Minimalism began in the 1960s in New York City as an art movement. It attempted to explore the essential elements of an art form by stripping away personal elements in order to reveal the artist’s objective.
Minimalism as a lifestyle
Minimalism as a lifestyle is a philosophy about getting rid of excess stuff and living life based on experiences rather than worldly possessions. In recent years, there has been a push towards minimalism, especially during the pandemic when we learned to live with less.
Clutter and its link to stress and anxiety
Research published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology found that clutter has a negative impact on overall well-being. It also increases stress, decreases productivity, and can lead to unhealthy habits such as overeating junk food and procrastinating.
Eliminate “things” that do not matter
Are you ready to start tossing out things in order to make room for what matters the most? This expert guide from AARP tells you exactly what to toss.
- Just-in-case items: To Minimalists, “just in case” are three dangerous words. According to expert Fields Milburn, if you look around your house, you’ll likely find thousands of items you’re storing “just in case” you might need them in some nonexistent hypothetical future. These items can usually be replaced, if need be, for less than $20 and in less than 20 minutes. The exceptions are emergency items like first aid kits, which you should definitely keep handy.
- Photos and paper: “It’s about saving less,” says Courtney Carver, author of Be More with Less and creator of the minimalist fashion challenge called Project 333. Give yourself permission to get rid of duplicate, similar or blurry photos, coupons or mailers you aren’t using, bills and statements you can get online, old newspapers and magazines, and things you’ve ripped out of a magazine.
- Actual trash: Empty the trash around the house. Empty your wastebaskets, shred piles of papers you’ve been meaning to shred and get rid of the junk mail piling up on your kitchen counter.
- Damaged items: Holding onto a favorite mug that’s chipped or necklace that’s fallen apart? It’s time to let them go. The same goes for things with are missing parts such as plastic storage containers with missing lids.
- Extras/duplicates: You always use your favorites but still have extras for a variety of reasons. Items that fall into this category can include coffee cups, measuring cups and spoons, wooden spoons, wire whisks, handbags, sunglasses and pens.
- Stuff you never use: “If you are holding on thinking, it’s not hurting anything, reframe and ask yourself how it’s helping and contributing to your life,” Carver suggests. “If it’s not, you don’t have room for it.” This often includes things like random spices and sauces, uncomfortable shoes, empty frames and containers, books you’ve already read or never plan on reading, junk drawer items (or the whole drawer), knickknacks, freebies or gifts you were given but don’t like.
- An abandoned hobby: Be realistic about which hobbies you’ve moved on from and toss the related materials you’re not using.
- Items from a past phase: If you don’t have a dog anymore and don’t plan on getting a new one, give yourself permission to get rid of the dog bed, bowl and leash. And if you’re retired, pack up the majority of your professional clothes and office supplies. This will give you more space for items that serve the phase of life you’re in right now.
Getting ready to move or sell your house?
According to Joshua Green, a moving industry professional, one good way to declutter your home without getting overwhelmed is to use the 12-month rule that many moving experts advocate.
That decluttering rule states that if you haven’t used an item in the last 12 months, then you don’t really need it. You’d be better off selling it, gifting it, or donating it so that you can lower your transportation cost.
RE/MAX Metro realtor Estelia Mesimer agrees with the 12-Month Rule. It’s a must for sellers, she says, as they prepare to put their home on the market. She advises clients to get rid of things such as old shoes, clothes, toys, broken or worn out appliances and tools, books – things that may have served you well in the past but now are ready for the recycle bin. Buyers like to see neat, roomy closets.
Love People, Use Things: Because the Opposite Never Works, by Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus
How to Declutter Your Home before Moving (7 Easy Steps), by Joshua Green
The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, by Marie Kondo
St. Petersburg Communities
If you’re interested in any of these of communities or live in one of them and are thinking of selling, call Estelia today!
Greater Pinellas Point
Historic Old Northeast
Historic Roser Park
Isla del Sol