Minimalists Swear by These Rules to Reduce Item Overwhelm in Their Homes
Let’s get real for a second. Does your home ever stress you out? Not the people in it (that’s a given), but the sheer magnitude of items you manage on a daily basis? If you’re nodding along then this article is for you. We consulted our resident minimalists to understand how they reduce item overwhelm in their own homes and the organizational rules they shared with us are simpler than you’d think. So, if you’re sick of constantly managing all the things, it might be time to take a page out of the minimalist playbook and these rules will help you do just that.
Mandatory Annual Purge: Don’t worry we’re not talking about the movie here, although we may have to add it to the agenda for our October scare-a-thon. We’re talking about an annual audit of all the items in your home. It doesn’t matter when you do it, as long as it’s done each and every year to keep your house in check. This can be done room by room or by object group. We recommend the latter as it allows you to see the number of similar items you have (like lotions or makeup) and makes letting go of a few of them easier. Just make sure to have plenty of coffee on standby when carrying out your annual purge because regardless of how committed you are to minimalism, it’s a lot of work!
One in Two Out: Between your purges, you’re going to need a system to manage the items in your home. Otherwise, your annual audit will become overwhelming, and you’ll come to dread it (and likely avoid doing it). That’s where the ‘one in two out’ rule comes into play. For every item you bring into your home, whether it’s a piece of clothing or décor you have to get rid of two items. The good news is the items you’re getting rid of don’t have to be in the same category as the item you bought. For example, you could bring in a new bathmat and get rid of a holey pair of socks and a spatula. The goal is to reduce the clutter in your home by eliminating items you don’t use, rather than forcing you to keep a pre-set number of each item. By the way, there’s no rule stating that the item has to be your own, so if you’re a parent seize this opportunity to toss (or donate) those long-forgotten toys your kids ‘swear’ they still use. We won’t tell if you don’t.
Less is More: Many minimalists believe that clutter in the home leads to clutter of the mind, which is why they keep their countertops and sightlines as clear as possible. With fewer physical objects for your eyes (and brain) to absorb, you are better able to focus on things that matter. So, before you start sprinkling Halloween décor all around your home, determine whether you actually want it there. If it brings you joy, go for it. But, if you find yourself styling your home simply to emulate an aesthetic you saw online, do not add to cart. Remember, the less clutter you have, the less mental bandwidth you need to manage it — less is more here.
Don’t Put it Down, Put it Away: When we’re going about our days, it’s easy to haphazardly toss our jackets on a chair and put other items where they don’t belong. Now, this can seem harmless at the time, but you’re creating more work for yourself in the long run. Just think about all the items in your home that are not where they belong right now, simply because someone put them down rather than away. Now, try implementing this rule for a day to see just how much time you spend putting things back in their place. Trust us, implementing this rule is an absolute game-changer.
Whether you’re an aspiring minimalist or simply looking to keep a tidier home, these rules will help you reduce unnecessary clutter and item overwhelm so you can spend your energy on the things that matter most to you. Happy minimalizing!