Goodbye to things, hello to simple living and living with less!
Living a simple, minimalistic lifestyle is all about reducing the number of possessions you own to only those things that add value to your life.
In our home, we live by the unspoken rule that if it’s not used in six months, it serves no purpose in our life.
Paring down the extra “things” in our life has not only been fundamental to our lifestyle it’s given us a chance to think about what really makes us happy and what we really need to survive.
We were just like every other typical American out there.
We thought in order to be happy we needed to buy and collect as much as we could afford. Unfortanley that also meant we needed more money to buy the things we thought we needed which ended up in massive credit card debt and an unsatisfying lifestyle. It was a vicious circle that we were all but happy to jump off of.
Seven years ago we started to purge and reduce the number of things that kept us tied to that crazy cycle we were on. We now feel more content living with less, and it was liberating when we didn’t have so many things tying us down to a materialistic lifestyle.
When we started on this journey, we asked ourselves these questions every time we agonized over getting rid of something.
- Does this mane me happy?
- Have I used it in the last six months?
- Does it hold any sentimental value to me?
- Am I saving thinking “I might” use it someday?
- Does it add any value to my life?
If you answer “NO” to at least three of those questions, its time to let it go.
Here are 6 of the principles we use to live a simpler minimalist lifestyle while living with less:
- Don’t go into a store unless you need something and go in and out buying only that.
- Look to family and friends to borrow those items you may only need to use once or twice a year. Or choose to go in together and buy those more expensive items that are only required occasionally.
- Always look for used before buying new.
- If you do buy new, choose high-quality that will last longer than the cheaper version.
- Second-hand clothing is always an excellent option for growing children and always donate any items that have not been worn in six months. You should aim to minimize your clothes to 20 to 30 items.
- Only keep multipurpose items. If an object does not serve multiple purposes, ditch it to make room for something that does.
We’ve found life is more peaceful living with less stuff.
The world around you will consistently be showing you more and more ads for stuff they think you need to be happy. Instead of focusing on “stuff to make you happy,” focus on freeing up your time and money for things that really matter. Start focusing on the important stuff like relationships and experiences and stop focusing on just the physical stuff.
Here is an excellent way I’ve found to keep control of the clutter in our home.
We live by the 3 Month 3 Step Program.
- Step #1 Set a box in the middle of the room that is beginning overrun with clutter. Put anything in the box that has not used in three months.
- Step #2 – Tape the box shut and store it in another room, out of sight out of mind.
- Step #3 – Mark on my calendar 3 months from the day you fill the box. If after 3 months you’ve not opened the box, donate it.
- This 3 Month – 3 Step Program works great for weeding out toys from a kid’s room, kitchen clutter, closets (excluding seasonal clothing), garages and knickknacks.
There is something about organizing your life and getting rid of the extra things that surround you that is liberating! Try it, and you’ll be amazed that after trying the 3 Month 3 Step Program you’re well on your way to living on less and a simple, minimalistic lifestyle without even trying too hard.
That’s a great strategy! I enjoy organizing in general, but especially at the beginning of the year! Someone will be very fortunate to get those things!
It’s the easiest way I have found to keep the clutter under control in my house!
I have to say that method would just annoy me. About once a month or two, I just clean out the house of its clutter and take it to Goodwill. That way, I always have that lighter than air feeling b/c my house is clutter free. Since I do it often, there is not much to get rid of, so it is an easy job.