One room at a time! Rules to live by: All surfaces clear One comes in, one goes out (for ANYTHING that is new, used, or free)
Choose a tab below to read more!
Start Minimizing in the Living Room For most people this is the most used room in the house. First, remove everything, including the pictures on the walls. Then thoroughly clean and re-paint. When it's time to put stuff back into the room, choose each item carefully put them back in the room one at a time. Many things will not be chosen to go back - and this is the trick. When you take everything out of the room you will hopefully really end up loving the empty space and not want to put it all back! Especially all the little nick-nacks that everyone HATES dusting! This is a great way to minimize. Follow this exact same procedure in each and every room in the house. If the room has a closet, that should be included in the basic procedure as well. It's that simple!
Things that do not go back in the room should go into one of three piles:
Save (to be organized such as holiday decorations)
To give away
Hints for Minimizing in the Kitchen When was the last time you used it? I mean an appliance, not the kitchen itself! Ha ha. If you have not used an appliance in more than a year, you probably don't need it. Keep things simple, and keep only what you really need and use regularly. If you have an appliance you rarely use, or only use once in a while, you may want to think about either getting rid of it or storing it in an area of the pantry, closet or basement where it is easy to get to when needed, but out of the way in the meantime. For example, I use my rice cooker at least once a week so that stays close to the kitchen. The crockpot is mostly used in the winter, so we store it in a cabinet in another room only take it out if we need it for something special. The same goes for my 30 cup electric coffee maker that is only for parties. I think you get the point.
One thing that was hard for me to do: stop saving my 'special silverware.' Growing up we always had the good dishes and silverware that was just for special occasions. So after I got married, I had the same thing. However, we never really used the special silverware so it just sat there in its special storage box taking up precious space. Guess what, I got rid of the crappy mix and match silverware we used every day and now we use the good silverware all the time! What was I waiting for and why was I wasting space waiting for it? Every day is special now and I couldn't be happier :-)
Bedroom Minimization Issues... The clothing I mean. Clothes, jewelry, and other personal items can be very difficult to part with, but minimizing this room is a lesson in what is really needed versus what is really wanted. If you do not have a lot of closets minimizing here is very important. How many pocketbooks or pairs of shoes did you really need anyway? One in one out from now on for sure! FYI - this room is not a problem for most men at all! Wait until it's time to minimize his garage....Read more at 5 Steps to a Clean Bedroom in ONE Day!
Other Minimizing Considerations
Books - this was really hard for me and if you like books like I do, this will be really hard for you too. Carefully choose a few series or books you really love to read and want to save and everything else goes! Consider reading electronic books which take up NO space other than the tablet. One caveat: they can be expensive! Going to the "online library" is still an option with that too though. Here's one you can try: http://www.readanybook.com
DVD'S - I had to compromise a lot here too - I like movies and it was and is hard to part with many in my collection. That's why this continues to be a work in progress, but the same rule applies as the books. ONE WORD OF WARNING - we had started buying the movies digitally through our local cable provider (FIOS) which definitely saved space, only to find out that they can NOT be downloaded or taken with you if you move or change providers. A total waste of money for us! If you know of any way that you get to keep them digitally (legal of course) please let me know.
Collections - I collect rocks and minerals. I was lucky here, they can go outside. So I kept a few to display in the house and the rest became a rock garden outside. Collections are tough to get rid of - there are emotions that go with them. The book"The Joy of Less"(affiliate link) really helps to guide you through the process here. I strongly suggest it.