Often times, we find it easier to fill up space as we gather and collect memorabilia, while taking time to declutter can be quite daunting and stressful. Unfortunately, with many changes brought about by Covid-19 Pandemic, we've spent more unintended time at home during work and after hours. As our home slowly becomes not only our workspace but also our sanctuary, we can all gravitate towards the lifestyle of Marie Condo, teaching us that letting go of what's unnecessary can be a charming way to find joy in the things remain.
Below are a few tips and tricks that can help positively encourage a desire to declutter and maintain a more minimal space without sacrificing style and personality.
1. Understand Your Needs
The first step to minimizing your space is to understand what is truly important to you and your daily life. Think about your daily habits, routines and enjoyments. Your space should support what you need and make you feel comfortable. And often times, it does not take much to make a space feel like home. For example, if you expect a hot cup of coffee right after waking up, then make a clear space on your counter for an espresso machine to fill your morning with a rich aroma. If you often times are forgetful of necessities before leaving the house, then keep a small storage bin near your entry to organize all your necessary items for easy grab-and-go. The key in minimizing space is to make our lives easier and more efficient.
2. Only the essential, minimize the unnecessary
Visual decluttering is very important. Counter space or work surfaces should be clear, and only leave out the items you tend to reach for the most. Ultimately, all of your belongings need a home, so that you know where to search for it. A good cabinet and drawer system is essential to store and hide away the daily appliances and knick-knacks we use everyday. If you opted for open shelving, then be cautious of what you would like to display. Shelving systems are beautiful when curated but messy when unplanned. The best tip is to showcase the best on open shelves and store away the rest. If you find difficulty in maintaining only essential items in your home, reflect on how frequent certain items are reached for or utilized, anything that's not seen love in more than a few months might be better off in someone else's home. Another sensible choice to make while creating a more minimal lifestyle is to avoid purchasing one-time use or single-function items that you know will not be used for more than once or twice a year. These items are purchased out of convenience rather than necessities and occupy more space than needed when not in use.
4. Neutral Palette with Subtle Contrast
A home should feel warm and cozy, so naturally the palette for your home should carry warmth as well! Even with white paint, there are a thousand different shades to choose from, so leaning more toward a white with a warmer undertone is a great start in building a warm color palette. A warm white backdrop also allows for opportunities to play with shades and tones of neutrals, though subtle alone but together can create interesting depths to your space. Adding some subtle contrasts like complimentary colors or black metal accents here and there will help offset and compliment the neutral tone within your space.
5. Bring Nature Inside
Let the sun be the star as it brings light and warmth into your space, casting beautiful shadows upon the surfaces it encounters.
Wood is another warm material that we should consider to add to our space. It extends the connection from outside to our interior space.
6. Good Lighting
Light fixtures play an important role in completing an interior experience. Each selected light fixture should provide an appropriate light source for a particular need while helping to define the different spaces within your home. Lights and shadows also brings depth and movement to the space. It can help you focus on your task or create moods and ambiances for certain social purposes.
7. Don't forget to tell your story
Minimizing a space does not mean stripping it of items and leaving it with no soul. Your home should tell your story, and nothing else is more important than this. Do not leave out anything that defines who you are. If you love collecting artisan handcrafted vases, find a place to highlight and celebrate it. If you love Moroccan texture and pattern, add them to your furniture or floor. Sentimentality plays a large and beautiful role in finding joy within your life, and naturally as humans we carry our sentiment through found or collected objects that contain a moment in time. As long as these sentimental items are not simple gift-shop gimmicks but double-duty as a functional item in your home, there's absolutely no reason to discourage displaying personal items that tells your story.
Zen is an artform, while finding peace and balance through minimal living is the work of art. A minimal home will help declutter your mind and give you space to reflect, relax and nurture.
"Letting go gives us freedom, and freedom is the only condition for happiness. If, in our heart, we still cling to anything - anger, anxiety, or possessions - we cannot be free."
- Zen master, Thich Nhat Hanh
*Very Handsome Studio, LLC does not own or possess creative property to any visuals displayed in this blog post*