February 04, 2015

Minimalism - not as scary as it sounds

Written by Jenna Nibourg, owner of Tiger Lily Interiors and leader of Calgary's Minimalist Group.

I love hearing more and more people talk about minimalism lately. It is something that I have been striving for the last year and it has really made a huge difference in my life. When minimalism comes up in conversation while organizing someone’s home, our client will often comment or give the idea that they think it is way out of their reach so they won’t even try. I think this is because an image comes to mind of a person living in a tiny home owning less then 100 items… But this image is not very accurate for the majority of people simplifying their life.

Minimalism can benefit many people living many different lifestyles - but no, it is not for everyone. That said, it is not as scary as you might think. Minimalists own many nice things they just learn to think of their possessions in a different way. 

Here is the definition by my friends The Minimalists (theminimalists.com):

“Minimalism is a lifestyle that helps people question what things add value to their lives. By clearing the clutter from life’s path, we can all make room for the most important aspects of life: health, relationships, passion, growth, and contribution.” 

Sounds pretty great hey! And there are so many benefits to this lifestyle. Just to name a few: you spend less, stress less, your house is easier to clean, you can be more productive and it is even good for the environment! Oh and there are less things to organize. 

So where to start? If you have been reading our blog you are probably familiar with the way we organize using Julie Morgenstern’s SPACE method (Sort, Purge, Assign a home, Containerize, Equalize). We minimize our possessions during the “Purge” step. “Love it, use it or lose it” is great way to start thinking about the things in your home. As you go through your items, ask you self these smart questions to make sure you are only keeping the things need. 
  • What is it?
  • How many of them do I have and need?
  • When did I use this item last?
  • Will I need it in the future? If you are keeping it “just in case” then use the 20:20 rule which means, if you can replace the item in under 20 minutes for under $20 then purge it and replace it if you ever need it. 
  • Can someone else make better use of it? 
  • Can it be digitalized?
  • Does it truly make you smile?
Purging items in your home is a great place to start, but you also have to be careful about what is coming into your home as well. There is no sense of purging if you are just going to re-fill all the new space you have just created in your home and in your life. Having “room to breathe” feels great!

If you are interested in getting involved or meeting like-minded people please check out the Minimalist.org: Calgary Local Meetup Group.

image via pinterest

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