As the winter season makes room for spring, it’s time to make more room in the space around us as well. Minimalism is the perfect way to make this years spring cleaning the most efficient one yet. Minimalist blog Easy Living Mom uses minimalism as a way to minimize the need for annual spring cleaning. By subscribing to a life style that naturally declutters the home, having to buckle down and sort through a house of junk is a burden eliminated from one’s life.
But HOW do I declutter?
It’s easier said than done, and even the term spring cleaning sounds more fun than what the practice actually entails. When you think of springtime cleaning, you envision bright, open rooms, sunlight, and low stress. Those not subscribing to minimalism don’t typically have the same experience. My apartment currently feels dark, cluttered, and I feel suffocated by the excess of stuff and lack of space when I walk in.
There are plenty of minimalist sites that will give you tips on decluttering your home, including ways to sort through piles of forgotten papers or deciding what clothing to donate. But minimalism doesn’t eliminate the annual burden of spring cleaning because of these quick tips, but rather does so by rewiring your practices that led to such a cluttered life in the first place. The question is not how do I declutter but rather how did I become so cluttered in the first place?
The pioneers of the movement, The Minimalists, agree that simply decluttering your space every spring cleaning will never work. They encourage aspiring minimalists to delve deeper into why we feel so attached to a scrap of paper or pair of jeans that no longer fit, that we are unable to part with it. We become cluttered because we are constantly applying a psychological attachment to even the most mundane objects. Five questions the blogger propose when faced with decluttering your space:
- When did I give so much meaning to possessions?
- What is truly important in life?
- Why am I discontent?
- Who is the person I want to become?
- How will I define my own success?
Becoming Minimalist shares the same perspective on decluttering as The Minimalists, offering Ten Principles to Help Anyone Clear Clutter . The principles encourage minimalists to overcome their attachment to material possessions, reevaluate what really adds value to their life, and let go of the things that don’t. The final principle on the list rings true for every minimalist blogger featured so far in my exploration of minimalism:
Do not waste your life on clutter.
Becoming Minimalist guest blogger, Colleen Madsen, of 365 Less Things, writes, “Every item you own takes time out of your life: time to manage it, clean it, repair it, and maintain it…Decide to sacrifice less of your precious life on the pursuit and ownership of stuff.”