** This post is sponsored by FindCreditUnions.com. All opinions are my own.
Spending more time at home during these past six months has reminded me about the importance of minimalism. I become anxious if my environment is full of clutter, and I don’t need the added chaos in the already-stressful world. When quarantine began, I was in home-improvement and decluttering mode. I took a break from this over the summer, but with the new season I am ready to declutter and minimize again. I’m sharing tips on being more minimalist and how minimizing has helped me and my family.
- Reuse what you have before purchasing something new. Need something? Before rushing to the store to buy a new one, look around for things you can reuse or repurpose for the occassion. Ask a friend, neighbor or family member if you can borrow an item or if they no longer want it. This saves money and the time to look for the new item. It also means fewer items in your home and fewer gift wrapping in landfills.
- Shop thrift stores or second-hand when you find you do need to make a clothing purchase. Or wait until retailers with ethically made and high-quality clothing have a major sale and budget/save for what you need ahead of time, if possible. Well-made items last longer and create less waste. They don’t require replacement as often and thus don’t create more clutter in the home. Earlier this year I wrote about how I wanted to buy better-quality clothing rather than cheap items that end up being clutter when they fall apart. I have continued to do this, although I haven’t purchased many clothing items this year since I’m not really going anywhere.
- Continously reassess the items in your home. As I clean, I notice which toys get played with. I notice which blankets we tend to use. I notice which cups and other utensils we reach for. This helps determine which things you can part with.
- Make some money while decluttering. We could all probably use some extra cash right now. Participate in community yard sales or flea markets (while wearing masks) to get paid for the items you want to declutter. Or list items on apps like Mercari, eBay, Poshmark, etc. We plan to participate in a sale soon.
- Organize what you have. Putting things in a place makes you realize what you have excess of and can help you save money by preventing you from buying repeats.
The lockdown/quarantine has also been a good time to analyze spending and relationships. Which friendships are worth investing in? Which services, subscriptions, activities can you let go of? How has time away from certain things or people made you feel? These are questions to ask yourself.
For more minimalism help, check out this blog post on how to be more minimalist on a budget. It offers insights and suggestions on how minimalism can decrease stress and help people gain control of their finances. Minimalism applies to all aspects of life, not just belongings. It also applies to relationships, priorities and budgeting. You can learn more about how to eliminate excess from your life. Also, remember, minimalism looks different for everyone.