Over time, we all collect a vast number of items in our homes. And for those with significant others, pets, and/or children, the amount acquired can be doubled or tripled.
This can make cleaning and tidying an overwhelming chore. I know, for me, cleaning is a constant battle, especially where my son’s toys are concerned.
Is there even a possible solution?
For me and my family, we have found that living a more minimalist lifestyle has made a great difference. Reducing what you have certainly reduces how much you have to clean.
But this lifestyle isn’t for everyone. We all have our preferences for how we want to live our lives, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.
So how do you know if minimizing is for you?
The best way to start is by getting everything organized. Take a day to get everything in the house cleaned. For many, I have been told that blasting some music helps with this daunting task. Personal experience has shown me this as well.
Personal experience has also shown me that if you have kids (especially younger ones), it is best to get a family member or babysitter to watch them for the day. If you are going to do this, though, be sure not to get rid of any of the kids’ toys. (I will explain shortly.)
Once the cleaning and organizing is complete, the next step is to go through the house and ask yourself a couple of questions. “Is this room the cleanest it can be?” “Is there enough space for me to use this room with the most efficiency?” “Does this room look how I imagined it would?”
If you said no to any of these questions, then chances are minimizing is indeed for you.
The best way to start, in my opinion, is with clothing. Most of us, when going through our clothes, find items with the tags still on and items that we find we never wear anymore. If this is the case, it is best to gather them up for donation.
Of course, there are exceptions to the rules. If you have something specific planned for these items, you should keep them. There is no need to waste money spent.
Continuing in the bedroom, ask yourself if there is anything in there that you don’t use anymore. Whether it’s furniture, bed setting, or even jewelry, if you don’t use it, it is best to get rid of through donation or selling.
You can continue this process in every room of your home. The bathroom(s), the living room, even the kitchen. Chances are you will be surprised at how much is around that you don’t use.
Next will most likely be the hardest items to get rid of: the sentimental items. These are always a tricky situation. For my family, I find myself attached to certain things of sentimental value. My husband, the true minimalist of us, has a hard time letting me keep these. But if you find yourself truly saddened by the thought of losing it, don’t worry.
You don’t have to get rid of these things just because you’re not using it. Instead, maybe you can find a use for them. Even if it’s just for display.
For those of you with kids or pets, comes possibly the hardest step of all- going through their items.
During this step, it is best to involve them in the process. Even if they are younger. And, I have found, the younger they are the better off they will be.
This is an excellent time to teach them the value of their toys, and what it truly means to give to those less fortunate. For pets, this might not be the case, but then again, we never know what they are actually thinking.
Doing this with pets is a bit easier I believe. Just test each toy to see if they play with it. If they seemed interested, keep it. If not, you can always donate them. (There are plenty of people who struggle with pets.)
But for kids, this can sometimes prove a difficult process. Of course, every kid is different, so the level of difficulty will vary from child to child. But I believe all children have good hearts, and are smarter than we give them credit for. If you simply explain to them the importance of what is happening, they are more than likely going to be more willing to give up the toys they don’t play with anymore.
Once you have gone through everything in the house, you might find you have quite a few items to get rid of. For me, donating is the simplest solution to this, as there are hundreds- if not thousands- of charities across the world that accept used items of all kinds.
If you find yourself with some furniture to get rid of, you might find this a little more difficult. Luckily there are lots of ways to sell these online. If you are, I suggest you look up your furniture to see what it is selling at before posting it. I find if you put it at a slightly lower price, it will get sold a lot faster.
And the best part is you can do this from the comfort of your own home. Most of the time, through my personal experience, I have seen that those willing to buy these bigger items usually have a means of coming to you and getting it themselves.
Make sure to have a decent conversation with them before agreeing to the sale. Most people are trustworthy, but that doesn’t mean everyone is.
With this last step completed, you have accomplished a big task. So congrats to you! I am sure you are going to find you have more space to do what inspires you in your home. And you are more than likely going to find yourself more relaxed.
After all, the less you have to clean, the more time you have for yourself.