Looking for an online guide to a minimalist house.
September 24, 2012 8:31 AM   Subscribe

I would like to have bare minimum possessions in my house. Is there a good online guide anywhere for doing this?

I am planning on moving in about 3 years. I would like to have the bare minimum amount of possessions that is still reasonable for a homeowner. I have already gotten rid of obvious things over the past few years, excess clothes, CDs, unused books, and papers. But, I'm looking for a website that has a helpful guide for paring down further.

I currently read Zen Habits and Unclutterer.
posted by hazyspring to Home & Garden (6 answers total) 52 users marked this as a favorite
There's Cult of Less, too--referenced on this post to the Blue.

I think there was another couple of posts on the Blue--try 100 things.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 8:41 AM on September 24, 2012

Not a book, but here is my method:
  1. Get rid of everything you're confident you could live without
  2. Get some cardboard boxes.
  3. Find everything you think you might be able to live without
  4. Store those things away in the boxes
  5. If you don't touch those things within a year, get rid of them too
  6. Repeat steps 3-5 until you're ready to move
Depending on how devoted to minimalism you are, you can adjust the time threshold to something shorter, though a year accounts for seasonal/weather conditions (i.e. don't just toss your snow shovel because you started this project in the summer)
posted by the jam at 8:43 AM on September 24, 2012 [6 favorites]

When you move, consider looking for a small(er) place. A smaller place forces many to restrict what is brought into it the first place.

Make sure everything has a place (critical in a small place). Have bins, boxes, drawers, etc that are efficiently labeled and organized. If everything has a place, you're less likely to accumulate crap you know you already have and thus do not actually need, and also also just reduce clutter overall.

Spend 5-10 minutes every evening just putting stuff back and away, and into their designated space. It eliminates clutter, which eliminates the accumulation of more stuff you don't need. Do it during commercials, or put on a power song. But do spend a few minutes every single day tidying and cleaning up.

I live in a 380 sq. ft condo. Eventually I might want a larger space, but I've lived in it for over a year, and am really able to fit everything I need quite comfortably and spaciously. Good storage solutions go a long way for keeping clutter and useless crap under control.

I find spending extra for things like good storage containers, even nice and aesthetically pleasing ones, actually saves me money over the long term. If I'm better able to actually see what I have and know where things are, I'm less likely to buy that 4th bottle of shampoo, or 3rd jar of dried oregano that I don't need.
posted by raztaj at 12:16 PM on September 24, 2012

I've moved about 5 times last year. I just moved to a new place this week. Things I always seem to have:

4 weeks worth of clothing.
Assorted pots, pans, dishes, and kitchen utensils
3-4 bins of assorted things
2 laundry baskets (again, of random debris)
TV stand, folding tables chairs.

basically: my rule of thumb for keeping stuff is "can I fit all this into my car in one trip?" and if not, then I donate it whenever I move.
posted by hellojed at 4:23 PM on September 24, 2012

Having too much stuff is a common first-world problem, so it is talked about in plenty of places online.

Try searching for "minimalist living" to get sites such as:
The Everyday Minimalist
Miss Minimalist
The Minimalist Mom

And remember that you need to minimize buying, too, and not just maximize throwing stuff away, or you'll just stack up more unnecessary shit over the next three years.
posted by pracowity at 3:27 AM on September 25, 2012

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