With his new book, The Minimalist Home: A Room-by-Room Guide to a Decluttered, Refocused Life (Dec. 2018 release), famous minimalist Joshua Becker zeroes in on decluttering, so instead of tidying up only a room or two, Becker shows how to create an entirely minimalist home, room-by-room.
Here are some of Becker’s tips for creating less clutter and more focus in your home and life.
Begin With Conversation
If you’ve got a family, Becker recommends calling a meeting. “Explain in positive terms what minimalism is, the removing of unnecessary possessions, so we can better live the life we want as a family,” writes Becker.
Go from Easier to Harder
Begin with rooms that are easy to declutter, so you can build up your skills and confidence. Finish minimizing each space before moving on to the next. The easiest rooms to declutter are the most lived-in spaces, so by starting with those rooms, your family gets to experience the minimalist benefits right away.
Here’s Becker’s recommended order and suggestions for each room:
1. Living Room
“Have purposes in mind for each room in your home,” Becker writes.
Maybe your living room is a gathering place, but you’ve got more furniture than number of friends who visit.
“Get rid of a sofa, and all of a sudden, your conversation grouping becomes more intimate,” he says.
2. Your Own Bedroom and Other Bedrooms
Relocate things that don’t belong, like paperwork or your kids’ toys. Clear floors, shelves and surfaces. Throw out sheets and other bedding that’s in poor condition or donate those you no longer use. Remove unnecessary furniture and pare down decorations.
“Choose instead to portray images with meaning that direct your attention toward things that matter,” writes Becker.
3. Clothes Closets
Can you get by with fewer articles of clothing? Probably so. Morning fashion decisions will be easier, and you’ll have more disposable income if you purchase fewer clothes.
“The makeover your bathroom needs is not more square footage and newer fixtures,” Becker writes. “It is a removal of all the excess stuff that’s giving it that messy, distracting look.”
Toss expired medications, pare down grooming supplies, clear counters, bathtub and shower spaces and give the room a good scrubbing. A clean, uncluttered space helps you feel calmer and more relaxed.
5. Kitchen and Dining Room
The kitchen is a practical and social space, so declutter according to the room’s purpose for you and your family. Check out this article on a no-frills kitchen to help you decide what to keep or let go.
7. Home Office
Give yourself a “wide-open desktop,” recommends Becker. Find out what’s in those closets, cabinets, drawers and file cabinets.
“Get rid of anything obsolete or unnecessary,” he says.
Do you have more office supplies than you need? If so, keep only a year’s worth and donate the excess. Remove any furniture and accessories you don’t need, including that ugly, metal file cabinet from 1995.
8. Storage Areas
The stuff you have in storage spaces of the home took years to accumulate, so minimizing that clutter won’t be quick. It helps to break the huge job into smaller segments like one shelf, corner or wall at a time, says Becker: “Being persistent and methodical will deliver the win.”
Save the garage for last, since you’ll encounter “diverse and difficult stuff to deal with,” according to Becker. Also, you may have to remove all that stuff you piled in the garage while you were decluttering the rest of the house. Get rid of trash and outdated kids’ sporting gear and dispose of hazardous items safely. Pare down tools and organize what’s left.