“Simplicity” and “minimalism” have become super trendy words in the worlds of fashion, home, design, and lifestyle lately. And you’ve probably heard of other terms such as “tiny living” and “capsule wardrobes” — these terms also play into the minimalist movement on the rise.
The concepts of simplicity and minimalism are certainly not new.
However, they’ve newly become very mainstream in terms of living, dressing, organizing and (in my case) designing. While individual goals and reasons for pursuing a more minimalist lifestyle shift vary from person to person, the overall idea is this: simplify. Step away from the clutter and obsession with keeping up with the latest trends, and focus on the essentials, the things you need that make you truly happy.
Has the idea of simplifying intrigued you?
The concept of doing so can be tied back to how a business might simplify. They look for patterns in their processes to streamline what’s already there and cut the excess. They find ways to be resourceful with what they already have as a cost- and time-saving measure, but also to be less wasteful at the end of the day. And they also find and stick with the classics — the systems, products, and methods that are timeless and work every single time.
Based on these simple principles, there are so many opportunities for incorporating minimalism into your own life, and today, I’m sharing just a few of my favorites to get started.
Contrary to what you might immediately think, you do not need to pack up your belongings and move into a tiny home in some secluded forest. (Although if you do, send me a housewarming invite, because that still sounds amazing.)
There are other, easier ways you can incorporate minimalism into your daily life. Spend a few days or a week observing your daily routines. Then, make a list of what your day looks like start to finish. What do you generally do when you first wake up? What do you eat for meals? How do you determine what to wear that day? Keep answering these questions all the way through when you go to bed. Look for patterns in your routine, and find ways to cut clutter and streamline your processes.
For instance, do you always make smoothies for breakfast, but keep the tools and ingredients spread throughout the kitchen? Try organizing them in the same place so you eliminate the time and thinking necessary to find everything you need for your smoothie in the morning. Always spend a good five to ten minutes searching for your keys before running out the door? Install a hook or keep a key bowl near the door where you will always leave your keys when you’re at home.
Finding simple ways to eliminate time and thinking power will help you move through your routine more quickly and use that energy for something more powerful and productive.
Getting dressed in the morning is just a portion of your daily living process…but it can be a very important one. Start keeping tabs on the things you wear often and the things you haven’t touched in months (or a year, in my case). One way to do this is to have two sets of hangers: one color for the clothes you’ve one, and one for the clothes you haven’t. After every month or season, it’ll be obvious which clothes you haven’t thought twice about lately. Or, if you don’t want to invest in a billion hangers (we are trying to simplify here), simply use a scarf or something to mark the start of your clothes. As you wear them, move them to the front of the scarf.
Keep rotating them to the front as they’re worn, and again, you’ll quickly get a great idea of what you’ve worn lately and what hasn’t appealed to you. You can use this same idea for accessories, jewelry, shoes, and handbags. Then, make it a habit to take off a small haul of clothes to a donation center every few months. The amount of clutter you’ll clear may surprise you!
Interested in building a Capsule Wardrobe or just curious to know more about what that means? There are a ton of articles to help with just that. Check out the following to get started:
Finding ways to simplify through organizing can really be seen as yet another subcategory of minimalist living. Organizing, by nature, is about grouping and categorizing objects and processes in order to create a more streamlined system.
An easy place to start here is your workspace. We generally spend a lot of time working, and if you have a job that requires you to sit at a desk or stand at the same workspace day after day, it’s likely that you become comfortable in that space and start to let objects, papers, and other random things take over the space, creating a cluttered appearance which can also created a cluttered mind.
In fact, this happened to me recently, and inspired a whole desk makeover! Start by removing absolutely everything from your desk or workspace. Then, add only the essentials: what must you have on your desk in order to work? For me, that was my computer, keyboard, planner and a pen. Next, think about what your comfort + productivity essentials are. These should be things such as headphones, a coffee mug (for the coffee that you’re inevitably going to drink every morning and afternoon), paper clips, and maybe a couple of other pens for color coding events and ideas in your planner.
From here, get reallyyyy choosey. Only add things to your desk at this point that, when you see them, bring you pure joy and inspiration. If you’ve been inspired by a new palette recently, this is your chance to work it into your workspace with a framed print or vase. I also highly recommend including one plant or bouquet…even if it’s fake. The appearance of greenery or flowers can brighten your mood and freshen up the space. IKEA has some great little house plants; but in my opinion, nothing beats a gorgeous, spring bouquet of blooms adoring your desk.