Creating a minimalist home involves simplifying your living space while prioritizing functionality and aesthetics. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you get started:
Begin by going through your home (starting with a small junk drawer for practice) and identifying items you no longer need or use. By following the KonMari Method you can go through items by categories so you can view everything that you have around the home. Categories are: clothing, books, paper, komono (miscellaneous) and sentimental items, be sure to follow that order. If that is too much of a long process, you can try room by room starting with the most overwhelming space but give yourself time. Donate, sell, or recycle these items to clear out unnecessary clutter.
2. Define Your Vision
Determine the level of minimalism you want to achieve. Everyone's level of minimalism is different, with the common goal of living with less, living with purpose and having more time to do what you love in life. Then you can also clarify your aesthetic preferences, colour palette, and overall design style. How much stuff do you want to live with and let go of? Visualize your home and get inspiration to motivate you to reach your goal.
3. Prioritize Functionality
Keep only items that serve a purpose, that you love and add value to your life. Remove excess furniture, decorations, and belongings that don’t contribute to your daily activities or style.
4. Choose Quality Over Quantity
Invest in high-quality, durable items that will stand the test of time. Opt for versatile furniture and decor that can adapt to changing needs. The same for clothing items that you choose to wear, keep quality and classic items. If you cannot invest in high quality items, search for second hand and used items. I suggest vintage and second hand for clothing and shoes, and furniture or decor through Kijijii or Facebook Marketplace to find what you are searching for.
5. Optimize Storage
Incorporate smart storage solutions to keep your space organized. Utilize hidden storage, built-in shelving, and multi-purpose furniture to minimize visual clutter. The key is to not buy more storage items for organization, repurpose and try to avoid plastic and use more natural storage solutions like bamboo, or paper shoe boxes.
6. Neutral Colour Palette
Stick to a neutral colour schemes for walls, furniture, and larger decor elements. This creates a serene and cohesive backdrop for your minimalist design. Add natural wood and materials for your space which will add to the peaceful environment you are seeking. Adding plants will also provide life and simple green touches to create another natural element.
7. Limit Decorations
Select a few meaningful decor pieces that align with your aesthetic. Avoid overcrowding surfaces with too many decorations so that you can also clean surfaces easily from dust. Adding artwork on walls or shelves to a minimum, and only having personal photographs in boxes to enjoy and only a few in frames will help create that minimalist look.
8. Empty Spaces
Embrace empty spaces as an essential part of minimalism. Allow areas of your home to remain unoccupied to promote a sense of tranquility. Rooms do not need to be filled with stuff, allow them to serve a purpose rather than a storage space. Whether it is an extra guest room, office space, or work/out meditation room these serve a purpose and don't require them to be all filled up with stuff.
9. Quality Lighting
Use natural light whenever possible. Incorporate quality artificial lighting to create a well-lit and inviting atmosphere. Using table lamps and side lamps instead of pot lights will give a more calming effect.
10. Mindful Purchases
Before buying anything new to bring into the home, consider whether it aligns with your minimalist vision and adds value to your life. Avoid impulse purchases and think about what you currently have at home and if that something is replacing an item or adding to having more unnecessary stuff.
11. Functional Layout
Arrange furniture and decor in a way that maximizes flow and functionality. Ensure that each item has a purpose within the space. Take a look at all the furniture in every space and see if removing some of it to create more space will help in the flow of every room.
12. Regular Maintenance
Regularly assess your belongings and declutter as needed to prevent accumulation of unnecessary items. Every day make it a habit to place items where they belong. Putting away dishes, folding clothes that were just put in the laundry and storing, hanging jackets and coats, putting already worn clothing in a proper place (laundry bin or hang/fold to wear again) and any items scattered around the home.
Remember, creating a minimalist home is a gradual process. Take your time to make intentional decisions about what you bring into your space and how you arrange it. The goal is to achieve a balance between simplicity, functionality, and your personal style.
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When it comes to travel, we all want to go somewhere new for some relaxation, new adventures, discovering more and just to have fun and get away. The planning part can either be fun or stressful depending on how you think about it, but I like to get excited for a vacation and the planning part is part of the experience. When you plan and pack smart, you will alleviate some stress that can come when unexpected stuff happens out of your control. Here are some of my travel must haves for packing to make your life easier when you embark on that journey!
1. The right carry-on luggage
The right carry on-luggage is so important as this is basically your closet and essentials for everything you bring when you are away from home. I always recommend having a carry-on luggage that is light weight, and that has bigger wheels to roll along. If you are going from transportation and walking a lot to your accommodations and anywhere in your destination, you don't want to risk busting those wheels...trust me it has happened to me! I ended up buying a new carry-on luggage while I was away because of this.
I also just discovered this amazing carry-on luggage which is like a closet in your luggage, such a game changer!
It's an award-winning Carry-On Closet® suitcase. Engineered with built-in shelving system, indestructible polycarbonate shell, and integrated USB charging port. The Carry-On Closet® will keep you organized anywhere your travel takes you.
2. Packing Cubes for clothing
Packing clothes in packing cubes will make your clothing stay in place and organized within your luggage. Not only will it leave your luggage organized, when you unpack you can simply leave your clothes in the packing cubes and put them straight into drawers of your wardrobe/dresser at your accommodations. If you have no where to store them, you can also just have them sit on top of a dresser or table for easy access. No need to search for items within the luggage as it will be easily seen in your packing cubes.
3. Shoe bags for travel
When packing shoes, you want to also store them in a shoe travel bag to keep them clean, but also to keep the rest of your luggage clean. Ever since I used shoe travel bags it has been a must have to pack with, and especially in case of foot odours you have that contained and avoid any smells or dirt spreading. With these bags you can make sure your shoes have a home in the luggage.
4. A Long Passport Wallet
A long passport wallet is so essential as it will store your boarding passes (if you have them printed) and foreign currencies and cards and of course your passport. I have been using my long passport wallet for years and it has been put to good use. I can also fold any travel letters like an affidavit or long birth certificate within. You just need to have the right travel purse or bag to store it in.
5. Electronic Organizer Bag
The electronics all need to live in one place and it is easy when they have a designated home to live in. This electronic organizer bag for travel can store all of your USB cables, chargers, headphones, and everything you would need for your devices. The electronic organizer bags are waterproof for peace of mind and have pockets and dividers within to separate and categorize all of the items inside. Make sure you keep this in your carry on bag so it is easy to bring out when you need it.
6. A luggage cover protector
When you invest in a good luggage, you want to make sure you take care of it on it's journey through the airport and plane and back to you. We all know that luggages get tossed around and not properly cared for as there are many luggages travelling constantly. You want to protect the outside of it with a luggage cover fits it like a glove and it is easy to store away and laundry wash for next use.
7. Clear Toiletries Bag
Using the right bag for your travel toiletries will make your life easier when passing security at the airport. You want to use a clear travel toiletries bag so that all of the products and items you bring can be seen easily when it goes through that conveyor belt machine. You can also just bring it out from your carry on bag separately so it can be seen right away. When you just fill this bag up, you know that the liquids will be allowed on the plane as well as it is TSA approved and airport/airline compliant. I also love all of the toiletries bags and containers at Muji which I use all the time to store my skin care products in clear containers.
8. Apple Air Tags
If you want to have peace of mind when it comes to your stuff or even the people you travel with, using these Apple Air Tags like a tracker will help you to locate them through an app within your phone. I have experienced losing my mom believe it or not when travelling, at the airport, and also in a foreign destination where english is not widely spoken. It was scary when it was happening and I had to act fast, I was lucky to meet someone who spoke english and she gave me the police phone number who could respond to text messaging in english. Thankfully I never had to contact the police and my mom suddenly appeared after an hour and a bit. Always have a meeting spot and don't assume someone will be where you think! If I had this it would have been easier at that time, I highly recommend!
9. Air Tag Watch Holder or Rings
The Apple Air Tags need a home and having it live in an Apple Air Tag watch is probably the easiest way to have them live on a person. If you travel with kids or elders who definitely need this in case, this is the best way to have them use it. If you already wear a watch and don't want another accessory to be worn on the wrist, using an Apple Air Tag ring is another option where you can have it on your bag, belt or your keys as well.
10. Travel Backpack
If you want to travel even lighter and with less, a travel backpack like this one above is amazing! Great for the backpacker who likes to travel on many adventures, the perfect backpack - convertible from everyday use to travel mode in seconds. Engineered with an award-winning closet system, durable Shore-Tex™ fabric, and drop-proof 16" laptop storage, the Endeavor will keep you organized wherever you explore next.
These items will make your travel experiences more easier and packing for travel is definitely the one thing you can control to avoid stresses that can come with your travels. I hope my tips have helped you, happy travelling everyone!