8 minimalist methods and how to get started decluttering today

I hope that my post on minimalism peeked your interest and left you wanting to hear more! Today I want to talk about some minimalists and their methods. As well as explain my own approaches. Like I said there is no wrong way to minimize your belongings, tasks, habits, or negative influences. For most people getting started is the hardest part. It can be very overwhelming and you can feel unsure of how to go about it. So let me start with telling you about some of the minimalist methods that I know and some pros and cons to each.

Marie kondo –

The konmari method is very feng shui! Marie Kondo asks that you take everything you own and touch, smell, hold, and wear (if you can) to determine if the items "spark joy". I think this is really neat method. You are actually deciding what to keep and not what to get rid of. I can definitely see how it could work well for a single person. But in a home of 5 like myself I obviously can't get rid of everything that doesn't spark joy. Sometimes this would be people ! Haha kidding but you get it. The other con to this method would be that it's very time-consuming.

Joshua Feilds Millburn and Ryan nicodemus-

These guys are the minimalists from the minimalist documentary on Netflix. They like to play with they call the minimalist game! It's calendar based and you play for 30 or 31 days depending on the month. On the first day of the month you get rid of one item. On the second day you get rid of two. You keep going and on the 18th day 18 things, 23rd 23 things, and on the 30th a whopping 30 things!!! Just the thought of this sends me into a panic attack! But if you're really daring and you want to get rid of a lot of stuff in a quick way this is the game for you. They encourage you to play this with your friends and family. Which I also think it's a really cool idea to get everyone involved. Still though this is way above my skill level and I will not be playing this game anytime soon!

These two gentlemen have also come up with the packing party method. It's a tad extreme but you basically box up everything you own. Over the course of a month the things that you need you take out of the boxes and you don't put them back. At the end of the month whatever you have not pulled out of the boxes you pack up and donate, sell, or throw away. I think this method could work well if you maybe did one room at a time. Or if you were going to move then this would be a great way to unpack at your new house or apartment. It seems like a lot of work but I Think that it would really empower you and your decision to get rid of things. It would help you be very confident in your throw aways.

The four box method

I'm not sure where this started but you make four piles or use four boxes. Labeling them keep, trash, give away, and sell. You then decide to put items in the appropriate category. You could do this room by room. You do this in categories like clothing, utensils, DVDs, books, art supplies, etc. you get it. I think this is honestly the best method for a beginner. Keep in mind that some rooms would take longer than others. Some categories of items will be easy and some hard. You could set out to do this in a day or you could just leave your boxes up and put things in them at random. For instants I have a box in my room that's for clothes I can donate. I will stick the boys clothes and my clothes in there as I deem that we don't need them. When it's full I take it and donate it. But I will say that when it comes to clothes I am not a very good minimalist but I'm working on it!

Oprah Winfrey

I bet you didn't know she was a minimalist! Surprise! No I really don't know if she is but I do know that she gave this method notoriety. It just pertains to closets but it's nifty. You take all of your hangers and you face them the same way. As you wear items of clothing you put them back on the hanger facing the opposite direction. All the items that did not get worn over the course of a month are then donated or sold. I think this is a great method for decluttering your closet. Provided you are not like me and you have enough hangers to actually hang up all of your clothes. Once again yes I have a clothes problem. Years of working in retail have done damage in my house. Anyway, for a normal person with a normal amount of excess clothing this really is a great way to declutter your closets.

Give one item a day away.

This is definitely a little slower of a method but over the course of the year it would be 365 items which is not small. You basically just pick one item a day to get rid of. If you are wanting to make a bigger impact this would not be the best method to choose. But if you're wanting to ease into this whole thing this would be a great way to go about it.

Fill a trash bag

I have definitely used this method a time or two. Basically you just grab a trash bag and you try to fill it with stuff as quickly as you can. You could go all around the entire house or you could do this room by room. You can use a large trash bag or a small trash bag, whatever you deem appropriate for the situation.

Leo Babauta

I really love this guys approaches! He is really fascinating and his story is very inspiring. He has written several books and is also a fellow blogger. He has a method called give yourself five minutes a day! Head over and pick a number! Try all 18 I know I'll be trying them all next month! I'll also be blogging about them!

So now to add to my longest blog post ever! Let me tell you some of my approaches. We started in the kitchen because I don't really have emotional attachments to the items in that room. It was a lot easier for me to let go of things in the kitchen. Starting with an easier space allowed for quicker gratification. After finishing this easier room I was excited and amped up to continue minimizing my belongings. It gave me the confidence I needed to continue pillaging through my house!

Another thing I do is if there are items that I'm just not sure I want to live without I'll put them in a box and take the box to the basement. After a while I get the box back out and I can then clearly go through it and decide if I need the items. At this point I usually end up getting rid of everything because I obviously haven't needed it. But for someone like me that adds emotional value to her belongings sometimes taking some time away from the items really puts their value in perspective.

There are also some number game methods like challenge 333 and the 12 12 12 challenge. This blog post is long enough that if you are interested in those go ahead and look them up!

I really hope that you found something in this post helpful or encouraging. If you have other minimizing methods that have worked for you I would love to hear about them! Leave me a comment or send me an email. As always thanks for reading! Stay tuned for more!!

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