Home & Garden

Minimalist Living: Learn How to Declutter Your Home

Try a new take on spring cleaning. These three simple steps will help you clear your living space to clear your mind.

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Minimalist Living Room at home

Try a new take on spring cleaning. These three simple steps will help you clear your living space to clear your mind.

Minimalism has arrived, especially in home decor, and hands-on decluttering companies are helping those of us stuck in the aspirational stages. “Clutter drains us, by reminding us of everything that needs to be done,” says Cary Telander Fortin, co-owner of the declutter and design service New Minimalism in San Francisco. “When it’s gone, you feel free.” Fortin’s starter tips for paring down:

  1. Assess the organizing helpers you already own. Are they just more “stuff” (e.g., is your footwear swimming around an inefficient shoe rack; is that multi-binder system for recipes too complicated for your dozen go-tos)? Make peace with the money you spent by donating these items to charities or schools.
  2. Base your “keeps” on what brings you real happiness and value. Ask yourself, “Am I using this?” or, “Do I truly love it?” If both answers are “no,” it’s clutter.
  3. Immediately decide what you’re keeping, returning, donating, or recycling as unplanned items come into the house. Postponing action on unwanted gifts, iffy purchases, and bundles of hand-me-downs creates piles on the floor or countertops, whereas decluttering in real time keeps your space consistently clear.

See also Home Decor: The DIY Terrarium