What is Minimalist Living?
Minimalist living is about about living simply with less in a clutter free home.
Benefits of a Minimalist Home
- Less stressful. A minimalist home is calming. Clutter is a form of visual distraction, and everything in our vision pulls at our attention a little. The less clutter, the less visual stress we have.
- More appealing. You can make your home more appealing by making it more minimalist. Think about photos of homes that are cluttered, and photos of minimalist homes. The ones with almost nothing in them except some beautiful furniture, some nice artwork, and a very few pretty decorations, are the ones that appeal to most of us.
- Easier to clean. The more stuff you have, the more you have to keep clean, and the more complicated it is to clean around many objects. Think about how easy it is to clean an emptier room.
What a Minimalist Home Looks Like
This would vary, of course, depending on your taste and how extreme of a minimalist you want to be but here are some characteristics of a minimalist home:
- Minimal furniture. A minimalist room would only contain a few essential pieces of furniture. A living room, for example, might only have a couch, another chair or love seat, a coffee table, a minimalist entertainment stand (not a huge one with a bunch of shelves), a television, and a couple of lamps. It could even contain less (couch, chairs, and coffee table, for example). A bedroom might have a simple bed (or even just a mattress), a dresser, and perhaps a nightstand or book shelf.
- Clear surfaces. In a minimalist home, flat surfaces are clear, except for one or two decorations. There are not a whole bunch of knick knacks, and definitely not stacks of books or papers or other items.
- Accent decorations. A home completely clear of things would be a bit boring, actually. So instead of having a coffee table completely free of any objects, you could have a simple vase with a few flowers, for example. Or a clear desk might just have a family photo. An otherwise empty wall might have a tasteful piece of art.
- Quality over quantity. Instead of having a lot of stuff in your home, a minimalist would choose just a few really good things.
How to Create a Minimalist Home
There are actually no set steps to making your home minimalist, except to change your but here are some tips:
- One room at a time. Unless you’re just moving into a place, it’s hard to simplify an entire house at once. Focus on one room, and let that be your center of calm. Use it to inspire you to simplify the next room.
- Start with furniture. The biggest things in any room are the furniture, so you should always begin simplifying a room by looking at the furniture. The fewer pieces of furniture, the better Think of which furniture can be eliminated without sacrificing comfort and livability. Go for a few pieces of plain, simple furniture.
- Only the essentials. Whether looking at your furniture or anything else in the room, ask yourself if the item is truly essential. If you can live without it, get it out. Try to strip the room down to its essentials — you can always add a few choice items beyond the essentials later.
- Clear floors. Except for the furniture, your floors should be completely clear. Nothing should clutter the floor, nothing should be stacked, nothing should be stored on the floor.
- Clear walls. Some people hang all kinds of stuff on their walls. Clear your walls except for one or two simple pieces of nice artwork.
- Store stuff out of sight. You should store everything you need out of sight, in drawers and cabinets. Bookshelves can be used to store books but shouldn’t have much else except a few simple decorations.
- Declutter. If you are clearing flat surfaces and the floor, and storing stuff in cabinets and drawers, you’ll probably want to declutter your storage areas too.
- Simple artwork. To keep a room from being boring, you can put a simple painting, drawing or photo, framed with a subdued, solid color, on each wall if you want. Leave some walls bare if possible.
- Plain patterns. Solid colors are best for floor coverings, furniture, etc. Complex patterns, such as flowers or checkers, are visual clutter.
- Subdued colors. You can have a splash of bright color in the room, but most of the room should be more subtle colors – white is classic minimalist, but really any solid colors that don’t stress the eyes is good (earth colors come to mind, such as blues, browns, tans, greens).
- Edit and eliminate. When you’ve simplified a room, you can probably do more. Give it a couple of days, then look at everything with a fresh eye. What can be eliminated? Stored out of sight? What’s not essential? You can come back to each room every few months, and sometimes you’ll discover things you can simplify even more.
- Place for everything. In a minimalist house, it’s important that you find a place for everything, and remember where those places are. Where does you blender go? Give it a spot, and stick with it. Aim for logical spots that are close to where the thing is used, to make things more efficient, but the key is to designate a spot.
- Sit back, relax, and enjoy. Once you’ve simplified a room, take a moment to look around and enjoy it. It’s so peaceful and satisfying. This is the reward for your hard work