Hello internet friends! Last week I started posting about my journey to minimalism (read that here), and today I’m going to show you how to really get started on your journey. Maybe you’ve been reading what everyone has been talking about online and you’re thinking about what minimalism could do for you. Maybe you’re nervous about going through all of your stuff—and really, do you even know how much stuff you own? Don’t get overwhelmed—I’ve got you covered.
Where to begin? Start with one room and categorize your belongings into boxes or tubs. (Note: this isn’t something you really finish in one day, so be patient with yourself and don’t get overwhelmed!) When you go through each category, really think about:
How much do I like this?
Why do I own this?
How often do I really use this (or read it/wear it/watch it)?
If you come across something that you forgot you even owned, it might just be time to get rid of it.
Did I mention you can make some extra cash by selling your unwanted stuff? I recently sold my old Nikon DSLR since I just got a new Canon DSLR for Christmas. Pocketed an extra $250 that went to paying off debt! When it comes to selling, I almost always choose eBay, but if I’m trying to sell larger items, I use Facebook. My city has a couple of Facebook pages that are meant for selling/buying things. It’s sort of like an online garage sale! I post photos of the stuff I’m selling and the price, and someone messages me about buying it, then we meet up at a public place! Check to see if your town has a Facebook page for selling! (I also recommend this because it’s local, you don’t have to ship anything, and eBay not only takes, like, 10% of your profit, but they also take a long time to even pay you.) You can also throw a good old-fashioned garage sale or donate everything!
Do you have a lot of sentimental things from your childhood/school-life/etc? Over the past couple years, I’ve realized how silly this is. We hold onto dozens of yearbooks, notes from people we don’t talk to anymore, torn hats and toys from our childhood, report cards and drawings from elementary school, and CDs. The issue isn’t that we’re saving these things, the issue is that we’re keeping them stored in boxes and tubs and we’ve only ever pulled them out one time in the past six years. I mean, really, what is the point of keeping these things that mean so much to you if you keep them hidden away?
What to do? Decide what you have to absolutely keep and decide what you can live without. Take photographs of the things you’ll get rid of (childhood drawings, school memories, notes, etc)! You can get the photos printed and place them in a photo album or scrapbook. This way, you’re not really getting rid of your favorite memories!
Here’s a quick tip on tackling different rooms:
Kitchen: Take everything out of the drawers and cabinets. Yep, everything. Lay it out on the floor/table and scan through everything.
Living room: Take things out of the bookcases/stands/drawers/coffee table. Get rid of old DVDs and books, and minimize your photo albums, decor, and picture frames.
Bedroom: Check under the bed! Who knows what you’ve even be hiding down there. Toss everything on the bed or floor and make some decisions! Clear off desks, shelves, bookcases, and any stationary items you’ve been hoarding.
Closets: Holding on to those high heels you’ve had for five years and sworn that you’ll wear again someday? Get rid of them, girlfriend. Old shoes, torn clothes, clothes that don’t fit, clothes you don’t love, etc—gotta go! (I own quite a few sorority shirts, I’m minimizing by saving these tees to eventually turn them into a blanket/quilt!)
Bathroom/Hall closets: Toss everything out on the floor and organize by category (medicine/towels/makeup/cleaning products/whatever you’re hiding in there). Trash anything that’s expired, any towels with stains or holes, and any products you’ve shoved in there that you haven’t used in the past 3 months.
We’re doing a garage sale next weekend (it’s been a long time since my family has done one, but we’re desperate to get rid of things) so I’ll be making another post then to show you how much we’ve donated, sold, or trashed–and what I’ve decided to keep! Let me know in the comments how your journey has been going! I’d love to hear about it.