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The Minimalism Checklist

Geoff McLean

If you ask anyone connected to the Victoria, BC real estate market, or any of the thousands of people who have listed their Victoria properties for sa...

If you ask anyone connected to the Victoria, BC real estate market, or any of the thousands of people who have listed their Victoria properties for sa...

Dec 17 6 minutes read

The average home in Canada contains about three hundred thousand items.  What on earth?  What are we even doing with all that stuff?

If your house feels overstuffed, your days are crazy-busy, and you can’t find your desk under all that clutter:  we understand.  We’ve all been there, and making changes can be overwhelming.  What should you work on first?  How do you decide what stays and what goes?  Three hundred thousand times?

Minimalism Checklist

If you love the idea of living with less but aren’t sure where to start, try these ten steps toward designing a simple life.  (And if you’re already a master minimizer, pass this on to a friend who wants to get started simplifying, too.)

1. What’s your “why”?

Ask yourself why you want to simplify.  Are you trying to relieve the pressure of an overfull life?  Do you want the calm that comes with a decluttered space?  Are you making space for big dreams?  When you need extra motivation, remember that “why,” see how far you’ve come, and focus on where you’re headed.

2. Start with easy.

Even if you want to make big changes, start small.  Clear out one junk drawer.  Say no to one coffee date.  Take one minute for quiet, relaxed breathing.  Build up some small wins before moving on to bigger challenges.

3. Separate wants and needs.

You probably need less than you think.  We all do.  As you’re deciding what to keep in your life, ask, “Could I live without this?”  If so, you know it’s more of a want than a need.  Needs have to stay.  You get to choose about the wants.

4. Look for the joy.

A good rule of thumb is to keep things you know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.  To find the beauty, Marie Kondo teaches us to ask if what we own sparks joy.  If not: let it go.  Maybe someone else will be overjoyed to pick it up.

5. Clear your schedule.

Designing a simple life doesn’t stop with your stuff. A simpler schedule can bring all kinds of peace to your days.  Are there activities you need to let go of?  Meetings you don’t need to attend?  Dates to cancel?  You know what to do.

6. Unplug everything.

You don’t have to unplug forever, but scheduling regular screen-free time can restore your perspective and bring more joy into your simple life.  Use that time to get out in nature, connect more deeply with the people around you, and quiet the noise in your head.

7. Schedule rest.

As your physical space is becoming simpler, explore ways to build a rhythm of work and rest into your life, too. It’s hard to pursue “simple living” when your reality is more “exhausted living.”

8. Make it your own.

Simplicity is not a competition.  Simplify in ways that make sense for you, and don’t worry about how you compare to anyone else.  In fact, minimizing the comparisons will clear mental clutter like crazy.

9. Remember your relationships.

Don’t let your commitment to simple living get in the way of your most important relationships.  Others may not be ready to make the same choices you make.  You do what’s right for you, and enjoy the amazing people in your life without trying to change them.

10. Enjoy more, and less.

More time, more freedom, and more room to breathe.  Less stuff and less stress.  Less to organize, store, and take care of.  Less hassle. Less hustle.  Take a moment to practice gratitude for what you’ve learned from the things you’ve let go of, and for the new chapter you’re moving into.

The Declutter Your Home Checklist: 101 Things That Can Easily Be Reduced In Your Home

  1. Kitchen Glassware
  2. Cookbooks
  3. Kitchen gadgets
  4. Kitchen appliances
  5. Pots / pans
  6. Mixing bowls
  7. Tupperware
  8. Water pitchers
  9. Coffee mugs
  10. Glass jars
  11. Magazines / Newspapers
  12. Books
  13. Over-the-counter medicine
  14. Make up
  15. Hair accessories
  16. Personal beauty appliances
  17. Toiletries
  18. Photos
  19. Photography supplies
  20. Sewing supplies
  21. Scrap-booking supplies
  22. Other craft supplies
  23. CDs
  24. DVDs / VHS tapes
  25. Wall Decorations
  26. Candles
  27. Candle Holders
  28. Figurines
  29. Crystal / China
  30. Vases
  31. Audio/visual components
  32. Audio/visual cables
  33. Computers equipment
  34. Computer peripherals
  35. Old cellphones
  36. Furniture
  37. Video game systems
  38. Video game accessories
  39. Video games
  40. Shirts
  41. Pants / Shorts
  42. Dresses / Skirts
  43. Hats
  44. Clothes hangers
  45. Shoes
  46. Ties / belts / accessories
  47. Coats
  48. Winter gear
  49. Socks / Underwear
  50. Sleepwear
  51. Jewelry
  52. Purses
  53. Pillows
  54. Linen sets
  55. Duvets / Comforters
  56. Blankets
  57. Towels
  58. Televisions
  59. Items on your bulletin board
  60. Magnets
  61. Home office supplies
  62. Coins
  63. Pens / pencils
  64. Rubber bands / Twist ties
  65. Cleaning supplies
  66. Old batteries
  67. Tools
  68. Hardware
  69. Coolers
  70. Manuals
  71. Phone books
  72. Coupons
  73. Board games
  74. Puzzles
  75. Decks of cards
  76. Unused gifts
  77. Baby clothes
  78. Baby supplies
  79. Old schoolbooks/papers
  80. Toys
  81. Stuffed animals
  82. Kid’s artwork
  83. Suitcases
  84. Pantry food
  85. Paper goods
  86. Wrapping supplies
  87. Pet supplies
  88. Plastic bags
  89. Party supplies
  90. Seasonal decorations
  91. Sporting goods
  92. Sports memorabilia
  93. Automobiles
  94. Automotive supplies
  95. Scrap pieces of lumber
  96. Brooms
  97. Rakes
  98. Shovels
  99. Garden tools
  100. Plant containers / Pots
  101. Empty cardboard boxes

Design a simple life.  Start here.  Start now.

You can design a life of less—and more.  More of what you love, less of what you don’t.  It’s a process, and we’re all in it together.  

Design a simple life.

It’s time to get rid of the excess and focus on the essentials.


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