A Minimalist Manifesto: How To Simplify Your Style at Home

updated May 4, 2019
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Sometimes, our homes can overwhelm us. What should be a place of retreat and comfort becomes bloated with items not needed, styles experimented with and abandoned, and projects started but never completed. While a good Spring Clean (whenever it happens) is always welcome, sometimes you want to go even further than that and streamline your style, too. Read on for our Minimalist Manifesto, and for ideas on how to simplify your home.

Go Back to the Drawing Board
Just to be clear: a minimalist home doesn’t need to be all white walls and sleek, modern furniture. Any home can be minimalist, whatever the style; it’s more about a place that provides you with everything you need, without weighing you down.

Having said that, it’s worth figuring out exactly where you stand stylistically. The onslaught of “inspiration” from blogs, TV, and magazines can lead us to make decisions and purchases that don’t jive with our true instincts, and things sometimes end up in a giant aesthetic mashup that neither inspires nor works.

Going back to step one and making a mood board for our homes, whether it be physical or online, can really help re-attune us to what we really want our home to look like. I’d suggest to keep it very simple (no more than 5-7 images), and focusing on things like color, texture, and overall feel, rather than images of specific items.

Identify What you Really Need
Nope, I’m not talking about shopping. Quite the opposite: Armed with a refined vision of how you want your home to look, spend some time really thinking about what you need, and what you can let go of.

Never really liked that hand-me-down coffee table? Many people these days are going without, and comfortably. Have some art that no longer brings the joy it once did? Get rid of it! A good way to go about this step is to walk into each room of your home and ask yourself “Would this room work without ___?” Start with the big items and work down to the smaller stuff. Anything you’re unsure of can go in your your outbox.

Remember that Minimalism is a Process
Speaking of the the outbox, you should have one. Having a minimalist home doesn’t happen overnight, and it’s not as though once you have one it will automatically stay like that forever. Being vigilant about clutter and your personal style is a learnt skill, and to a certain extent, things will always need to be exfoliated from your home. Processes like regularly scheduled de-cluttering sessions will go a long way towards making this easier.

Would you call your home minimalist? Would you like it to be more so? What are your top tips for achieving this while staying true to your own personal style?

Re-edited from a post originally published 7.19.15-nt