Downsizing your life. Why is it something you should consider, you may ask? From my experience, I have found that excess clutter not only disrupts my daily routine but it has also caused me to feel more stressed, anxious & just generally more overwhelmed. Just think what a little bit of empty space can do for your wellbeing. Spend less time cleaning & more time on experiences & quality time. Determine what items were a complete waste & save money in the future. The cure to unhappiness is never more stuff. Quit thinking you need a bigger home or more storage units to solve the issue. Be rid of the literal baggage you so willingly carry with you. I can promise, you will be happier without the majority of it. I know this journey can sound rather daunting at first, but I’m hoping this series, Messy to Minimal will provide you with the tools & motivation to get there – to a more minimal lifestyle. Follow my journey as I go room to room in my own home & give you the rundown on decluttering yours one space at a time.
I wanted to start this series off with a space in our home that tends to get a lot of foot traffic which is our living room. In this home, the layout is a rather open concept with the dining area & living space merely separated by an Ikea cube shaped unit behind the couch. We’ve found a way to rearrange the furniture that is to our liking & provides optimal viewings of the TV from all angles. It’s a space that looks neat & tidy to the untrained eye but as I was decluttering, I realized we masked the miscellaneous items in drawers, cabinets & baskets. Let’s dive into what I learned & what you should keep in mind when you are downsizing this type of area:
CHOOSE THE BONES OF THE SPACE FIRST
In all parts of a home, you should always ask yourself “what are the bones to the space?” This entails items that are essential & are a main part to the area. For instance, in our living space we prioritize having a couch, a coffee table, a tv & it’s tv stand. Everything else is technically optional to us. And in our dining space, which I’ll include here prioritizes the high top table & six chairs. These are the items we find most important to own for our daily living. I always like to see if there are furniture pieces or other large items that can be removed from the space first. Never feel like you need to own tons of furniture. Always ask yourself “how will we make use of this item?” or “is this item necessary to our daily living situation?” If the answer is no, remove said items right away. So, for us, we find having a coffee table rather nice since we sometimes eat dinner while we watch tv on the couch. But we don’t own end tables by the couch because we find that unnecessary & cluttered. You have to determine what works best for you & your overall lifestyle.
DON’T FEEL THE NEED TO FILL A SPACE EVEN IF IT’S AVAILABLE
The reason I dislike dresser drawers or cabinets & even baskets is I have the mentality to fill them even if it’s unnecessary. This was 100% the case for our living space. In the Ikea cube unit for example, we have decorative baskets to fill the bottom row mainly for aesthetic purposes. But low & behold we still managed to fill these spaces with manuals, unused candles, extra coasters & miscellaneous decor we weren’t using. And most of these items were decluttered because I honestly forgot they were there. Clearly, there was no use for them. The same thing happened with an ottoman we have that opens up for extra storage. We had around five different puzzles we either made or never used during quarantine. I quickly donated those since I’m personally over the puzzle phase. I couldn’t believe the amount of random items that were tucked away. This taught me to be comfortable with empty spaces & to not fill them up just because they are there. If you are unable to be successful in this, maybe it’s a sign you shouldn’t have many baskets or drawers at all.
REMEMBER THE FUNCTION OF THE SPACE & STICK TO IT
This concept can be used with all parts of a home. Always keep in mind the true purpose of an area. The living space for example, is a place for relaxing on the couch, watching television, reading & visiting with others. If you enjoy reading, add a chair in a corner with a bright lamp. Or to add character, add a bar shelf or cart for extra glassware & decor. Make the place inviting & not filled with unnecessary items. Decor can add a lot of personality to a home, but it can also become too much. Be choosy of what you display & store the occasional items away. In our home, we display items that are either meaningful in some way or serves a purpose. This is a great mentality to have when striving for a less is more type of lifestyle.
Overall, the living space is an easy starting mark in the process of decluttering a home. As long as you keep these tips in mind, I’m sure you will create a space that is both inviting, practical & one you can keep clean easier. I can’t wait to continue this journey through other parts of my home. Comment down below where you would like me to declutter next.
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