Trend: minimalism – and how you manage to live (more) minimalistically by decluttering

Minimalism inspires you, but you just can't get away from your stuff? There are many tips and methods for decluttering at home and getting rid of unnecessary items. But: For many people, cleaning out is the big hurdle.

Understandable. Because an object is not just an object. It stands for a memory. For money. For an item on your "to-do" list. For security. Because at some point you could still use the item after all?

The fact is, letting go is not easy. Otherwise many more people would be minimalistic or at least more minimalistic. Minimalism as a philosophy promises more clarity, freedom, lightness and more time for the important things in life.

So before you start decluttering, you need to have the right mindset. A strong “why?” that gets you there. Why do you want to clear out? What do you expect from a minimalist lifestyle?

Marie Kondo, The Minimalists and Co. – this is how mucking out works

Marie Kondo promises more happiness from giving things away—or rather, from keeping the truly joyful things. The Minimalists write in their blog that minimalism is the way to a simpler, happier life.

All tidying experts follow different strategies. Marie Kondo teaches clearing out by category - first clothes, bags and shoes, then books, then papers and documents, then all sorts of odds and ends and finally memorabilia.

Every object should be taken in hand. If it brings a “spark of joy”, the object may stay. If it doesn't, you can thank the item and ceremonially let go of it.

With the "Packing Party" (German: Einpack-Party), The Minimalists have created instructions for quick decluttering. All items should be packed in moving boxes. Furniture should also be pushed aside.

This simulates a move. In a fixed period of time after the packing party – around one to three months – only the items that are actually used are taken out of the boxes and the furniture set up. The rest of the items can be passed on after the set period has expired.

Mucking out is good for the psyche - but still difficult 

Each method of decluttering has its pros and cons. With the packing party, for example, you can become a minimalist within a weekend - but only on the outside. If you don't work on your inner attitude, the stuff will quickly meander back into your life.

Marie Kondo got many people to declutter with her simple method - but if you can't let go of your ski gear because it was very expensive or 30 towels give you a sense of security, letting go will remain a challenge.

And there is also the dear sustainability: What to do with the stuff?

Tips for decluttering - in these 10 steps it works

  1. The question of why: Before and during decluttering, you should always make it clear to yourself why you want to simplify your life. These could be possible goals:
  • You feel that "too much" is ballast and want to get rid of it.
  • You want to let go of the past, or part of it, and detach yourself from things that remind you of it.
  • You need more space.
  • You are preparing for a move or for a new family member to move in.
  • The chaos stresses you out.
  • You want to spend less time cleaning up.
  • You want to consume less or more consciously - your apartment should reflect your minimalist lifestyle.
  • You like the minimalist aesthetic.
  • You only want to keep the things that are really important to you.

  1. Planning is important: You can plan the cleaning out in a structured way - first the bedroom, then the living room, then the children's room, etc. Within each room you can divide the cleaning up into smaller steps - first the wardrobe, then the drawers of the dresser, etc. Or you can sort like Marie Kondo by category. Here, however, we recommend that you muck out the categories of a room and not the entire house. We'll tell you why in the next tip.
  1. Small milestones: Very few people can clear out the entire apartment in one weekend. It is better if you set yourself small milestones. A room - or just a drawer - that's enough. Mucking out isn't just time consuming - it's also emotionally draining.

  1. Hotspots first: Is your messy wardrobe spoiling your mood? Is the shoe rack overflowing? Then we recommend that you lend a hand here first. Think about how many jackets, hats and shoes you really need - and let the rest move on. At Metallbude, we sell minimalist shoe racks that can accommodate your favorite pieces - but only them!

  1. Small successes: If you have a vision of how your living spaces should look later, bring this version to life on a small scale. For example, in the hallway with an attractive (and minimalistically decorated) console table . Or on the shelf in the study. This is a place you should declutter and then keep tidy—that way, each day, you see a small piece of what you're aiming for throughout the house or apartment.
  1. Clearing and rearranging areas: If you clear out, it is best to remove all objects from the drawer or from the area - and then rearrange them properly. Items that you no longer need end up in one of three boxes: throw away, donate, sell or give away. If you want to reorganize items, you can temporarily store them in a fourth "Keep" box.
  1. The light version of the wrap-up party: Do you find it difficult to let go of objects even though you don't really need them anymore? Mucking out doesn't mean you have to make a decision right away. You can also pack items into a fifth box. It is best to write a date on it by which you want to decide. Then you can put the box away and see if you are still missing the items in that box. If not, they can move on after the deadline. But beware: Make sure you meet the deadline, otherwise the attic or basement will soon fill up with these items.

  1. A home for objects: In order for you to be able to keep things tidy, every object should have a permanent home and be put back there immediately after use.
  1. (No) time to clear out: even with a busy schedule: clearing out is always possible. For example, you can set aside 20 minutes a day for this – or sacrifice an hour of your weekend for your decluttering project. Remember the third decluttering tip: set small goals for yourself. A drawer or a shelf – that's enough. The important thing is that you clean out regularly.
  1. Clearing out sustainably is fun: where to put the cleared-out items? Throw everything away? That would not be sustainable. With a clear conscience, you can give items that are in good condition to a social department store in your city. Donations and gifts are two other options. Often things in a roadside box with a "For Free" sign quickly find new owners. Selling is also an option. But for that you need time and storage space until things are sold. Think about the theoretical sales value from which the effort is worthwhile.

    It doesn't matter whether you furnish your home in the trendy Japandi furnishing style or in an industrial style: Your vision of a tidy, minimalist home can become reality. At Metallbude you will find modern metal furniture with which you can keep order and live minimalism.

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