I’ve called myself a minimalist for the past four years, and I love it. That doesn’t mean I only have one cup or one dress; it means I try to bring things into my life that serve a purpose. Today I am sharing easy ways to embrace a minimalist approach with cleaning. It’s just on time too; I have the spring cleaning bug, and I’m sure you’re itching to straighten up.
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Minimalist Spring Cleaning – the curated minimalist closet
Something about having the ability to buy more clothes while having racks on stacks of items in my closet was satisfying.
I first got into minimalism when I realized I had an entire closet filled with clothes that I had never worn while still complaining about having nothing to wear. That was my first step into the world of minimalism and it was four year ago.
At that time, I found it difficult to throw things away or donate items because there was a chance I would need it, or I hadn’t worn it yet – there was always an excuse for me to cling to something. Something about having the ability to buy more clothes while having racks on stacks of items in my closet was satisfying. It was also incredibly wasteful. When I think back to how I donated a bag full of clothes with the tags still on them, many which had been in my closet for up to a year at that point, it’s almost shameful.
Learning to let go of things, both physically and mentally/emotionally was the biggest help in allowing me to curate my closet. Sharing those items with women who could use it more than I was felt great (I always try to donate clothes before opting to throw them away if possible) and it helped me learn how to create a closet that works for me.
Now it’s easy for me to clean my closet and curate looks for myself. Let me know in the comments if you want me to talk more about curating your style. Here’s how I clean my closet the minimalist way.
Determine your current style
Before I start tossing things left and right, I think about the type of clothes I need for my current lifestyle. Although I am an island girl at heart, I live in London where the weather is 95% gray, nippy and rainy. It doesn’t make sense to dress like I’m going to the beach anymore. Having a closet with a purpose helps me as I declutter.
Say goodbye to the obvious
Anything torn, stained, broken, etc. gets tossed. No question. Holding onto things that clearly need to be chucked or donated doesn’t make sense; you’re counteracting your intentions.
If I haven’t worn something in three months, I ask myself if there’s a reason. Clothes that do not fit my new London lifestyle get donated. There are a few unique pieces that I keep around because I know they’re things I will wear for a specific occasion. I talk also about saying goodbye to the obvious in my post on the art of letting shit go – give it a read if you’re a borderline hoarder.
Create the lewks
If I’m in the mood to play stylist, I’ll go the extra step and further curate my looks. My clothes are purchased to create multiple looks. That means my basic midi dress can be layered with a crop top and an oversized button-down shirt. All in black of course.
Minimalist Spring Cleaning – Cleaning my home office
No matter where I’ve lived, I always have a tiny home office in the corner of my room. One day I’ll have a luxurious office space (shout out to everyone with a secret office space Pinterest board) but until that time comes, I’ve learned to make the most of what I have. When you think about it, your home office is only as limited as your mind so I always approach my home office as if it’s in a luxury building.
Since my space is somewhat limited I’ve learned to utilize and nurture it. The more I use my office the more I accept how important it is to me as a creative.. It’s critical for me to find things easily, to store my equipment and that my office adds to the energy in my room. I’m not the neatest person but whenever my office is chaotic, I feel overwhelmed so I try to deep clean this part of my room at regularly.
Get rid of office clutter
Going for a minimal office space? The easiest thing to do is get rid of the clutter. Since I am a fan of the analog method of doing things (writing things down), I always have a ton of scrap paper floating around. For me, decluttering means throwing away paper after I’m done with it.
Reduce your office decor
If I had more office space, I would have a lot of decoration. Since my home office is a corner in my room, I have to consider what I bring into my space. This is an excellent example of everything having a purpose.
I try to make my functional office supplies act as decoration. So my jar holding all my pens and bits and bobs (£1 from the local pound shop!) also looks pretty. My desk lamp (Ikea – only £8) and even my watercolor set adds a pop of color while helping me get art done.
Organize your office space
My next step in my quest for a minimalist home office is to get more organizational supplies. I am eying some desk drawer organizers because a cluttered desk drives me nuts. Right now everything is slipping and sliding without a section, and I can’t deal.
There’s prime real estate underneath my desk, so I’m looking for some sort of shelving or something similar where I can house files. Speaking of files, at the moment I use affordable plastic folders (4 for .99 at the local .99p shop), but I do want to upgrade to some pretty and sturdier files.
Ideally, I’d like everything to match my desk and chair, both of which I got from Ikea.
Minimalist Spring cleaning – general cleaning tips
Since I flatshare, spring cleaning is limited to my room. Within that space, my home office and my closet are the two areas that I clean regularly as they are the areas that I interact with the most. In addition to those spaces I have areas like my bathroom, a bookshefl with storage, random nooks and crannies, storage under my bed – yep, there are other areas that get a regular cleansing depending on how much I’ve used them. Let’s be honest though, the bathroom gets cleaned almost daily because it’s a bathroom.
I thought it would be great to share some of my general minimalism cleaning tips. Again, they’re not world changing tips but they help me keep things somewhat manageable and help me breathe. Clutter is not my friend.
- Everything should serve a purpose – if I haven’t used something in the last three months or know that I will be using it, I toss it. I have a maybe draw where I stash questionable items but after some time if I haven’t used it, it’s gone. Let me know if you’d like me to do a post that talks about purpose on a deeper level!
- Commit to putting things in their place – I’ve only recently learned the importance of putting things away in the correct place and boy, it’s a game changer. Not only is it easier to find items, but my room looks cleaner (even on a messy day)
- Deep clean regularly – Spring cleaning is a form of deep cleaning, but you don’t have to wait until “spring” to deep clean. I make it a habit to do a deep clean every two months. As I’ve embraced minimalism I realized clutter stresses me out, so deep cleaning regularly helps me remove all the itty bitty junk that accumulates.
- Do a quick clean – in between my in-depth clean sessions; I also do quick cleans. This involves tidying up over five to ten minutes. You’d be surprised at how much you can spring clean in five minutes! I try to do this daily, especially before I start work for the day. If you can’t quick clean my number one tip is always make your bed. Your room instantly looks cleaner.
- Take it pro – did you know you can spring your blog or biz? I shared ten ways to spring clean your blog or business over on The Coco Creativ. Spring cleaning isn’t only about getting your bathroom sparkling; check out those tips and get your blog or biz into shape!
Ready to become a minimalist with this spring cleaning help?
Don’t worry; minimalism isn’t for everyone; there are lots of people who think my approach to life is weird. However, combining minimalism with cleaning has been helpful for me.
I appreciate the idea of everything having purpose and meaning and being able to clean my way to that lifestyle helps me develop as a human being.
Are you interested in minimalism? Are you going to spring clean this year? Do you think you could combine the two? Let me know in the comments below!