Many minimalist homemakers focus on de-cluttering the home, but few tell you how the heck you’re supposed to keep it clear and free. Being mindful every day is a challenge in and of itself, which can make it difficult to continuously practice minimalism at home.
As an avid traveler, itineraries and lists fill my brain from dawn to dusk. While I take in a beautiful sunset across the world, my body challenges my brain to stop and take in the present moment with all my five senses. You’d think I’d be more organized with everything my mind must keep straight on a regular basis, but chaos offers its own beauty: opportunity to look at life under a lens of simplicity. Every mess presents a chance for change.
Most people feel petrified when it comes to change, and like change, clutter is inevitable when not approached with mindfulness. Sticking with a few mindful habits keep me in the present moment and help me practice minimalism at home. It keeps me ready to battle clutter and maintain a minimalist household while leading a simpler lifestyle.
When your tap barely lets you fill your cup for hot tea, you need to form a new dish-washing habit.
One way I practice minimalism at home is by dish-washing. It gives me a break from the rest of the world and reminds me of what I need to stop controlling. Where are you when doing chores? If you are immersed in stress and not at home in your body, you miss out on how mindfully approaching mundane tasks boosts your feelings of inspiration.
I also realized I didn’t need all the appliances. A big soup pot easily substitutes as a large mixing bowl. Doing the dishes provides me with a mindful moment and helps me realize I don’t need all the extra stuff to be happy.
While it’s fun to imagine myself as a singing and swaying Disney princess who has the ability to call songbirds and mice to do my cleaning for me — it’s not going to happen. I can still enjoy myself and move my body while I clear a space with a mini de-cluttering dance party.
A way to practice minimalism at home is to imagine each room has a mood and choose a song to move to while clearing the clutter. Use the motivational energy of the song to move your mind and body into action, de-cluttering your inner and outer worlds. Keep your counter tops clean and make sure laundry stays in the laundry basket or play your favorite song in the morning while you make yourself a healthy breakfast.
Having everything in place makes each item easier to find, convenient for cleaning and maintaining your household. It sounds boring, though. What about: “Every item in its place with purpose,” or at least that’s the underlying meaning I use to practice minimalism at home.
What purpose does this item have? Does it best serve me here? If not here, then where? I easily de-clutter where a tough choice about what to release would normally challenge me. Why line my walls with items I don’t care about, that I must lug around when I move? Goodbye stress, and hello mindfulness with purpose and peace.
When you travel, bills and junk mail accumulate. I need to pay my bills on time to keep the lights on, so I subscribe to paperless billing and notifications on my phone. My bills come to me as emails and status alerts via company apps. Some bank apps allow you to set bill reminders along with your automated payments.
An interesting way to practice minimalism at home is to unsubscribe from postal junk mail by registering at the Direct Marketing Association’s (DMA) website, and you only pay a processing fee that’s cheaper than a latte to banish paper clutter for ten years. Choose what you want to receive. You can fill out a mail-in form, too, but online offers the faster solution. I’m okay with sacrificing one drip coffee for paperless peace of mind.
Organizing and responding to paper mail can stress you out and adds clutter and chaos to life. If there’s an app for that, why not? Plus, it makes me eco-friendlier in practice.
I fill my bookshelves with curated works of poetry, essays, photos and knickknacks from my travels that matter to me — every item has its place with purpose. I find my keys and navigate my daily life mindfully while at home.
Focus on ways to practice minimalism at home daily, and your life and home will de-clutter itself and stay that way. It doesn’t hurt to have a little help from technology, either. See chaos and clutter as an opportunity, release control and find freedom and space in your life through mindful minimalism.