Creating a Minimalist Home

  • Creating a Minimalist Home - Day 1

    Creating a minimalist home
    Maximiing your closet storage space. Getty

    This lesson and the following 29 lessons in this course to help you crate a minimalist home, will help you through a 30-day process of decluttering, organizing, and paring down your stuff and space.

    Most of the advice is straightforward: it essentially boils down to evaluating your possessions, editing out the ones that aren’t helping you live your life efficiently and enjoyably, and organizing what you do keep in a manner that works for you. But before you start the physical process, here’s how...MORE you can spend the first day preparing to create a minimalist home.


    Estimated Time: 1-2 hours

    1. Clarify Your Values and Goals

    If you’re interested in creating a minimalist household, you’re clearly already motivated by something, whether it’s saving money, switching your focus from material things to experiences, being free to travel, having a nicer looking home, or just a sense that you need a change. Think about what it is that’s pushing you in the direction of minimalism, so your personal goals and values can guide you as you as you begin decluttering.

    2. Gather Style Inspiration

    Minimalism is a process, and it’s not realistic to think you will completely change your habits overnight. (You might, but it’s fine and normal if you don’t.) Especially when it comes to building a minimalist wardrobe and paring down home décor items, living with less is something that usually clicks in your mind over time. A major part of that process is discovering your own style and needs, so you’re no longer tempted by items that may be very nice, but are not right for you. Before you start sorting through your shoes and collectibles, start thinking about your vision for yourself and your space. Browse Pinterest, magazines, or books, and save the images that really speak to you. This will help you get a head start on sorting through your things.

    3. Collect Your Decluttering Essentials

    What you need will vary, but there are a few essential decluttering tools almost everyone uses when doing a major clear-out of their home. Large plastic heavy duty garbage bags, cardboard boxes, and paper shopping bags will come in very handy. A pen and paper or other method of taking notes and jotting down ideas is always good to have around. You’ll probably want some basic household cleaning products on hand in case you encounter a dusty corner or a shelf that hasn’t seen the light of day in years.

    4. Block Out Some Time on Your Calendar

    Before you start, try to coordinate your schedule with your family, roommates, or anyone else who lives with you or who will be helping you out. Prepare to get up early if possible (or, if you’re a night person who does your best thinking and working when others are in bed, plan on staying up late.) You might want to arrange for your children to spend some afternoons out of the house, or you might prefer to find a babysitter to keep them occupied while you declutter. Depending on your schedule and job, you might even take a few personal days or half-days off from work to complete some major projects. And if transporting donations to the resale shop or hauling your discarded furniture to the dump requires enlisting a friend with a truck or can only be done at certain times, block out the time for that to ensure that your clutter doesn’t stay boxed up in your house for months after you finish sorting it.

    If you're a personal planner person, schedule time in your planner so you get this done. 

    5. Get Excited About Minimalism

    As you start down the minimalist path, you won’t benefit if you’re looking at the process as a punishment or a boring task like vacuuming. If you currently view decluttering as a chore, or if you’re still not quite sure what minimalism really entails, take an hour or two to browse blogs, podcasts, books, and YouTube videos about minimalism. Some may feel extreme to you, while others might strike you as barely minimalist at all. You won’t subscribe to every theory of every author or “expert,” and you don’t have to. Simply taking in new ideas and seeing how other people describe the benefits of living with less will get you ready, and even excited, to start.