Minimalism means to live with less (physical) stuff around your home and in your life. People who practice “Minimalism” only keep the stuff that they need and know will bring value to their lives.
“Minimalism” can be used to declutter your home, especially if you find yourself constantly hoarding things around your house that you just don’t need. You could declutter something as big as an entire bookcase or something as simple as a kitchen drawer.
Minimalism can be broken down into a simple 4 step process: Piling-Choosing-Throwing Away-Reorganising. How you use each step of the process depends on what you are trying to declutter such as clothes or electronics. Before you Choose, you should get a bag or box ready so that you have a place to throw anything you want to get rid of.
Piling means to collect all the stuff to together and organise it into piles to be sorted. Choosing means to decide what to get rid of and what to keep. Throwing Away means how to get rid of the stuff you don’t want. Reorganising means to put the remaining stuff away in a neat and tidy fashion. The steps of the process are all explained in further detail under the tabs above.
Clothes are something we use everyday and because we use them so often, they eventually wear out and end up tearing. A lot of clothes can become either too big or small and end up wasting space in our homes we can put to better use. I have used the 4 step process from the Introduction to break down the steps for minimising clothes down below.
Clothes can be put into piles based on their colours. I pile my socks by having my white, black, grey and other coloured socks arranged this way. Another way to pile clothes is based on what pictures are on them. I arrange my t-shirts by pop-culture (film/tv/video games), animals, patterns and plain colours. Another thing I also do, is arrange my t-shirts, polo shirts, jumpers and hoodies together as well.
The first clothes you can choose to get rid of are: anything that is stained (and won’t come out), ripped or has holes in it as having clean, fresh clothes can improve your self-image. Another way to choose is by the size of your clothes: if you have out grown clothes too small or have lost weight and have clothes too big, then these should definitely go. Finally, you should look at your clothes and ask yourself: Do I still enjoy wearing these? Will I wear these anytime soon? If the answer is NO, then they should go.
Firstly, if any of your clothes are ripped, torn or damaged in any other way then they will have to go straight in the bin. This also applies to clothes which are stained and will not wash out. If your clothes are not damaged in anyway then you could donate them to charity shops or sell them to clothing banks (if you have over 5kg of clothes to sell). If your clothes have never been worn or still have price tags on them, then you could sell them online or to second hand clothing shops.
You can reorganise clothes by in the same way you piled them. This can be based on what pictures are on them such as by pop-culture (film/tv/video games), animals, patterns and plain colours. Another thing I also do, is arrange my t-shirts, polo shirts, jumpers and hoodies together as well. An even simpler way to reorganise clothes is by colour which can be quite effective as most people consider what colours will go together and which ones clash.
Ask yourself, how many books in your book collection have you actually read? Probably not as many as you realise. You see, people buy many books that they end up never reading which just end up on a shelf collecting dust, you should get rid of them as you can use the space for something more useful. I have used the 4 step process from “How do I use minimalism” to break down the steps for minimising books down below.
Books can be put into piles based on being fictional(fantasy stories, comic books) or non-fiction(information, real life stories). Fictional books can be arranged by series (such as Harry Potter books in which there are 7 in total) or comic book company such as Marvel. Non-fictional books can be arranged by their subjects such as sports or art and books such as magazines.
Choosing books is all about the joy of reading. Pick up one of your books and look at it: Do you enjoy holding it? If the answer is yes then keep it, if the answer is no then get rid of it. Consider when you last read the book, did you enjoy it enough that you would consider it as one of your top favourite books? If not, get rid of it.
If you have never read the book, then are you telling yourself “I MIGHT read it”, this means you are unlikely to actually read it meaning it should go. If you are telling yourself “I DEFINITELY will read it” then you should keep it.
To get rid of your books, you could donate them to a charity shop, 2nd hand book shop or leave them at a book swap. A book swap is where you can donate books and swap them for other books you might be interested in. You can also see if someone you know would be interested in them as well.
You can also sell books online but what you money you get for it depends on the condition of the book and how popular it is. You should research online on places such as Amazon to see how much the books go for. Avoid being greedy as some books may not sell for much, focus instead on the getting the stuff out of your house and off your hands.
Books can be reorganised firstly by fictional and non-fictional books. From here, fictional books can be organised by book title or by the book author’s surname (which is how libraries and bookshops do it). Non-fictional books can be sorted by the type of content in them such as sports or art, they can also be sorted by the type of books such as magazines. I also sort my books out by the things I like such all my books about dragons.
Electronics can quite quickly become obsolete as new technology is always becoming available, if your electronics are broke or won’t work with modern technology such as smartphones, then it’s time to move on from it and get with modern times. I have used the 4 step process from “How do I use minimalism” to break down the steps for minimising books down below.
Electronics can be piled by parts such as old consoles, old laptops and various wires. Consoles and laptops should also be piled along with the wires such as a wire for the TV plus power lead for consoles or a charger for laptops; this will ensure you know what you need to make them work. Wires can be piled based on the same ends of the wires such as HDMI cables which have different ends to USB cables for example.
Choosing electronics is all about being in the present. Firstly, electronics soon become obsolete such as old TVs with no HDMI slots (HDMI being the norm today, check the back of your TV) and this means it has no purpose in today’s world as there is something better that can replace it. Also, do your electronics still work? If not then they are useless now. Another thing to consider is: When did you last use your electronics? If you haven’t used them in over a year, then it is likely you are never going to use them, throw them.
Wires for your electronics are just as important to consider. If you have more than 3 wires with the exact same ends, then consider throwing them away. If you have wires of different lengths then consider throwing the short ones away as longer wires give you more space for your electronic.
You can sell electronics either at 2nd hand shops such as Cash Converters or online. Keep in mind 2nd hand shops will test your electronics before they give you any money for them so make sure they work, also there maybe electronics they will not take from you. If 2nd hand shops won’t take your electronics then people online might, it also helps to list your broken electronics as spare parts since spare parts for old electronics can be hard to come by.
You can reorganise electronics by dusting them down and putting them in a place you can easily see and use it. You should organise wires for example by putting the same wire ends together and keep detachable plugs such as euro converters together. You can keep wires tidy by wrapping elastic bands around them and putting them in an organiser box.
Kitchen Stuff comes with use by dates and if you have this stuff around after its use by date, it will go stale or start to rot which can be a serious health hazard. Stuff like this needs to go as well as stuff that you know you definitely won’t eat anytime soon. I have used the 4 step process from “How do I use minimalism” to break down the steps for minimising books down below.
Kitchen stuff can be piled by the containers they are in; containers such as tins, spray bottles, jars, cartons and boxes just to name a few. Fridge and Freezer stuff can be arranged by food groups such as dairy, meat, fish, fruit&veg and drinks.
The first thing to do is check the use by dates on the packaging, if they are past the use by dates then they definitely need throwing away. If they are in date or don’t have a date, then see if it looks rotted or has mould on it and if it does, throw it away before you get sick from it. Lastly, look at your food and ask yourself: Will I eat this in a few days time? If the answer is no then get rid of it.
Any kitchen stuff that is either past its use by date or has rotted/become mouldy will have to be thrown in the bin as they are now a health hazard. Remember to put you bins out for bin collection, I set a reminder on my phone for when my bins need to go out. If you have kitchen stuff that is still in date and looks fresh then you can donate it to food banks whether it be to the food banks yourself or through your local supermarket.
You can Reorganise kitchen stuff firstly by whether it needs to go into the fridge, freezer or cupboards. Your fridge should be organised so that fruit and veg are at the bottom, meat along with ready meals should be in the middle and dairy stuff such as cheese or yogurts alongside eggs should be at the top, drinks should put on the bottom shelf of the door.
Record Storage is anything that has something stored on it like a song, film or video game which can be played through a player of some sort such as a DVD player. Record Storage can come on things such as tapes, disks or vinyls.
Ask yourself, how many tapes or disks in your collections have you actually played? Probably not as many as you realise. You see, people buy many tapes and disks that they end up never using, they just end up on a shelf collecting dust; get rid of them so you can use the space for something more useful. I have used the 4 step process from “How do I use minimalism” to break down the steps for minimising record storage down below.
Record Storage can be piled by the type of storage they are: all the CDs together, all the DVDs together. They can also be kept alphabetical order or the subject matter. Subject matter depends on your own interests, as in you many like a certain singer, a certain director, a certain type of music(like rock) or certain types of movies(like comedies).
Choosing Record Storage is all about the joy of playing them. Pick up one of your disks and look at it: Do you enjoy holding it? If the answer is yes then keep it, if the answer is no then get rid of it. Consider when you last played the disks, did you enjoy them enough that you would consider watching or listening to it again? If not, then get rid of it.
If you have never used the disk, then are you telling yourself “I MIGHT use it”, this means you are unlikely to actually use it meaning it should go. If you are telling yourself “I DEFINITELY will use it” then you should keep it.
To get rid of your Record Storage, you could donate them to a charity shop, sell them online or sell them to a 2nd hand shop such as Cash Converters. You can also see if someone you know would be interested in them as well. Before doing any of this though, you need to check the region the disks are from as disks from other regions might not work on disk players in your country. You can find out the region by checking the back of disk cases: the UK is dvd region 2 and blu ray region B.
You should research online on places such as Amazon to see how much the disks go for. Avoid being greedy as some disks may not sell for much. Focus instead on the getting the stuff out of your house and off your hands.
Disks like DVDs and Blu-Rays can be organised by having all DVDs together and all Blu-Rays together. Also, you should store them alphabetically from a-z preferably. You can also put films in the same genre such as superhero films together or films by the same director together. CDs should go in alphabetical order of the artist’s name or even the decade they came out as this is how record shops do it. You might also want to put your favourite films or CDs together as a personal choice, the ones you use the most.
Life is about what’s happening now. If you don’t use something currently then ask yourself: Can you live without it? If you can live without something, then get rid of it because it’s not worth worrying about what need will come in the future as if you can live without it now, you can live without it for a very long time.