It’s easy to get overwhelmed with all the clutter that builds up in our homes. Aside from the neglected pile of mail we’ve stacked in the corner, or the dishes that need washing, our homes become a collection of stuff over time.  Just think about that place in the basement or garage where you have boxes or bins of stuff stored, the ones that you can’t even remember what’s inside of them. That stuff can begin to feel like a burden, more than a pleasure. So, let’s talk about minimalism. I will ask you this question: is a minimalist lifestyle for you?

What is Minimalism?

If you’re not sure what minimalism is, it’s basically making the choice to live with only the things you really need. It becomes a process of removing the distraction of excess possessions so you can focus more on the things that matter.

Most minimalists argue they are happier because they have less worry, stress, and chaos in their lives. Basically, the decluttering of their possessions declutters their mind and spirit.  To a minimalist, material things are trivial, and instead, they focus their energy on quality time for relationships, enjoying the simple pleasures of life, and spiritual or mental health.

Getting Started With Minimalism

Don’t overthink it. Spending too much time humming and hawing over the idea is not much more than a stalling tactic. Removing items from your life need not be a dramatic event, at least for the small stuff. Start slowly with the easiest stuff to declutter—-like those boxes you haven’t opened in five, or maybe even ten years, and have NO IDEA what’s inside. Chances are, they are not that important to you.

Check out: 5 MINIMALIST TIPS You Can Try Today!

Small and Steady Wins the Race

Small changes do make a difference. Cleaning out the clutter in just one room, or closet, or even just one junk drawer, can bring a great feeling of relief. Consistency is key. Just like with EVERYTHING else in your life, developing even the smallest habit depends on your ability to repeat that habit, and stick with it. So, start with one drawer one week, and move on to another drawer the next and on and on, making it a weekly task to clean out one more area of the home. See 7 Minimalist Living Tips to Declutter Your Home.

The Law of Attraction

Do you remember how that junk drawer got started? It likely started with ONE thing that had no home, no place to go. So, it went into the random drawer. Then, the next time you weren’t sure where to put something you remembered the drawer with the other random item. The next thing you know, it’s a catch-all junk drawer. Mess begets mess.  Similarly, clean begets clean and clutter-free begets clutter-free.

As you clear spaces, other spaces also begin to clear. You may just find that cleaning out the junk drawer will lead to a cupboard, which leads to a fridge, which leads to a closet, which leads to a garage.

Image by gonghuimin468 from Pixabay

Stop Buying

Maybe the idea of mass decluttering is overwhelming or makes you feel anxious and stressed out. If that’s the case, forget about decluttering, at least for now, and just stop buying stuff.

The most common thing we hear is to declutter, declutter, declutter. This can be intimidating. A great way to ease into minimalism is to immediately begin purchasing with intent. Start thinking about the items you bring into your home. Do you absolutely need it? Can you get by without it? Is it a NEED or a WANT? The heart of minimalism is owning items that have a direct purpose and use.

Aim for Timelessness

Trends come and go. Fast fashion and trendy Instagram items drive us to purchase and then re-purchase 6 months later. It’s the feeling of needing those oh so precious –insert things you love to buy but don’t ACTUALLY need. Instead of following trends, aim for timelessness. Gone are the days of buying products for longevity, which has led us to a disposable society.  Time to start thinking long-term again.

Save the Planet with Minimalism

The great thing about thinking in the long-term, as far as products and purchases are concerned, is that it will directly impact the environment in a positive way. At the heart of minimalism is intention. The intention in both NOT purchasing items, as well as intention when making purchases. That means buying for life: quality and sustainability. 

Often these will go hand in hand, but not always. So, think about sustainability when assessing upcoming purchases.

Melissa Maker in her home

Benefit: Less Time Cleaning

Believe it or not, minimalism results in way less time spent cleaning. Sure, decluttering may sound like a daunting task but if you take your time and focus on not buying more stuff, then there actually becomes way less to clean in the long run. Plus, decluttered spaces are far easier to clean and keep clean.

Minimalism is Personal

Choosing a minimalist lifestyle is a choice that only you can make for yourself. People have their own paths. After reading this article, you may decide this is the perfect lifestyle for you, but if it’s not, that’s okay too. Just remember, minimalism is not meant to be a trend. It’s an ongoing LIFESTYLE. 

If you do decide to go down this path, be careful not to judge people who don’t understand what you’re doing, or why you’re doing it. Do it anyway, for you. Most importantly, don’t let others’ attitudes deter your progress.

One Final Note on Minimalism

There are divided views on what is considered a necessary item to own, but if that includes a piece of art or an item that immediately makes you feel good, keep it. Declutter with mindfulness and make all future purchases with intention. 

Good luck!

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Melissa Maker is an entrepreneur, cleaning expert, founder of Toronto’s most popular boutique cleaning service, and star of the Clean My Space channel on YouTube (but she still hates to clean!). Every week, Melissa delivers new videos dishing expert advice on cleaning products, tools, DIY substitutes, and practical, timesaving solutions to everyday problems. Melissa has appeared on the Today Show, and has been featured in InStyle, Real Simple, and Better Homes and Gardens.


  1. Durability and quality are key. I always try to buy high-quality items that will last so that way there is less waste and if, for example, the clothes I buy are high quality I find I’m more likely to wear them more often, which means I have less clothes total. I find I don’t miss having a whole wardrobe full of clothes that I don’t wear much, when I have a few items that I like wearing a lot.

  2. This article is very helpful for me as I tend to keep things and buy things that are memorable to my past. I plan to begin minimalism this week and will start slow and continue until I’m where I want to be. Thank you for your inspiring article.


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