If there was ever a year to notice necessary improvements in a home, 2020 was the one. The past year was headlined by a pandemic that facilitated multiple shelter-in-place and quarantine orders. This left millions of individuals cooped up on the homefront for an indefinite period. For many, it didn’t take long before it became apparent that their living space wasn’t exactly in “tip-top shape.”
If you’ve been facing down a sub-par home for the past year or more, it’s time to do something about it. Fortunately, you don’t need to take on a huge DIY home improvement project to do so. Here are a few simple-yet-effective ways that you can use minimalism to improve your living space quickly and with minimal effort.
The specifics of minimalism vary from one place to the next. However, several major themes tend to present themselves, particularly when you’re looking for ways to actually apply minimalism in your life.
If you specifically want to address your living space concerns with minimalistic concepts, it’s important to equip yourself with certain questions to ask yourself as you go along:
- Is each item in a room essential? Most minimalists steer hard into the essential aspect of minimalism. Don’t keep things that you don’t need.
- Does each item or room spark joy? “Sparking joy” is typically associated with the KonMari method (which is technically different from minimalism). However, the fluid nature of minimalism’s definition means we’re going to allow it here. Don’t get rid of things that bring true value to your life. Everything else can go.
- Is a room functional or cluttered? Decluttering is a critical aspect of minimalism. A cleared and organized space allows focus and prevents stress.
These are a few good questions to get you started. As you learn more of the ins and outs of minimalism, come up with questions to help guide you through the process as well.
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In a mass-produced materialistic world, minimalism stands as a beacon not just of simplicity but of quality as well. Often making the “minimalist” choice doesn’t just mean having less. It also includes choosing the best objects to fill your space.
For instance, when it comes to decorating, look for natural materials — which also happens to be one of the hallmarks of the Oriental style. For instance, a solid wooden bookshelf is going to look nicer, last longer, and provide better vibes for a room than if you simply purchase one made of pressboard.
While quality is important, that doesn’t mean everything in your living space has to be new. On the contrary, reusing and recycling items are central concepts to the minimalist lifestyle.
Why? Because they embrace a mindset that deliberately rejects things like consumerism and materialism. Rather than simply buying new when you have a need, look for ways to repurpose things already within your home to cover all of your essential items.
Build a coffee table out of old pallets. Use a shirt for rags. Whatever the situation, don’t feel the need to keep unnecessary items but don’t get rid of them only to purchase something similar as a replacement, either.
Decluttering is an absolute must if you want a minimalist living space. No matter how important each item in a room might be, if it’s left lying around in a slovenly manner, it’s only going to compete with your minimalist desires.
Go through each area of your living space and declutter carefully and thoughtfully. Consider each item. Is it unnecessary? Then repurpose, donate, or give it away. Does it have a purpose in your life? Then find a specific home for it and keep it there from now on.
This can be an exhausting, emotional, and drawn-out process. If you have a large space to declutter, make sure to do so in small spurts.
Typically minimalism and storage seem to be at odds with one another. Things like hoarding quickly come to mind when storage is discussed. The truth is, though, if you’re going to maintain a clear space, you need storage.
With that said, you should be very deliberate about your storage. For instance, once you’ve reduced your current stock of clothing, set up a dedicated space in your bedroom, closet, or even your laundry room where you can organize what’s left. Repurpose school lockers to store shoes and coats in your mudroom. Go through your pantry regularly to purge and reorganize. You get the idea.
The coronavirus pandemic threw a wrench into practically every area of life. In many cases, though, it was the homefront that got the short end of the stick. Families spent endless months working, learning, relaxing, and resting in the same space.
If you’re feeling tired out by your living space, it may be time to address the issue through the quietly effective power of minimalism. So review the suggestions above. Identify what areas of your home are in the most need of help. Then start applying your new minimalist knowledge. Before you know it, your space will feel fresh, vibrant, and full of newfound life.