Simple, actionable tips for a minimalist home

It goes without saying, but the old adage of “less is more” is a key component to establishing a minimalist home. 

But a lot more goes into creating a home with a more minimalist style than simply purging your home of extras.

At its core, a minimalist home is easy to maintain, showcases things of value to you (either out of personal appreciation or necessity), and removes stress from your everyday life.

And while all of those points are important, the last point should be given the highest priority.

Because creating a minimalist home should remove stress, not add to it.

Most pictures of minimalist decor reflects bare white walls, empty rooms, and very few personal touches.

If that type of classic minimalist home is what you’re going for, then wonderful.

But it should be noted that this is your living space, and it should be designed in a way that not only removes stress, but is comfortable and functional for the people who live in the space.

Woman relaxing on couch
Woman relaxing on couch

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One step at a time

When you tackle minimalism, home should be a peaceful place.

It may seem like a daunting process, but if you take it one room at a time, you’ll gradually be able to free your entire house.

Start with a single room and eliminate anything you haven’t used in a year. Or less, if you know you won’t be using it.

Once you’ve tackled the majority of the items you can get rid of, eliminating visual clutter and unnecessary decorative elements may be an appropriate next step.

Ultimately, you don’t want too much stuff in one space.

Creating a more minimalist house should be something viewed as manageable

Intentional design

When you’re simplifying your home, strive to be intentional with how you organize your home. Think about what items you want in your home and how you’d like them to be displayed. And be mindful about how you react internally to your chosen aesthetic.

Does the setup you’re establishing create peace for you? If it doesn’t — could it possibly be because there’s too much going on? Or things aren’t functioning well and efficiently ing your space?

A minimalist home is not devoid of character, but the items utilized in your space should be purposeful.

Bare walls can create more space in a room.

An entertainment center can be a nice focal point that also provides functional storage and eliminate clutter.

You can highlight your space with strategically placed family photos or decorations that are meaningful to you.

Keep in mind, the way you design your space should be useful first, and to highlight specific things you love second. You want the focus to be on pieces that blend well with your overall aesthetic without overwhelming the space.

Firewood deplay next to fireplace
Firewood deplay next to fireplace

Use multifunctional pieces

Not everything you own will be able to be able to serve multiple purposes, but if you’re picking out new furniture anytime soon, selecting multifunctional pieces is a great minimalist home essential.

Think about choosing pieces that will last and don’t need regular replacement.

Beautiful furniture that can function as decor as well as storage is ideal.

Kitchen utensils that can do more than one job (such as an instapot) are another example of how you can work pieces into your home that are able to do double duty.

Lighten your spaces

Have you ever notices how one of the staples of minimalist houses you see online always seems to be a lot of white?

White walls, white furniture, white… everything?

White tends to highlight any natural light, give a comfortable neutral base, and makes a room seem larger.

If plain white isn’t exactly your thing, though, you can still lighten your spaces in other ways.

You can create space in your place while still adding loads of color (if that’s your thing).

Taking advantage of windows and natural light is a great place to start. You can even add light fixtures as well.

Light, whether it’s from light fixtures, window, or light paint or home decor — any and all of it can help to make your space feel lighter.

Clean spaces

One of the primary things owners of minimalist homes love the most is the clean spaces, devoid of unnecessary mess.

But maybe you just don’t see how that’s possible — you live in a tiny space, or have kids, or live with roommates.

Clean spaces don’t have to be clean all of the time. It really just depends on what is reasonable for you, your stage of life, and your home circumstances.

So hear this: if you have messy spaces, know that we all do. It doesn’t mean you’re doing it wrong.

So while a clean space is a cornerstone of a minimalist home, when you’re trying to establish a home that works well for you, start with focusing on an easily cleaned home.

Your home doesn’t have to be in a perpetual state of cleanliness (although, that would be amazing). But having a home where everything has a place and can be easily picked up when you find out you have visitors showing up in 20 minutes? That’s what it means to have clean spaces.

Kids putting toys away while mom vacuums
Kids putting toys away while mom vacuums

Sentimental pieces

Most people have at least one or two items that they own that they’d deem sentimental.

If some of those pieces for you are pieces that warrant (or even require display), that can absolutely fit into your minimalist journey.

Here’s the thing about sentimental pieces, though.

If everything you own is sentimental, then nothing really has meaning.

So evaluate the items you place into this category with thought and care.

For example, its great to keep your current furniture if it still works for you. Perhaps you have a china cabinet that has been in your family for multiple generations that you just can’t imagine parting with.

It’s a wonderful thing to keep this as a beautiful interior design element, as well as a piece that can help you have less clutter (china cabinets have great storage), and something you love.

But maybe you have an armchair that is no longer comfortable or matching your home’s aesthetic, but it also came from the same family member. This, while sentimental, it may be worth parting with.

Sentimental pieces are wonderful, but be mindful about when things are worth keeping and utilizing or displaying and when those sentimental pieces are ready to move on from your home.

Quality, timeless pieces

When it comes time to invest in new pieces for your home, be thoughtful about the way you select your pieces.

Yes, selecting multifunctional pieces is a helpful way to scale back on the number of items in your space.

But selecting quality, timeless pieces is just as important when possible.

For example, a simple, well made bed frame will serve you better than a cheap bed frame that requires replacing every couple of years.

And if you select your pieces for their simple, sturdy, timeless appeal, then they can contribute to your home without further financial implications down the line.

Clear surfaces

Clutter is anything but comforting.

When you look around your home, evaluate where you’ve accumulated clutter on surfaces.

Is there a particular table that always seems to be a catch-all when your kids bring stuff in from school?

Then perhaps you can find a clever storage solution, so that your surfaces stay clear.

When you have clear surfaces around your home, it just seems tidier, doesn’t it?

So try to find ways that you can clear surfaces and maintain that clutter-free space.

Your minimalist home doesn’t have to be entirely devoid of any items at all on your surfaces, but the items on your surfaces should have a purpose.

Maybe your kitchen counters currently stockpile a myriad of occasionally-used kitchen utensils.

If possible, store the items you don’t use daily away and leave out only the everyday essentials.

Clear dining table with minimalist counters in green kitchen
Clear dining table with minimalist counters

Have a place for every item

Cultivating a minimalist home doesn’t mean you don’t have stuff.

Of course you do.

But having a place for each item is part of what makes the minimalist house function so well.

Surfaces remain easily clutter-free and the floors are quick cleans because the items you and your family do own all have easily identifiable places.

If you are able to establish homes for the belongings you and your family have, it helps to create a sense of peace. Even when the kids have pulled out every toy they own and have made forts with all of your pillows and blankets in the middle of your living room.

Sure, your living room is a disaster, but you have the peace of mind to know that you all won’t be frantically trying to find places to put things when the kids are done.

If everything has a place, even the big messes seem a bit more manageable.

And isn’t that a refreshing way to live in your space?

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