In the past year social media has been on fire with tips and opinions on tidying and minimalism. Whether you subscribe to the ideals or not there are still a number of lessons to be taken from minimalism that can be used in even the most maximalist lifestyles.
1. Examining your home and your life
Minimalism challenges people to examine not only their homes but their personal lives as well. Looking at each piece and deeply examining the items in your home makes you think about why they are in your life and if they have served their purpose and need to still be there. Often we get so used to our surroundings we don't actually "see" what is there anymore.
2. Choosing Happiness and Joy
Acknowledging that you are choosing to put happiness and joy at the center of your home can help turn your entire life perspective. Holding each of your items and focusing on the feelings of joy can help you to remember that feeling and you can start choosing friends and hobbies that also bring that feeling out in you. Consciously seeking out joy and happiness will start to become second nature and before you know it your day to day life is much happier. Of course, things happen and we all have bad days but if you remember how to bring even the smallest bits of joy back in, it can make things even just a little bit better
3. Shopping with intention
We have all been in the position when shopping where something is just too adorable for words and it's on sale! However, once you start looking at your home and belongings with more intention this will begin to cross over into the rest of your life. You will start thinking more about why you want this item that's on sale, how it fits into your current home and aesthetic and whether or not you really do need it. Taking the time to think about things like: do I really need it? What purpose will it serve? Does this item really make me happy? And if there is a yes to any of those questions then, by all means, get it! But now you know that this is truly a good purchase for you and it will have a place in your space.
4. Awareness of your surroundings
When you start cleaning out or organizing your home you start to really look at what you have chosen to surround yourself with. You might start looking at things in a new light, finding something you love tucked away or something you don't necessarily like front and center. Often we stop really ‘seeing’ what is around us since we get so used to it being there all day every day. By taking the time to be more aware of your surroundings you will start to find things around your home that do make you truly happy and remove those that are just there for reasons unknown.
5. Easy cleaning
This one is pretty intuitive but we didn't think about it until much later! With less stuff, or with your items properly put away your surfaces should be much easier to clean. When there is lots of clutter on your shelves or your dining table is full of paperwork it makes it very hard to wipe down surfaces and things naturally won't be cleaned as often. With clear surfaces it takes just a few seconds to walk by with a damp cloth and give a quick wipe down.
6. Using things up!
Once you start taking inventory of your belongings you start to notice the doubles and triples of all sorts of items. From spices to skincare it is amazing how much stuff we can accumulate. Part of the process of minimizing is the fun part of using things up! This might mean you have to make cinnamon rolls to use up those baking ingredients that will expire soon, or have your girlfriends over to use up some face masks
7. Repurposing what we already have
The most eco-friendly part of minimalism means that you don't have to go out and buy all new things, chances are there is something in your house that you can use for another purpose. Moving pieces of furniture to a new room can add new storage, an old cellphone box can be a drawer divider. There are so many possibilities if you put a little creativity into it.
So although you may never have (or want!) a sparse all-white Scandinavian style apartment there are still so many lessons to be learned about how we see our home and belongings and the feelings we have about our homes. And remember, trends are temporary, but we can always learn something from them and maybe find something that truly makes us excited and happy in the process.