Stepping into a minimalistic lifestyle may feel like a daunting and intimidating task. The de-cluttering process can be brutal. But as with any new endeavour, taking the first step can easily be the most challenging part. Once you’ve gotten over this stage, the rest will be more manageable. The next phase in adopting a minimalist lifestyle is maintenance.
Maintaining Minimalism in Your Living Space
At home, minimalism is meant to alleviate stress and allow a person to come home to a clutter free home. However, if unorganized little items simply replace the old clutter that was cleared out, you end up losing all the progress you’ve gained in the beginning. This can be avoided of course by staying efficient with maintenance. Hopefully, these suggestions will be helpful in addressing this.
Starting small is wise, to avoid feeling overwhelmed. Start by setting aside small amounts of time during the day to clean and clear up at home. Since you’re just doing maintenance of a neat home, this shouldn’t take too long. Setting aside at least 20 minutes to do some cleaning and tidying up will make all the difference. Do this every day and it will eventually become a habit.
Another useful tip to help with the clutter is to give everything you have a designated place. Oftentimes clearing out a room or a desk gets put on hold because you don’t know what to do with the mess or where to put it. Have a box for items you don’t always use and are just starting to clutter your living space. You don’t have to immediately decide whether to keep or get rid of these items. You can always come back and see if you need these things. Putting these items in one place will at least help you find them if you need them again. The important step to maintaining clean and clear surfaces is to make sure the clutter is out of sight right away.
But don’t put them out of mind just yet! After you’ve put everything back where they belong and set the excess things aside, it’s time to decide where they belong. Set aside time to look at the box and designate where these things need to go in your home or if they can be thrown out. Don’t hold on to things for too long. You can do this on a monthly basis so the box or bucket doesn’t become full and so you can move on right away.
Don’t make room in your home just to make more room for storage. Avoid storage bins or big cabinets that encourage you to simply keep clutter hidden. It will still build up and when you run out of space in your storage bins or closets you’ll find yourself with clutter yet again.
Remember to also enjoy what you have created in your minimalist home. Space is there to be admired and not simply so you have room for more or newer things. Enjoy the openness minimalism has brought into your home so that your drive to maintain it remains steadfast.
Maintaining Minimalism in Your Work Space
Living a minimalistic lifestyle at home would only help you alleviate stress a little if your workplace is not cluttered. Easing yourself into the minimalist lifestyle and starting with the home is a good idea, but in order to make it truly part of your life, you should be able to let it bleed into other aspects of your life. Minimalism in the workplace, where you spend a good chunk of your time, is important.
Having a clear space to work has been shown to increase productivity and helps to keep any creative juices you might need flowing. It allows for less distraction, more freedom, focus, and even builds a good reputation. Your work desk reflects what type of worker you are. A neat and tidy desk shows you respect your workplace.
Once you’ve cleared the clutter off your workspace, naturally the next step is to maintain it. Keeping up the minimalistic lifestyle in the office is similar to maintaining it in your living space. However, there are unique differences and tools that you can use to help maintain a minimalist workspace.
As with the home, start small. Set aside time each day to clear your desk. A good tip from one businessman was to clear your office desk at the end of the workday before you leave. When you come back the next day you will be glad you did as it will help get the day started nice and neatly. It will also help you find out if there are any tasks you left unfinished.
Which brings us to another tip: finishing your work. It’s a given that your superiors or the job itself will make sure you have finished your work. But sometimes there are small side projects or work that isn’t urgent that can be left untouched in favor of the more urgent projects. This habit of building up menial tasks will not help with your minimalism.
Make sure you finish all tasks given you. If you really are out of time and you cannot finish a task right away, set it aside but make sure to come back for it. Fit a time into your weekly schedule to clear out your to-dos. Put the unfinished work in a drawer or a folder or a binder that you go back to at the end or the beginning of the week, depending on when you are least busy,
Paperwork is one thing that easily builds up and is often part of the unfinished tasks. For this, there are tools you can use. One such tool that provides a solution is Evernote. With this app, you can take pictures of your paperwork, tag and save them neatly. You can also search text in an image with Evernote, which will be faster than doing it manually. It can be used on different devices and there’s even a special Moleskine Evernote notebook. We live in a digital age after all. It would be wise to use that to help maintain your minimalistic lifestyle in the workplace.
Once again, remember to make minimalism fun even when you incorporate it into your workspace. Unless it is a total no-no in the office, personalize your desk even while you keep it neat. This will help you enjoy and admire all the work you put into de-cluttering and will help you focus on maintaining minimalism in the office.