A minimalist home fosters a sense of calm and comfort that has far-reaching benefits for your well being. Achieving your minimalist ideal might not be as hard as you think, either.
Focus on the essentials and get creative with your storage, and you’ll soon see a relaxing, orderly space emerge from a once-cluttered mess.
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Free Yourself from Surplus Stuff
Identifying and clearing out the things you don’t need is the first step toward creating a minimalist home.
Define Each Room’s Purpose
Once you decide on the purpose of a room, paring down becomes a matter of getting rid of everything that doesn’t serve that purpose.
If the kitchen is for cooking and eating, you don’t need old magazines and clothes in there. If the living room is for family time and catching up on work, you can put the cleaning supplies somewhere else.
Choose Your Plan of Attack
Start with the smallest or least cluttered room first. The sense of accomplishment you’ll get from freeing up that space will give you the motivation to tackle the bigger rooms.
One of the most effective ways to simplify a room is to take everything out, then start putting things back one item at a time once you’ve decided you really need that item in that room.
If you don’t have the time or energy to do a whole room at once, baby steps will still get the job done. Spend 15 minutes at a time going through the room item by item. For each item, decide whether to leave it, remove it (throw it out or give it away) or relocate it to another part of the house.
Cutting down on duplicate items gives you more space and ensures you get the best of everything you have.
Go through your linens and keep two or three of each item per person. Keep the best, throw out the threadbare ones or turn them into rags, and give the rest away. Seasonal items can go into storage. Do the same with your tableware. Two or three plates, bowls or sets of flatware per person is usually all you need.
Duplicates or similar items you don’t want to get rid of can be put on rotation. This works especially well with kids’ toys. Divide the toys into four groups for bi-weekly rotation so you can keep most in storage at any given time.
Put Quality over Quantity
With less in the room, each object becomes more prominent. High-quality furniture and decor really have a chance to shine. Each item will get more use, too, so you’ll benefit from the durability of well-made things.
Whether you’re choosing what to keep or buying something new, focus on quality.
Clear Your Surfaces
Clear surfaces go a long way toward creating a minimalist look. Small storage containers keep everything you need handy without letting your stuff take over your tables.
Place a sectioned wooden tray on your coffee table or kitchen table to coral pens, loose change, and other odds and ends. Put out magazine racks and wall organizers to keep papers from piling up. Use wall organizers in the kitchen to free up counter space.
Design for Simplicity
Once you’ve got a handle on the excess stuff in your home, it’s time to put what’s left in order and choose decor that’s in tune with your goal of simplicity and peace.
Include Plenty of Storage
Getting creative with storage lets you enjoy a minimalist home without giving up the things you’d really rather keep.
Pegboard wall organizers, door organizers, rolling storage bins under the bed, cubbyhole shelving around a doorway, and many other practical storage methods can help you pack in a lot of stuff without creating clutter.
Furniture with built-in storage, such as ottomans and window seats, are perfect for a minimalist home.
If you really want to maximize your home’s storage potential, consider building extra storage into small, unused spaces. Maybe you can fit a set of slide-out shelves into a narrow section of wall or turn a few stair steps into drawers.
Organize Your Storage Space
By carefully organizing your storage areas, you’ll fit more in and find what you want faster.
Closet organizers, drawer dividers, and all types of baskets, bins, bags, caddies, and hooks can help you keep a lot of smaller items neatly organized within a tight space. A little creativity and inspiration from the internet can work wonders here.
Place an open box on its side on a shelf and you’ve added an extra layer of shelving. Think your closet is full? Make more space by using an S-hook to hang a chain from the bar, then hang clothes hangers in the links.
Stick with a Simple Color Palette
A room without a cohesive color palette looks chaotic even when it’s not cluttered. To promote a peaceful atmosphere, stick with three main colors.
Start with a neutral, such as white or grey, as the room’s dominant color. Then choose a secondary color to use for around 30 percent of the room and an accent color for the remaining 10 percent.
For a little extra subtle color, bring in natural materials such as wood, metal, and stone. Potted plants help, too.
Choose Multifunctional Furniture
The rising trends of urban living and minimalism have made versatile, space-saving furniture easy to find.
Fold-out sofas, drop-wing kitchen tables, adjustable coffee tables, and standing mirrors with space for jewelry inside are a few of your options. Sometimes it’s a smart move to give away old space-hogging furniture and replace it with something more ergonomic.
A simple color palette doesn’t have to mean a boring room. Adding texture gives life, dimension, and a cozy air to the plainest color schemes without overwhelming the senses.
Textiles such as rugs, throws, and pillows are an easy way to bring in more texture. If you have a sleek leather sofa, soften it up with a faux sheepskin throw and some nubby knit pillows.
For something more striking, try a larger decor piece, such as a hammered copper or live edge wood coffee table, or a layered paper pendant lamp. Textured wallpaper is another option
Curate Your Decor
Too many decorative items creates clutter and detracts from the beauty of each item. Take a hard look at your decor and keep only the pieces you really love. If you have more favorite pieces than space to display them, put them on rotation.
To give the room a more cohesive look, choose decor that reflects the room’s accent color. Arranging your decor in odd-numbered clusters also contributes to a more organized, visually appealing look.
Pay attention to your wall decor, too. A haphazard collection of pictures on one wall makes the whole room look messy. Try to pare it down to around seven to 10 pictures, depending on the size of the wall, and choose a theme to tie them together, such as similar colors or frames.
Streamline Your Window Treatments
Simple, monochrome window treatments do their job without creating visual clutter. Blinds and shades are usually the best bets, but if you prefer curtains, choose a light, neutral color. Consider replacing heavy drapes with blackout blinds.
Even if you’re starting with piles of clutter and limited space, an inviting minimalist home is still well within your reach. With a willingness to let go of unnecessary stuff and a little creativity with your storage, you’ll quickly free up space.
Once that’s done, fine-tune your color palette and decor to create an atmosphere of soothing simplicity.