Whether you’re downsizing or simply getting ready to live in and explore a new area of the city, moving to a new house is the ideal opportunity to declutter, free yourself of possessions that are weighing you down, and embrace a more minimalist lifestyle.
But while the prospect of minimalism is an attractive one for many of us, it isn’t always easy to change our habits or our mindset. So, if you’re looking for realistic tips, tricks and advice for how to enjoy the serenity and sense of calm that minimalism can offer, you’re in the right place.
Step One: Evaluate Your Belongings
Although this can feel somewhat overwhelming at first, your road to minimalism must begin with the systematic evaluation of everything you own. Ideally, everything you own should be placed into one of three categories: sentimental possessions, essentials, and non-essentials. From here, you will be able to clearly identify which possessions are important to you and which aren’t.
When doing this for the first time, you will likely end up with a lot of things in the sentimental and essential categories. There’s nothing necessarily wrong with this, however, you may find it helpful to go through those items a second or even a third time to ensure that you’re truly only keeping things you need, use, or have a personal meaning for you.
Step Two: Declutter
Whether it’s clothes we don’t wear, decades-old documents relating to loans or credit cards we don’t have any more or decorative items that just don’t spark the joy they once did, we’ve all got something in our homes that we can declutter.
One method is to split items into four boxes labelled keep, sell, discard, and donate. By completing this process before your moving team arrives, you’ll find that everything progresses much more efficiently, and you won’t need to find new places to store unnecessary items when you start unpacking in your new home.
Step Three: Pack Strategically
Packing your belongings also provides another opportunity to part with items that you no longer want or need. It is the ideal time to think about whether you want to spend time packing and unpacking each item, and then finding a place for it in your new home. You can also enlist the help of friends and family here, who can help you stay accountable throughout the entire process. This can prevent packing burnout and ensure that you aren’t simply shoving items into a box to deal with on the other end of your move.
Step Four: Look For Inspiration
Whether it’s looking online or in interior magazines, having somewhere to collect images of minimalist homes that inspire you is a great motivational tool that can help you make those tough decluttering decisions. Looking at inspiring images can also allow you to really imagine what your new space might feel like and the sense of calmness that will wash over you every time you step into your new, clutter-free home.
Step Five: Maximise Your New Space
If your new property is smaller than your previous home, you may find it beneficial to come up with creative ways to maximise the complete footprint of your new space. There are various ways to do this, including investing in pieces of furniture that serve several purposes, such as a sofa bed or a storage ottoman. Additionally, you can also think about ways to use the vertical space in your home by installing wall-mounted storage solutions or floating shelves to display some of your sentimental belongings.
Step Six: Maintain Your Minimalist Mindset
Making a house into a home is one of the most exciting parts of moving to a new space, however, that does mean that it can be easy to get carried away when it comes to buying new home furnishings and accessories. Maintaining a minimalist mindset when shopping or browsing for home decor is key to avoiding ending up with more clutter than you started with.
One of the best ways to reign in your shopping habits is to keep a list of things you need. This means that when you’re out shopping, you can stick to your list and avoid picking up any superfluous items that you will have to pack away, cart to and from your moving van, and unpack in your new home.
Minimalism doesn’t mean throwing away everything you own and living in an empty, white house. Plus, you don’t even need to go all-in on the minimalism trend to benefit from the occasional declutter, as this alone will help to ensure you don’t have things in your home that are just sitting around and gathering dust. Your home should be your sanctuary, so by making sure that you’re surrounded by things you love and mean something to you, you can’t go far wrong.