The Konmari method popularized by Marie Kondo some time back is a facet of minimalism and this minimalist lifestyle trend has been growing in popularity since the success of the Netflix series. Adopting a minimalist lifestyle requires a lot of changes and decluttering in every aspect of your life and your home environment makes up a very big component of this lifestyle. I am no minimalist myself, but I can certainly see the charm of a minimalistic home. Although some may think that a minimalistic home will be boring and dull, it can actually be very visually appealing and fun while retaining a sense of calmness and serenity.
Here are some benefits of a minimalist home which may inspire you to start decluttering your work desk back at home.
Fewer distractions and more focus
Having tons of clutter and items scattered around your living space that are shouting for your attention will result in your focus being split among different things. That essay that requires you an hour to pull together? You might find yourself spending double the time because of the visual clutter around you. These distractions make you less efficient and contribute to your accumulated stress. A minimalist home, on the other hand, is calming; with fewer things strewn around in your field of vision.
Simplicity is key to an appealing home
Recall all the interior design magazines that you’ve seen before. It is likely that the first images that appear in your head are clean and simple designs that bear striking resemblance to the simplicity aspect of a minimalist home. It’s no rocket science – we generally have a preference for cleaner and uncomplicated looks that are easier on the eyes and our minds to process. You can transform your home into a more appealing living space just by taking the minimalist route.
- Less maintenance and cleaning time
With only your necessities and some of your guilty pleasures in your living space, a minimalist home is usually free of pieces of furniture that bring no value to your life. Save the time and effort to dust off the accumulated dirt of the bookshelf that you basically use to hold holiday trinkets from god-knows-where.
The key concept to achieving a minimalist home is to remove items that you do not need or feel extremely attached to. Depending on how extreme you imbibe this concept, the results may vary. These are the general characteristics of a minimalist home that may guide you in your pursuit of a simpler lifestyle:
- Essentials only! As mentioned, furniture that is not necessary for your day-to-day life should not stay. You can make some exceptions to items of sentimental or entertainment value such as your cherished vinyl collection and turntable. Exercise some self-discipline and discretion when it comes to this point.
- Clean and uncluttered surfaces. Flat surfaces such as your dining table and work desk should be generally free of items that you rarely interact with.
- Accent decorations. A minimalist home does not need to be boring. You can still decorate your living space with meaningful furniture such as plants or a painting that resonates with you. However, remember to keep the concept of simplicity in mind and not overdecorate. Everything in moderation, please.
- Quality over quantity. Choose to keep the piece of duplicated furniture that you use more often. Consider keeping just a sofa rather than multiple single-seat armchairs.
Now that you have understood the general idea of a minimalist home, here’s how you can kickstart your minimalist lifestyle, starting from your living environment:
One room at a time
Do not be overly ambitious and attempt to declutter your entire home in a day. Decluttering is hard work and time consuming, and you might burn yourself out if you have unrealistic decluttering goals. We suggest simplifying one room at a time and only moving on to the next one once you are satisfied with the outcome of the room that you started out with. The whole process might take some time but it is important to stick to it and be realistic about how much decluttering you can achieve in your spare time.
- Keep essential furniture – Furniture takes up the bulk of the space in any room and removing furniture that you obviously have outgrown or have no use for can immediately help to free up plenty of space.
- Clear floors and surfaces – We do not recommend having rugs or carpets on your floor. More importantly, no items should be lying on the floor. Ideally, they should be placed on a desk if it is something that you use often or stored properly and tucked away in the storeroom; or given away depending on your usage of said item. This logic applies to all elevated surfaces like desks and shelves.
- Clear walls – Similar to the previous point, avoid hanging too many photographs, paintings or stray post-its on walls too. Keep them clean and free of visual distractions.
- Store stuff out of sight – Stored items should be completely out of sights, such as in drawers, cabinets or the storeroom.
Subdued colours and simple patterns
All furniture should be of a dull, solid colour; monochrome and earthy tones are great colour choices. If you prefer patterns, get ones that are not overly eye-catching as they can be visual distractions. This applies to curtain or blind choices as well.
Choose wisely when it comes to decorations that you wish to place around your living space to bring some life and character to your home. It is okay to go for brighter colour choices for these decorations. Flowers and plants in a classy vase are great decoration choices for that natural touch in your home. Essentially, you should keep the overall number of decorations moderate.
Revisit your simplified spaces
Once you have eased into your newly simplified living space, it is good to continue to push the boundaries of the level of minimalism that you are comfortable with. You could probably do without certain items now that you have started your simpler lifestyle. Keep this up every few months and you will find yourself living an optimal minimalistic life; completely free of external distractions.
People with hoarding tendencies may find it hard to give away their items and opt to store their items in storage spaces instead. If this sounds like you, you might consider decluttering your storage areas to eliminate items that you have no attachment to. Ultimately, as a minimalist, you’d want to live a life without relying on unnecessary items.
Simplifying a room is tough work. As such, you deserve to celebrate your progress towards a peaceful and minimalistic life every now and then. If you are in need of new furniture to kickstart your journey towards a clutter-free life, you might want to do some research.
After all, we may not always know what’s included in a bathroom suite or a minimalistic living room. When you’re done with all that, you’ll be ready to start a stress-free and more productive life!