Fastest Way to Become Minimalist
If there’s one thing I read in every single “how to become a minimalist” article, it’s that it takes time. Almost every single article says to start small and just start decluttering.
Maybe I’m just impatient, but the benefits of minimalism are so huge that I feel like taking it slow is basically just time wasted. Especially if you’re becoming minimalist with a family, the perks are so many that I want to encourage everyone to fast track their progress like we did.
If you have a spare weekend, get ready. It IS possible to become a minimalist or even a minimalist family in just two days.
First of all, let’s start at the emotional roadblock that almost every minimalist has to conquer before moving forward.
Let’s address the fact that there isn’t really a definition of “minimalist”, so there’s no real goal to get to except self-imposed ones.
If you’ve taken minimalism for a test drive and have decided beyond the shadow of a doubt that minimalism is for you, let’s plow forward and tackle this once and for all!
How to Become Minimalist Fast
What you’re NOT going to do – organize.
We’re going to start right where you are and go one room at a time with two things, a donation box and a trash bag.
My best advice is to start in the bathroom.
You can easily tackle a bathroom in an hour or less.
Purge old or expired beauty products, towels that are torn or discolored, things you know you’ll never use.
Be generous with your donation bag, especially in the bathroom. Lots of women’s or homeless shelters will gladly take anything you decide you don’t want.
Especially unopened makeup, toiletries, and styling products.
Make a list of every area in your home: living room, entryway, bathrooms, etc.
You’re going to set a 25 minute timer for each room, and bust your booty to get through that room in that short amount of time.
Starting at the doorway, work your way clockwise with your trashbag first.
Throw away anything that’s expired, damaged, or anything that wouldn’t realistically serve a purpose for someone else. This includes things like monogram-ed items.
This should take only 3-5 minutes tops.
Next, go through that room with the goal of filling your donation box as full as possible.
It would be AWESOME to have so many donation boxes that you can’t fit them all in your car at once.
Go through each drawer quickly and grab out everything you can’t imagine parting with.
Everything that’s left, goes into the donation box.
Let me say that again…
When you’re going through your things, pull out only the things you use regularly or absolutely love.
Otherwise, what happens?
You leave the things in the drawer or cabinet that you don’t quite know what to do with or the things that you think you might use someday.
When you pull out the things you love, you’ll have an arm load of items worthy of staying in your newly minimized house.
Everything else can be donated to someone else that can love it and use it.
A Word About Selling
When you’re tackling your home, you’ll likely find tons of things you regret spending money on.
I am here to tell you that even though you spent money on it, donating or throwing it away will not get your money back.
You know what else won’t get your money back?
Leaving it to collect dust in a closet or drawer where you’re sure to feel remorse every time you notice it.
If you know you won’t use it (and I mean honestly won’t use it. Not like “oh I might use that one day”… No, if it’s not your favorite leave in conditioner or your current shade of foundation) it needs to go.
If, however, you have things you know you can easily sell on Facebook Marketplace, set them aside in a designated corner.
We’re going to have a “listing blitz” later.
How to Ruthlessly Purge
If you want to be a true minimalist, look for reasons to get rid of things instead of reasons to keep it.
There is no reason to keep a spare appliance or clothes that don’t currently fit.
Go through each room clockwise and ruthlessly stuff those donation and garbage bags.
The benefits of moving through this process as quickly as possible are too numerous to list.
I love the movement Marie Kondo started with her book, but the last thing I want you to do is hold every single one of your items to determine if it sparks joy or not.
The truth is, we live in a consumer society.
If, on the off chance, you get rid of something and need another one later, the odds are hugely in your favor that you’ll be able to find a new or used one in literally minutes.
Don’t let things you didn’t even remember you had continue to take up space in your life.
Continue to move through each room of your home purging things as quickly as you can.
Your goal is to get though your entire house in one weekend, remember.
The Parkinsons theory applies here.
If you give yourself an hour to finish doing dishes, it’s going to take you an hour.
If you give yourself 30 minutes, you’ll get that same task done in 30 minutes.
You can minimize your entire house in one weekend with the right mindset (and enough black garbage bags.)
If you start getting caught up in sentimental items or in indecision, take a break. Remind yourself why you’re doing this and all that you’re gaining by losing all of the extras.
My Secret for Making Money on Facebook – The Listing Blitz
I’m a mommy to four awesome little ones.
I don’t have time to methodically take pictures of everything from every angle when I come across something I think I may be able to sell.
Instead, I make a box of items and keep it in the garage.
Every so often, usually when the box is getting full or everyone happens to be asleep at the same time (almost never), I have a “listing blitz.”
I take 2 or 3 pictures of every time in our living room in front of a white wall we have where there also happens to be good lighting.
Refuse to agonize over or retake pictures!
Get the pictures taken, list the item for less than you think it’s worth (a quick marketplace search will show what others are selling the same item for) and post that sucker.
Why list it for less than it’s worth?
Because the alternative is it gets thrown away or continues to collect dust in my house.
I want the person looking for this item to buy mine – so I list my item for less than someone else selling the same thing.
Set a Time Limit
If your item is going to sell, it’s going to sell within a week of listing it.
Sure there might be a random item here or there that’s an exception. A general rule of thumb is to look for inquiries in the first 24 hours.
Ff people aren’t asking if the item is still available within a day of listing it – the price is either too high or the demand simply isn’t there.
If you still have the item in a week, donate it.
When people message you to ask if the item is available, don’t miss the opportunity to tell them other people are asking about it if you have had other inquiries.
FOMO (fear of missing out) is a real thing and we want to use it to our advantage.
But What if I Have Kids and CAN”T Do All of This in One Weekend??
Listen, I have 4 kids.
I totally get what it’s like to not be able to get dinner ready with one hand while holding a baby, much less minimize an entire house in a weekend.
If you have zero help with your kids or other responsibilities and simply can’t tackle the decluttering, donating, selling, etc in one burst of time, you just start packing.
Shove every single thing in boxes that you want to donate, declutter, or otherwise go through so that your house is at least minimized.
I talk about this in my taking minimalism for a test drive post.
You can draw out a detailed plan and timeline for tackling each of those boxes if it makes you feel like you’re still making forward progress.
I can already feel some of you rolling your eyes, but hear me out for a second.
You can keep waiting to have enough time to simply and de-stress your life, but the longer you wait, the longer you live with all of this anxiety and unnecessary stuff.
If you feel like you can’t dig yourself out of the hole you’re in and will never have enough time to do this the “right way”, let me reassure you that the right way doesn’t exist.
The real right way is whatever works for you to cut your stress level and allow you to enjoy more of your life without being burdened by all of your possessions.
You can enjoy the benefits of minimalism now even if you can’t become a minmalist in the most organized fashion right now.
Benefits of Minimalism
If you made it this far and you’re starting to question whether you’re doing the right thing, let me reassure you.
Since simplifying our home, I spend a tiny percentage of the time I used to on house work.
I can count on one hand the amount of things we’ve lost in recent months, and most of the time it’s the damn remote.
Most importantly, our stress level has been drastically reduced.
My husband and I don’t argue about the state of the house anymore or whether the kids have too many toys.
Speaking of toys, you can see a detailed list of every toy we kept here.
The dishes aren’t piled high next to the sink and I don’t go to bed filled with stress about the mess we left downstairs that I’ll have to tackle in the morning.
I don’t feel guilty when we sneak away for the weekend to make family memories because that nagging voice isn’t mumbling in the back of my head about all of the things we should be doing at home instead.
A Final Word About Minimalism
If you’ve made it this far through my passionate ramblings about minimalism, I salute you.
Listen, I get it that it’s physically painful to get rid of things you’ve spent years collecting.
Some things are gifts with sentimental value and almost every single thing has at least some guilt attached to it.
You DESERVE minimalism.
Minimalism isn’t about going without.
It’s about giving your time and space back to your loved ones.
It’s about taking back your weekends. Use the limited mental space we all have these days and spend it on the right things.
Not on another trip to Target to buy more organizing stuff, not on labels or space-saving things.
If you’re on this minimalism journey, I encourage you to fast-track your progress.
I promise you, it’s worth it.