The Road to Minimalism:  1st Stop, Inspiration Avenue

Hey loves!  There’s something about the New Year that makes us all want to set new goals, refresh our living spaces, and pretty much just get out lives together!  2018 is no different, as I’m super inspired and motivated to make it my best year yet!  With the onset of a new year, a lot of people aim to seriously live more minimally.  I’m a certified minimalist and fan of living with less. So of course I’m pumped about today’s blog, all about how to declutter!

Although I am an avid keeper of things, I’m surprisingly not a hoarder.  This is because everything I keep I TRULY need!  I have to admit,  my organizational skills are off the chain (do ppl still say off the chain?!) ion know, let’s just roll with it, lol!

Basically I know how to keep it together.  I have no problem getting rid of things and like to keep my spaces very clean, open, and tidy.  I spoke about decluttering before on my Youtube channel, but I’m excited to bring more topics about minimalism to  the blog.  You can catch up on that video if you think you may be a minimalist or have become super interested in the lifestyle.  I gave some major clues for deciding if it’s for you so starting there will help! 

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A Clear Space Equals A Clear Mind

Part of minimalism is indeed decluttering.   Now, I know decluttering is hard.  We all have tied emotions and mental baggage to our things, but the biggest step in simplifying your life is going to be cutting those ties—right at the root.

Some of the Many Benefits of Decluttering Your Space: 
  • You end up being more productive and getting more done, because your space is open and inviting for work
  • Literally FEELING better.  You know how when you clean up before you go out of town, and when you return your place is spotless?  Imagine that feeling everyday, because you simplified your life.
  • And you’ll save money in the long run.  When you don’t keep much around, you naturally stop purchasing so much, because you develop such a discipline towards acquiring new things.

The Road to Minimalism:  2nd Stop, Plan It Out Drive

I personally love the way I feel, when I look at my desk, and there’s hardly anything on it, or I walk into the kitchen and the countertops are open and clean.  Something about minimalism just makes it so much easier for me to stick to routines and healthy habits.  It’s like having less, creates the “room” to get your life together and get more stuff done. 

But in order to get to that mountaintop of simple living, we 1st must declutter.  One thing about shifting too much of your life at once, is that it will quickly start falling apart all over again.  In other words, we’re gonna ease our way into this this.  By taking it 1 step, or I should say 1 day at a time.  I’m going to show you how to declutter your life in 7 days, versus trying to do it all in 1 day or even 1 weekend. 

I want you guys to be able to SUSTAIN this lifestyle change, which is where most people fail–anyone can start!   so, let’s take it slow, and tackle 1 aspect of decluttering a day.  Hopefully by the end of the week you put this plan in motion, you’ll be reaping some awesome minimalist rewards; things like money saved, extra time, more productivity, and peace of mind. 

So, let’s hop right into the week!

How to Change Your Life in 7 Days:  Decluttering Step by Step

We’re starting the week off on Monday.  On Mondays, we’re most bright eyed and hopefully have some energy stored up from the night before.

Today we begin by working smarter, not harder.  And what do smart people do? They write stuff down!

Monday, Day 1—Get clear on the WHY and write down your goals for this challenge. 

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Take the time to get cozy!  Grab a notebook you actually look in daily, lol, and write down your top 3 goals for doing this challenge. 

Make them super specific, so not just: to have more time. 

But rather:  to have more time to read at night, or to find my kitchen tools easier, so I take less time cooking. 

Really take the time to think about WHY you’re choosing to live more minimally. Now go ahead and identify any road blocks that may pop up, due to your lifestyle.  Like if you work late nights, prepare to work on decluttering before you leave or anything that will be an easy excuse for you to not stick with this system.  Identify them early on and prepare how you’ll address them when they show up! 

If you’re into Pinterest, head over there, and make a board of minimalism and home inspiration.  Let it motivate you to push forward for the week and get your creativity going. 

Speaking of Pinterest, I’m a newbie, but love it already!  Follow me on there, I love pinning and hope to spend more time figuring it out this year.  

Tuesday, Day 2:  Attack your wardrobe and dresser drawers.

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This is probably going to be your hardest day.  That’s why we’re doing it 1st!  One business tip I’ve learned this past year, is to identify the thing that you absolutely hate and will procrastinate doing at any given moment, and do that 1st thing each day.  It’s a method called “eating the frog”.   So today, you’re gonna eat that frog and cull that closet! 

Toss anything you don’t absolutely love.

Anything you’re still not sold on, but bought because it was on sale, or that gift you’ll never wear—get rid of it or donate!

The pants that don’t fit, get new ones WHEN you lose the weight! Besides,  if you truly loved them, let Repurchasing them be your goal treat and steady motivation for the weight loss! If you haven’t worn something in the last year, or EVER, prepare to get rid of it and/or donate.

And don’t forget your underwear and pajama drawers.  You could honestly get away with trashing anything that’s got holes in them, missing sock pairs, or super old undies.  We typically wear the same rotation of our favorite underwear and PJs weekly anyway, so why not get rid of the ones you never touch or have around just for sentimental value.

Wednesday, Day 3:  Clean out your beauty closet & office area. 

Go through wherever you store your makeup and hair products.  Take everything out, and access what you actually use daily & weekly.  Whatever you don’t use at least once every 2 weeks, get rid of.  Scan for any broken makeup palettes or powders, old & dated gels, broken hair ties, any creams that smell bad, worn out headbands, anything that’s not in good condition. 

After you’ve cleaned your beauty bins, head to where you do any office work or any desk area you may have.  Clear it of old manuals you know you’ll never look through, most help like that can be found online these days.  Also get rid of any excess sticky pads, old pens that don’t write, junk paper, random flyers or restaurant menus, etc.   Toss old notebooks that you haven’t written in for months and any books that are randomly lying around, place them on a shelf or designated area.

Organize your mail if you store it there. Tossing anything you know you won’t look at, and filing away the important stuff.  Think anything paper related that you could declutter at this time. 

Thursday, Day 4: Hit your kitchen and the fake sentimentals, AKA, gifts you secretly hate.

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Okay, we ALL have those gifts we deep down inside wouldn’t be caught dead with, but accepted it gladly, because we’re decent human beings.  But, let’s get real here, you’re never gonna wear that ugly sweater, use that veggetti, and you hate yellow, so just get rid of the scarf already! It’s okay, she’ll never find out, and you’ll have a clean, clear, more decluttered space from doing so. 

You can also toss the cards in this section as well.  I know, cards are a super special gift, and I even have a few that mean a lot to me, but if you’re gonna keep cards, this is the rule, you have to make  a designated box that store said cards in.  Said cards must live in said box forever, versus being scattered out on your countertops, fireplaces, or bookshelves. Deal? Hmmmkay!

Moving right along, the kitchen.  Depending on if you’re a big cooker or raging foodie, this may or may not take up much of your time. 

In any case, you still want to do a slight audit of your gear. 

Scan your dinnerware for cracks, chips, and worn down scrapes or cuts.  Most people don’t need an extensive set of cook and dinnerware, so don’t get needy here, if it’s not in good condition, go ahead and get rid of it. 

Also, do a cull of your cabinets and refrigerator.  If you haven’t cooked the beans all year, or even worse you don’t even eat beans, prepare to give it away!   Check dates on all canned and boxed goods, and toss anything old, smelly, or that you know you won’t finish in the fridge as well! 

Friday, Day 5:  Purge your electronics and clean out your digital space.

By now, your physical surroundings should be looking a lot cleaner and much more organized.  You should begin to start feeling a little lighter on your feet as well!  The light is now peering through the end of that tunnel, but wait!  You’re not quite done yet.  Now we enter decluttering your digital world. 

Today you will go through your emails, and clean out all your old messages and subscriptions you never read.  So for me, this means, any messages older than 6 months get deleted.  If they’re super important, I store them in a labeled folder with other important stuff like it.  Other than that, it has to go.  I email a lot, so it helps keep my mental space decluttered, I move faster through my emails, and I’m less distracted overall. 

Plus, you know you signed up for some subscription along the way, only you never actually read that person’s email.   It just keeps on coming every week, wasting digital space! Unsubscribe and keep your inbox free of clutter! 

Go through your photo albums and organize the pics you want into folders and delete the ones you don’t need.  Do this for your computer and iPhone!  If you own a I Pad or any other fancy electronic device, do this here as well. 

If you’re one of those, I store everything on my desk toppers—now is the time to clean it up.  I don’t know about you, but I cannot function with a crowded desktop.  If the information is super important, make folders onto the desktop, move the files into them, and then move the folder onto an external hard drive or Google docs.  Basically put it somewhere safe and off of your immediate eye space, so you work with a clear “environment” on your computer.

Lastly, go through your physical electronics and tidy them up.  Designate a space for your things like IPad, laptop, cameras, anything techy that you have and use often—make a space just for those items, so they’re readily accessible when you go to use them, and not scattered all throughout your home. 

Saturday, Day 6:  Cull your goals boo!

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Now that you have a clear, clean, and decluttered physical AND digital space; take a moment to clear out your mental space as well.

I know it’s super trendy and even motivating to have all these random, scattered out goals, just living in our heads.  But unless we take the time to organize them, and more importantly think about if we even really want to go after them or not, we’re just spinning our wheels.

Grab the same notebook you wrote in for Day 1 of this challenge, and write down your goals.  You can make 2 separate charts for life and work/career goals, or have just one list of both.  Either way, take this time to reevaluate the goals you’ve had for years. 

Do you even really want to do said things with your life anymore?  Do those goals align with who you are now as a person, or do they just sound good?  Get real with yourself and simplify every one of those goals. 

Narrow your focus, and get clear on each and every one of them.  I’d advise not letting the list get out of hand and keeping it in the range of 5-7.

Once you’ve simplified your work and/or life goals, prioritize how important each one is.  Rate their importance on a scale from 1-10, with 10 being the most important.   Now begin working towards the goals with the highest scores, and breaking them down into smaller chunks that you can digest and chip away at in the months and days to come. 

Girl.  Are you ready for this?!  Are you ready for your final step in decluttering your life?!  Okay, here goes.

Sunday, Day 7:  Celebrate the beginning of your new lifestyle journey and TREAT YO’SELF!

blogger painting nails self care tips

That’s right girl, you made it!  If you followed this challenge, you have now jumpstarted your way into living your life more minimally and intentionally.  It’s a great feeling.  And it’s a journey—you won’t always keep it perfectly in line each day or week, and let’s be real, you may have messed up somewhere along this week in this very challenge, BUT as with all things, we learn and we grow.  I’m just excited you decided to try and take that step!

Do something cool for yourself , but still lowkey!  Perhaps:

  • a mani/pedi
  • a massage
  • cook your favorite cheat meal
  • go to your favorite restaurant
  • have an at home spa night with your favorite bath bombs
  • buy a new book
  • or whatever is a treat to you!

But whatever you choose to do, enjoy it, and let it renew your focus for the week to come.  Because guess what?  You’ll need that relaxed state of mind to KEEP up this new lifestyle.  Speaking of self care and relaxed state of mind—I have a brand new blog post, all about how to practice self care and love yourself!  The link is HERE, and if you liked this video, you’ll love the blog post! 

See:  How to Take Better Care of Yourself From A-Z

Road to Minimalism:  Freedom Lane

Okay my loves, all my best to you on this journey.  I hope this has helped you get fired up about living more minimally and just getting rid of all that extra junk in your life.  Remember to take it day by day, and try to keep things tidy and decluttered as you go.  Only buy things that are in line with the lifestyle you’ve set by what you chose to keep in the house. That way you’re always conserving money, time, and energy.   

Bonus:  Watch this post in action, in my latest Youtube Video:

If you liked this post, you know what to do–share it with all your fraannns!  Leave me some love below, I can’t wait to hear about  your goals of decluttering and living more minimally this year!

Until next time, bye loves 💋

Author

Hi, I'm Alexis, Most days you can find me glued to my computer, or creating beautiful content! I'm mostly known for my work as a 10 yr professional makeup artist, but nowadays I focus more on my lifestyle brand, Alexis Loves. I love serving the world by: dishing out all my knowledge on wearable makeup, sharing my journey with Christ while encouraging others along theirs, and inspiring women all around the world to seek self improvement. If you crave a community full of artistic visuals, spiritual growth, and witty real talk, you'll love it here :-)

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