The Bekins Blog
Minimalist Principles That Can Help with Your Move
In art, minimalism celebrates the basic essentials of an element. A simple, stripped-down design is valued over the complex and the complicated.
Minimalism has also become a lifestyle practice. Minimalists seek to reduce material possessions and other excesses in life. They believe this helps them focus on what’s most important.
If you’re moving soon, minimalist principles can benefit your move in several ways.
One of the most important minimalist principles is to get rid of stuff you don’t need, and moving is the perfect time to do that. As you pack and prepare for your move, take a hard look at all the stuff you’ve collected over the years and get rid of all the things that crowd your life.
Many people hold onto things they don’t need because of guilt. Maybe your Great Aunt Marge gave you that ugly lamp, and you just can’t bring yourself to give it away. But remember that the lamp is now yours, and it’s your choice whether you keep it or give it away.
Put a plan in place for giving away the items you don’t need. You’ll feel better about giving them away if you know they’re going to a good place. You could give your kids’ old clothes and toys to a neighbor with kids of similar ages. You could also drop off unneeded items at your local thrift store.
If your thrift store won’t take some of your belongings, try www.freecycle.org. You can post about something you want to give away, and someone in your community can opt to take that item. This keeps items out of landfills while helping you declutter your home.
Encourage other family members to declutter as well. However, you shouldn’t force them to give up things if they don’t feel ready to. Taking things away from them before they’re ready can encourage hoarding.
When you move to your new home, learn to live with fewer belongings rather than starting to collect new belongings. Avoiding acquiring things can reduce stress and help you spend your time on more important things.
Once you’ve decluttered, you’ll need to start packing what you need for your move. If you’re moving long distance, the most important items you’ll pack are suitcases of essentials for each family member.
Overpacking these suitcases can make your long-distance move more stressful than it needs to be. Use these minimalist principles as you pack for your move:
- Include just enough clothing for your trip.
- Stick to the basics for toiletries, and consider buying travel-sized items.
- Bring a smartphone or tablet rather than a computer. Use the tablet as an e-reader rather than bringing a stack of books and magazines.
- Keep electronics such as phone chargers and headphones to a minimum. Consider storing them together in a Ziploc bag.
- If you can share certain items with other family members, only one person needs to bring the item.
- If you’re staying at hotels, consider what your hotel will provide that you won’t need to bring yourself. For example, many hotels provide hair dryers and coffee makers.
When your car and suitcases are less cluttered, you’ll reduce moving stress.
Minimalist principles can also benefit your new home’s decoration scheme. Rather than trying to fit as many decorations as possible into your home, reduce your home to its bare elements. Minimalists believe this can help you feel calm and peaceful at home.
Minimalism involves a large, clean, open space. You shouldn’t be afraid to leave certain areas of your floor or wall free of decorations. This can actually enhance the value of things that are already there, such as the natural light and materials that make up your home.
Some minimalist decoration ideas include the following.
- Choose simple, natural colors, like black and white or cream. Avoid busy patterns for walls, floors, and window coverings.
- Use open shelving.
- Select just a few pieces of furniture per room. Each piece of furniture should have a clear purpose.
- Include fewer than three items on each desk or surface.
- Store papers and non-decorative items out of sight.
- Consider non-decorative items like lamps and fireplaces as part of the overall decorating scheme.
- Use artwork or plants for a touch of color.
Keep in mind that minimalism doesn’t mean your home is free of all decorations. You should choose a few key decorations to emphasize for each room. Reduce a room’s busyness and clutter by making sure every item in each room has a designated place.
As your move approaches, let these minimalist principles guide your decluttering, packing, and decorating. You’ll reduce stress as you learn to get rid of things you don’t need, pack only the essentials, and focus on a simple decorating scheme.