Writer Jane Chertoff of Realtor.com recently requested information related to minimalism:
“I’m looking for ideas about common decluttering myths (ex: you have to give away everything you own to declutter) and explain why they are myths + what the truth is instead (ex: you can actually just throw away a few things per room and still freshen up the space).”
If you’ve read my e-newsletter or blog or you’ve attended one of my keynotes or trainings, you know that I preach that “Time management is all about mind management.” Controlling our time has to do with making better decisions about how we use our time. If our minds are cluttered with so many other thoughts and worries, we tend to not make great decisions.
Some of the thoughts that can clutter up our minds relate to our homes. Why is that faucet leaking? Can I delay painting the house another year? Why can I never find what I need in my kitchen? Why can’t my closet just stay organized once and for all? Could I really just get rid of everything? Minimalism scares me; do I have to do that in order to be more organized in my personal life?
To help declutter any confusion about minimalism, here’s what I shared with Jane:
Minimalism has been pretty trendy for the past couple of years. Social media has introduced us to folks who’ve sold everything they own in order to live out of a camper while traveling the globe or move into a fancy 10’x10′ shed. The duo called the Minimalists has a popular documentary and podcast.
A trend that has emerged in response to minimalism is Rightsizing. Find the space that fits your needs – not too big, not too small. Fill it with a comfortable amount of items – not too cluttered, not too spartan. I like to call it the Baby Bear Zone; everything of Baby Bear’s in the Goldilocks and the Three Bears folktale was “just right.”
The brain enjoys seeing some type of open space – on walls, on a shelf, on a table. The open space represents possibilities and opportunities. But the space doesn’t need to be empty.
Envision what you want your space to look like, and then remove a few of the objects that are getting in the way of that vision. During Round 1, objects that are broken or stained are the easiest to part with. During Round 2, remove items that you no longer love or use. As you go through each round of decluttering, it gets easier to let go of items that don’t fit your vision of the space. But you don’t have to whittle it down to nothingness. Find your Baby Bear Zone.