There are lots of ways to do minimalism. Typically, when I think of minimalism and simplicity, I have images of going through everything I own and spending hours deciding what to keep and what to throw away. This is certainly one approach, and it is appropriate in some situations.
For some, this can be overwhelming. For others, it simply is not practical. With jobs and classes and kids, it may not be possible to dedicate several hours to the task of simplifying.
In order to simplify, you have to determine what is essential and what to eliminate or purge. Purging is absolutely necessary. It must be done. However, it doesn’t have to be done all at once. It can take place over a series of mini-purges.
A mini-purge is simply a focused purge. Perhaps is strictly limited to old paperwork, or shoes, or (gasp) beauty products. It’s not the full-scale purging of everything. It’s a smaller, more manageable examination of a particular set of things.
I did a mini-purge yesterday. Yesterday’s purge was focused on items of clothing that are now too big. I purged shirts and undergarments. I am so proud to report that I tossed a third of my undergarments and I managed to part with a few shirts, too.
How did I accomplish my mini-purge?
- I had a focus. I specifically set out to purge undergarments and shirts. I didn’t go through pants and skirts (those are next). I didn’t do shoes or books. I only addressed two things. My next mini-purge will be about something else.
- I had criteria. I decided to donate or toss (in the case of undergarments) anything of a certain size – no matter how cute or what function it served. Clothes that are too big don’t look cute when worn. I also decided to donate items that I didn’t like or didn’t look right. I want to get to the point where every piece of my wardrobe looks good and fits well. With this in mind, I purged. My criteria were set from the beginning, so there wasn’t much to think about as I went.
These two things kept me focused, so my mini-purging session was over pretty quickly. Focused. Simple. Efficient. Totally doable (for anybody).
I always feel good after a purge, but yesterday’s purge was especially fun because it marked a milestone on my journey to my ideal weight. I said farewell to all clothing items of one size, and that felt great.
The result of my mini-purge is that I have more room and less clutter. I feel better. And someone is going to get some new shirts. Everybody wins when you eliminate clutter. And eliminating clutter step by step is how you integrate minimalism into your everyday life.