Minimalism Is About More Than Decluttering
Minimalism is more than just decluttering your stuff. There are two major factors involved:
- The mental aspect of being ready to clear your space.
- The physical aspect of actually removing items from your space.
There are a plethora of resources for minimalism on the internet and in libraries, but this list only includes the resources I have personally used and the resources I have found are the most beneficial to me on my minimalism journey. I broke them down into the following categories:
- Doing – the physical act of becoming minimalist
Minimalist Inspiration For Listening (Listening)
This podcast has a variety of personal development topics, including minimalism. I highly recommend adding it to your library: Optimal Living Daily: Personal Development.
The Cohesive Home podcast focuses on living by your values and living a life that suits your family’s personal needs, goals, and desires. These ladies each have a great story, great perspective and excellent ideas as to how to incorporate minimalism into your own daily life.
Minimalist Inspiration To Read (Reading)
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo. Her method requires the handling of each object in your home and determining if the item “sparks joy.”
While “spark joy” is what this book is most well-known for, my favorite takeaway from this book was the idea that by decluttering what I own, I am letting go of the person I once was and am making space for the person I am becoming. I also value the idea that somebody else can find great use in items that I have and don’t use. By holding on to these unused items, I am keeping a blessing or treasure from someone else who would put the item to good use and possibly move them forward towards their goals and dreams.
The Joy of Less: A Minimalist Guide to Declutter, Organize, and Simplify by Francine Jay and her blog, miss minimalist. Her perspective on the items you choose to keep really spoke to me and even made me laugh out loud. This book is the one that enabled me to recycle boxes of old planners and journals, which was a very difficult area for me. I spent a lot of time creating art and words in those journals that I felt were important to keep. I realized that if someone were to actually read them, I would be mortified.
Chasing Slow: Courage to Journey Off the Beaten Path by Erin Loechner and her blog Design for Mankind.
“Without grace, minimalism is another metric for perfection. Chasing slow is still a chase,” is one of the favorite quotes from this book. I found comfort in her writing and the way she describes the honest struggle to find the balance and calm we are all searching for. I really liked the person I was while I was reading this book, if that makes any sense. Do you have books like that? You’re transformed into a better person while you’re reading the book? And then the book ends and you long to hold on to this new person you evolved into, but it feels fleeting.
The More of Less: Finding the Life You Want Under Everything You Own by Joshua Becker and his blog, Becoming Minimalist. In his book, he makes it very clear that holding on to material objects is keeping you from the life you should be living. I don’t know if anyone could read this book and resist becoming a minimalist. It has changed the way I see most everything.
Minimalism For Your Viewing Pleasure (Watching)
The documentary that The Minimalists put together is pretty extraordinary. It really instilled a need inside of me to rise above consumerism. It’s available on Netflix and is called Minimalism: A Documentary About The Important Things.
Another movie I found very insightful is Happy. This movie explores what makes people happy and why people who often have less in a materialistic manner have a greater sense of inner peace and happiness.
Consequently, you can read about minimalism and listen to podcasts until the cows come home, but thinking about minimalism isn’t getting you any closer to being minimalist. You have to put in the work and remove physical items from your life.
Becoming Minimalist (Doing – the physical act)
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Especially relevant, is moving on to the larger items that are taking up the most real estate in your space.
Using Donation to Declutter
Have clothing, housewares, or home decor you need to get rid of?
Did you just read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo? Did you just watch The Minimalist Documentary?
If you have stuff to get rid of, consider donating. People are in need of the items you don’t need anymore. You know the saying – “one person’s trash is another person’s treasure!”
Donating Your Things
Don’t underestimate the power of donation. There are people who need what you don’t. Many people hesitate to donate because of the money they have already spent and therefore keep items in their home longer than desired. Sometimes, getting rid of something for free outweighs the trouble and time it takes to sell something.
Not only is it super simple to take something to a donation drop-off center or box, you can also find a donation center that will come to your house and pick up your items. I have a donation center come by at the end of every month for a pickup.
Here is where you can find the donation centers close to where you live:
Just a few minutes ago, I was in the front yard and saw a white van drive by that had Simple Recycling written on the side. I googled “simple recycling” and found a company that recycles, resells, and exports clothing that you no longer have a use for. They send you a bag to fill up with clothes and they’ll come by to pick it up. Free of charge! I haven’t had a chance to use this service yet (obviously), but it sounded like something worth adding to this list and trying out. Maybe this weekend, after the garage sale.
Sell Your Stuff
Craigslist is probably the most popular way to sell things but I have steered away from it, mostly for security. I don’t feel comfortable meeting face-to-face with random people I have met online. I have also had issues with planning to meet people at a certain time and place and having them flake on me. While that isn’t the worst thing that could happen, I have a family and a kid and I don’t have time to run around on pointless and wasteful errands around town.
eBay has been great for me, personally. There is definitely a learning curve and there are required fees that I didn’t know about at first. eBay makes it really easy to print postage out at home and I love being able to mail something to someone instead of having to actually meet with them face-to-face.
LetGo is another service I have used successfully. It is extremely simple to use (much easier than eBay) but there is the face-to-face factor which I don’t love. However, if I am really trying to get rid of things, I am up for posting the items in as many places as possible for the most exposure.
Facebook Groups is a good place to sell items because you can choose to sell in your local area and you can pick which groups you want to use. I have had limited luck with Facebook, but I have heard from other sources that it has the potential to be the best way.
Did you buy some clothes that looked great in the store but still haven’t made it out of your closet? Or maybe they just didn’t work out the way you thought they would. You can always visit a local consignment shop or donate them, but have you heard of ThredUp? It’s an online consignment shop – they send you a bag, you fill it up and send it back. There is also the option to have them donate for you. Seriously, it has never been so easy to get stuff OUT of your house.
This podcast has a summary of ways to get rid of items and how each method works.
More Minimalism Resources
You can find so many wonderful resources out there for minimalist inspiration, and articles and essays on the mental space required to become minimalist. Becoming Minimalist is so much more a mental process and paradigm shift than it is a physical process.
If you are looking for more minimalist material, I post minimalist resources and inspiration on The Family Fun Tour Facebook page on most Mondays.
If you like this list, please share it with someone who could use the resources – I also update this list as I find more resources to add, so please check back!
Do you have any favorite minimalism resources that you would recommend? Please mention them in the comments!
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