Let’s return to the importance of ridding our lives of clutter in order to find calm. This idea truly cannot be overstated. Decluttering is the most important step to leading a less stressful life, as far as I’m concerned. Sometimes people focus so much on doing one big cleanup, however, that they forget to embrace the minimalist lifestyle daily. It’s so easy to let clutter sneak back in if you’re not careful. The key to keeping tabs on the mess is to minimize new acquisitions going forward. Although with a large family, everyone needs to be on board. Read on to learn some of the best tips for encouraging everyone to do just that.
How to Embrace the Minimalist Lifestyle Daily
I mean it. This is a tough one, especially if you have a weakness for new things or are a people-pleaser. You need to be brutal and ruthless in order to resist the temptation of adding stuff into your life that you don’t need. Before buying that beautiful dress that could end up just sitting in your closet, take time to decide whether you truly love it and will have the opportunity to wear it. And, you need to have rules in place for the young people in your home as well. This is one area that challenges my family. I am ruthless, but the rest of the family has their own ideas about possessions and clutter. I talk about managing physical clutter but I admit, it’s almost impossible if others in the home don’t cooperate.
Getting family to cooperate
One consolation I have is that the two worst culprits are also the oldest children. So, when they leave the home, all their accumulated clothes and technology goes with them. Ha! All kidding aside, I have set limits. All their stuff must fit within their designated space, i.e. their half of their shared bedroom. If it overflows this space, they must pack it up in boxes, sell it, or give it away. Their siblings help them stay in check on this. In the rest of the home, if papers/projects/magazines sit in one place without being used for weeks or months, they go in the trash. And, my husband and I work together to keep new acquisitions at a minimum for ourselves and our home.
Dealing with commitments
Learning to say no helps minimize mental clutter and create margin in your life. It’s important to be brutally honest with others sometimes. Don’t take on obligations just because someone asks you to. Determine whether you really have the time or desire to commit to it. Then make your decision. Remember that saying yes to one thing means saying no to something else. And, sometimes a project or activity sounds really good, but it may not be what’s best. Also consider that all that driving around and busyness creates stress, too.
Be careful of accepting “gifts” from family and friends. Don’t accept grandma’s antique sofa just because it’s offered and it’s pretty. Make sure you have the room and that it will work well in your space. When Christmas and birthdays come around, ask for experiences, photo albums/calendars, or other non-physical items as alternatives to the usual gifts.
Maintaining your new life of less clutter takes vigilance and constant examination. You’ll need to assess your environment regularly to make sure things aren’t building up and that everything is in its place. This may mean doing a nightly sweep of your home before heading to bed and picking up stray items. It could be a seasonal inspection of your wardrobe in order to pare things down before putting them in storage. The process is individual for us all, based upon personality, lifestyle, and tendency. Figuring out what works for you might take trial and error. Stick to a routine once you’ve figured it out.
Seek Affirmation as You Embrace the Minimalist Lifestyle
Sometimes we forget why we instituted a policy in the first place. It’s tempting to become complacent. If you find yourself thinking that just one extra item or piece won’t matter, this is the time to remind yourself what you’ve gained through your previous diligence. Remember how much calmer you feel when the clutter is gone. Talk to others or read books on minimalism if you need a little extra reassurance. Just don’t forget your initial purpose, and you should be able to stay on track just fine. Minimizing what you add to your environment is absolutely necessary in order to keep clutter at bay. These tips should help you to do just that. Re-visit them any time you’re feeling temptation.