit the size of your house/space. Sounds obvious and this is what the rest of my list helps with.
#2. The Kitchen. We moved to a smaller house with a smaller kitchen, so two sets of anything went down to one & no more kitchen gadgets! Electric can opener, mixer, egg beater, peelers, waffle makers, counter top grills, popcorn maker and I could list more, all of them GONE! I can make pretty much anything with my food processor & man power, or woman power in my case :)
#3. Books, books and more books! I would suggest an e-reader as an easy fix, but I just love the feel of a hardcopy so I invented the three R’s. Would you re-read it? Would you reference it? Would you recommend it to a friend? If the book doesn’t fall into any of these three categories (you have to be honest!) then off it goes to the thrift shop.
#4. Can I use this for anything, or do I just like looking at it? I am guilty of keeping a few purposeless items around the house, but if you have a lot, consider taking a picture of it as a memory instead of keeping the actual items.
#5. One in, one out. I always think in terms of this. If I buy a new pair of jeans, then an old pair has got to go. Either I re-purpose them, toss them, or donate them. Same goes for shoes and trust me, when you know you have to get rid of a pair of shoes in order to buy a new pair, it makes you think twice. How many clothes and shoes do I have? Only what will fit into 1 wall to wall closet (not a walk-in) and half a dresser.
#6. 1 Year Rule – have I used this? It’s amazing how a year will go by and we won’t use up to 50% of our belongings! If you don’t use it, just lose it.
#7. Pack a goodbye box. Sometimes I think, I haven’t used this but I know I will next year. Pack it into a box, put the date on it, a deadline date and tape it closed. If the box is still sealed on the deadline date, don’t tempt yourself by opening it, go straight to the thrift shop.
#8. Make a Contest. Some people might describe me as slightly competitive, so when I noticed ‘stuff’ starting to build up, I thought I would see how much money I could raise by selling some items on Kijiji or Craigslist. The reward would be for to match the amount raised and then put it towards a trip. In less than 6 months, our house was lighter and our pockets were $800 heavier, so $1600 towards fun in the sun.
These are just a few of my tips and I hope they helped for those of you who want to do more and have less!