How to Create a Minimalist Home

Yadi Pacheco

I wouldn't say that I am a minimalist or even claim that my home is completely minimalist, however, if you have ever visited my home you probably noticed that it isn’t cluttered, some people have even called it a pretty minimalist home. Yes, I do my best to keep it as clean as I can with two toddlers in the house, but the real key here is to get rid of unnecessary stuff.


Whenever I go shopping I always think, do I really need another mug just because it says "not without my coffee" or some other mass produced item with a witty quote printed on it. On my counters, for example, I only keep a fruit basket, full of fruits of course, a toaster, knife block and a can opener. The things we use most, really. I even removed the coffee maker since I no longer drink  coffee and drink tea instead, which means I do keep a tea pot on the stove. I do the same thing with all the other rooms in the house, if it's not being used then out it goes. 


You might think this kind of minimalist home may lack character and is not fun and full of life, and perhaps you're right, but let me tell you the satisfaction of looking around and seeing a home free of clutter It’s liberating. It's also easier to clean and a lot more satisfying to look at when I'm stressed out. Clutter is a form of visual distraction, and everything in our line of sight pulls our attention even if it's just a little. The less clutter, the less visual stress we have, therefore you feel more calm. 


How Should a Minimalist Home Look Like? 
Well, it depends. Your taste and how extreme of a minimalist you want to be make a huge difference. I like to keep clutter to a minimum but I don't take it to an extreme, specially since I have small children. I have outlined some tips to help you start your journey of a minimalist home below:

Be mindful of what you bring into your home. It is no secret that In the U.S. we like to over-consume, my advise to you is only buy the things that you absolutely love and know when and how you will use it. Avoid allowing family members to unload their junk onto you. You don't need another side table or useless wall decoration, even if it belonged to grandma. Your love for her is in your heart not on physical things.  Don't order or buy things on a whim, give yourself at least 24-hours to think before you hit confirm on that online order. 

I have not tried this one myself yet based on my "not asking for my own present principle," but you can further minimize unwanted clutter by sharing a wish lists with loved ones for Christmas and birthdays or by asking for experiences, like tickets to see a show instead of material things.

De-clutter a small space on a regular basis. It could be your a junk drawer or anything else in the room; ask yourself if the item is truly essential. If you can live without it, get rid of it. Try stripping the room down to its essentials. By de-cluttering one little space of your home at a time you can still achieve the freedom of minimalism. Make any day of the week your de-clutter day and tackle just one junk drawer, kitchen cabinet, or closet shelf at a time. It doesn’t have to take you all day long. You’ll be amazed at what you can get done in a short 15-20 minutes.

Clear floors. Except for the normal furniture, your floors should be completely clear. Of course, if you have children that can seem impossible, but  what I really mean by this is that you don't want junk cluttering your floor, nothing should be stacked on the floor, nothing should be stored on the floor. Reduce your furniture down to the bare essentials, A couch, a rug, a coffee table, lamps, etc. And for your walls a piece of art you absolutely love and pictures of your loved ones should be more than enough.  

Clear surfaces. Same goes for flat surfaces. No matter how perfectly lined-up your appliances are on your kitchen counter, or how neatly organized all of your beauty products are on your bathroom vanity, if you have too many things on your counter-tops your home will look visually cluttered. Make it a point to store things away into cabinets, closets and drawers when they are not being used, out of sight out of mind. 

Sort through mail as soon as you receive It. Mail is one of those things that tends to pile up faster than you realize only to clutter your clean aesthetic. Consider auto-pay instead of sorting through a massive pile of bills. Throw way junk mail as soon as you deem it "junk mail" it’s way easier to do it on a day to day basis. It literally takes just a couple of minutes. Immediately trash or recycle any papers you don’t need and scan and save digitally any important documents that you might need to reference later, by adopting this discipline you will prevent paper clutter from piling up, bills from getting lost and deadlines from being missed.

 

Creating a beautiful, minimalist home can take some time, specially if your house is already over-cluttered to begin with, but once you get it done maintaining a minimalist home is a lot easier. When you embrace simplicity, material things no longer play an important role in your life, giving you more free time to do the things you really enjoy doing. I'm aware that clutter is an inevitable part of life, but if you adopt  some of the habits I mentioned above and maybe even add a few more of your own, it will become your way of life.


According to Confucius, "Life is really simple but we insist on making it complicated."

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