The summer is over and schools are back in session. The temperature is dropping and the trees are beginning to change colors and shed their leaves. Trees do this to conserve energy. As we move into autumn, its time to follow the trees preservation method and conserve our own energy by shedding our own leaves. For this blog post, I write once again on the topic of minimalism in its effects on every day life. Specifically, how to reduce items and naturally influence the knack for being tidy, thus conserving your energy for the truly important things in life.
If you’re constantly frustrated with the mess in your house, the stress that wanting to tidy up all the time causes you, or maybe overwhelmed with needing to sort and purge, then lets figure out some ways to help you shed and conserve all of that stressful energy. I’m by no means a trending lifestyle guru, I’m just in a routine that I find beneficial, inspired by the ideals of minimalism philosophies. With these practices I don’t have a lot of the clutter items that often bog down many people.
Things I don’t have:
- Piles of junk mail
- Unused items such as clothes, shoes, kitchen tools, or linens
- Items in storage I might need one day
- Anything expired
- A junk drawer (inconceivable, I know!)
- Broken or ripped anything
- Cluttered surfaces
- Useless or meaningless knickknacks
I simply don’t have them. They’ve either been processed and tossed out or donated. I have six methods of staying organized and tidy that I’ve adopted over the years that I can attribute to minimalism and find to be very beneficial. Its just like learning any new skill for your job, you must retrain yourself into a new behavior. First, its very new but then after a while its routine and simply your modus operandi. My six methods can all tie into each other and are as follows:
Do it now
- How many times do you toss something aside and say to yourself that you’ll put it away later? Do it now while you remember. It can also relate to chores, errands, just things to do in general. Do them now, while they’re on your mind.
Touch it once
- This one particularly works for junk mail and paperwork. Don’t just bring it in and toss it on the counter, but rather sort it, file it, rip it and recycle it immediately. Three letters in the mail is easy, an accrued stack of 50 pieces tall is overwhelming. Bring in the mail and sort it immediately.
Reset the scene
- This one pertains to rooms. When you’re finished with an activity, make the room ready for the next time use. For example, never leave dirty dishes in the kitchen at the end of the night, don’t leave out toiletries on the bathroom counter in the morning, or leave work on a Friday with a messy desk. When finished with something, clear it up and leave the area ready for next time.
Once a season
- This one is good for clothes, coats, shoes, holiday decorations, and linens. In the transition time between seasons, sort through previous used items and prepare for the new season coming by donating and tossing items that no longer work for you.
- This one is in regard to all of the unused items you have stored away in your closets, attic, garage, and basement. It’s all the extra unused stuff that you’ve been given, inherited, or simply accumulated over the years. You need to be realistic on ever using these items. Sentiment and memories still exist without the items. Can the items better serve someone else? If so, then sell or donate them. If they’re unusable or worthless, ask yourself why you have them.
One in, One out
- This one relates to shopping. If you buy new shoes, toss out their predecessor pair. Did you buy new towels, don’t leave the old ones in the cupboard, donate them to animal shelters. Some people keep old towels in case of an emergency water leak. If you’ve ever had a leak, you know you move fast and won’t be thinking, “Oh, grab the old blue towels not the new ones” You grab whatever’s first visible to stop the flood. Simply toss out the old used up items once you buy new ones. This stops the accumulation of useless stuff at the source.
Lastly, many people may comment that their spouse or children wouldn’t go along with these efforts. If that’s the case then just focus on your items for which you’re responsible. You’ll feel better and then, hopefully seeing your success, they’ll feel inspired to join you.
Its OK, step by step, you’ll get there. Set small goals so not to create chaos, many people burn out by overdoing the attempt. Slowly, room by room it will happen.
Set yourself free and shed your leaves.
Thanks for reading, please join me again next time.
Sarah Daricilar, NCIDQ
Studio Owner & Interior Designer
Daricilar Design Studio – Millis, MA