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How To Be Minimal With Your Home Products

 December 30, 2021

By  BC Editorial Team

Minimalism is shaking the world right now, as people–particularly Millennials–shift their attitudes from the desire for mass accumulation of items to owning a few well-crafted and flattering pieces. Those adopting the focus have discovered that minimalism can be applied to all areas of their lives, from wardrobe to home decor to patterns, colors, and lines. So what exactly is minimalism? Minimalism is more than just a trend; it is a lifestyle decision structured around the desire to own less underutilized items and instead build a space and life that places value on carefully chosen, well-made goods. It also generally emphasizes owning less.

Companies that offer minimalist designs and inspiration are reaching a niche audience devoted to decluttering and replacing their newly empty spaces with thoughtfully curated pieces. More than just doing the majority of their shopping through brands that celebrate minimalism in their design and values, Millennials are also turning to businesses that promise to help them achieve a decluttered lifestyle in their homes and closets. Those companies focused on aiding in this mission have been experiencing success since those who want to parse down their belongings often don’t know where to start.

Minimalism is a way of life for some devoted fans, but you don’t have to be a self proclaimed minimalist to want to declutter the items you aren’t using. Maybe you desire to get rid of your extra belongings for the purpose of having additional space or maybe because you want to replace them with higher quality substitutes. Anyone can follow the general principles of minimalism to experience the same feeling of relief at having donated their excess stuff.

In fact, going through your home or wardrobe and decluttering your spaces can be a great way to implement a feeling of change; the act of getting rid of items you no longer use or wear can be incredibly disencumbering, making it a great task to undertake before or during new chapters of your life, such as the coming of a new year.

We spoke with experts on the minimalist lifestyle to see why they recommend you spend time decluttering your spaces, as well as why it can feel so profound. Their responses are insightful into the reasons why minimalism has such an impact, and they discuss different areas of your home where you can be more minimal with your products.

The Mental Side of Decluttering

Will Watters, co-founder and creative director at performance clothing company Western Rise points out the fantastic mental side of decluttering. Sure, everyone can understand the physical benefits of having fewer unnecessary items crowding their spaces, but we should all be talking more about the immense feeling of letting go that follows the act of getting rid of things in your home.

“No one knows exactly why it is, but an empty space can lead to an empty mind,” says Will Watters, Co-Founder and Creative Director of Western Rise. “When you have noticeable piles of extra items that don’t have much purpose or don’t bring you contentment when you view or use them, this can actually feel like a bit of a weight on your shoulders. Even when your abundance of belongings aren’t especially noticeable to the outside eye, you can still feel a sense of crowding in your life and in your mind. I think the biggest reason why people love minimalism and choose to center their lifestyle choices around it is because of the huge relief they feel at actually having extra space to live and breathe,” Watters concludes.

The actual amount of products anyone needs to live both comfortably and contentedly is surprisingly little. At different times in your life you have probably undergone a major compression of your belonging, such as when you went to school or moved into your first apartment. At these times of owning less, we quickly realize how few items are absolutely essential. However, as time goes by we all experience the inexplicable gathering of stuff. Where does it all come from? Some of it indicates a life well lived, but it’s easy for items that remind us of happy times–such as movie ticket stubs or silly white elephant gifts–to have a space in our lives long after they could have been released, because memories live on even without physical reminders.

The CEO of Korean beauty brand Kaja Beauty advises that one way to help you stop hanging on to inessential items that only weigh you down is to ask a series of questions about each product to ensure you really consider its worth in your life.

“Decluttering your home can be as simple as asking yourself a few questions. We all hang on to out-of-style throw pillows or a lamp we think we’ll try to fix only to find we’re running out of closet space for all of those someday items, forcing you to make some hard decisions that serve both you and your home in equal measure.

“But by asking yourself questions such as, ‘Is it worth fixing,’ ‘Would I purchase this again,’ or ‘Will I keep this if I move,’ your honest responses may determine whether it heads back into storage or to the donation bin,” says Dino Ha, CEO of Kaja Beauty.

As freeing as decluttering feels, the opposite effect is just as true when we hang on to things we know we don’t need. A study from the “Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin” discovered the link between depression and mess when they found that women with unfinished or cluttered homes were more likely to experience depression and feelings of overwhelm.

Marc Atiyeh, the CEO of online veterinarian service Pawp points out the formidable appearance of a space in disarray versus the more manageable mindset associated with cleanliness.

“Minimalism is more than just a passing trend. In fact, decluttering has become a sort of lifestyle. A clean and orderly space can make work feel less daunting. Look for products that can double up and serve multiple functions. Not only will you clear your closets of a lot of clutter, but you’ll also save some money, too,” says Marc Atiyeh, CEO of Pawp.

Minimizing Your Closet

A key area where a minimal mentality can benefit you is your wardrobe. How many of us own practically a whole closet of items we never actually wear, while we cycle through the same basic pieces? Statistics show that Americans wear only about 20% of the clothes in their closet while the rest go unused.

If you are going to be drawn to your favorite items of clothing each day anyways, the whole concept of minimalism asks the question, “Why wouldn’t you just get rid of the clothes you don’t wear?” And for people who want to truly embrace minimalism as a design concept, they can find success with a capsule wardrobe.

“[A capsule wardrobe is] a small number of items chosen to be interchangeable, comprised of things that match [your] coloring, [your] personality and [your] lifestyle,” says Blake Smith, CEO and Co-Founder of Cladwell.  “You have to go through your closet. You have to take every single item out, lay it on your bed, look at it and say, ‘Do I love this? And do I wear it often?’ If those two things are true, you should keep that item; if they’re not, then it is taking up space that it doesn’t deserve in your closet. It seems like it has really struck a chord with our generation right now. A lot of people think that this is a trend and they’re wrong. This is a generational shift based on values, and so, it’s going to take a generation for it to shift again. Aesthetic trends come and go, but value-based trends, they have staying power. I think we’ve got another 20 years of growth,” concludes Smith.

Alongside the shocking truth that most of us probably only wear about 20% of what we own, people individually discard approximately eighty pounds of clothing each year. This staggering statistic truly pinpoints the problem with clothing waste. Rather than keep buying, discarding, and replacing, the expert solution is to invest in quality clothing staples and skip the shopping for additional pieces all together. Lauren Kleinman, the co-founder of brand review company The Quality Edit recommends you begin your decluttering in your closet, even if you aren’t ready to commit to a capsule wardrobe.

“People turn to minimalism for a variety of reasons. For some, they wouldn’t even know or think to classify it as such when they get the desire to do a little “spring cleaning” and clear out crowded spaces. But we all feel it, don’t we? The burden of having too much that we use too little actually starts to weigh on us, which is why there’s nothing quite like the good feeling of peace we experience when we pare down our homes and donate items we no longer need or enjoy,” says Lauren Kleinman, Co-Founder of The Quality Edit.

“A big aspect of minimalism is the concept of the capsule wardrobe, but even for those of us who aren’t willing to completely restructure their closets, we can agree we have pieces of clothing we keep around but no longer wear. Maybe some of them don’t even fit anymore. To declutter, I recommend starting there. If you find it hard to get rid of pieces you keep planning to wear, make a pile and actually wear the items during the week. Then you’ll decide if you want to wear it again or if there’s some feature that doesn’t fit your style quite right,” says Kleinman.

The Design Aspect of Minimalism

Aside from minimalism as an act of clearing out your spaces of unwanted items, the concept goes even further. Founder and CEO of ceramic cookware company Caraway Home points out that you can also be minimal with your home products by crafting them around the minimalist principles of design for an equally freeing sense of spaciousness.

“Minimalism is more than just having less or decluttering the things you don’t need. It also refers to a design aesthetic centered around clean lines, crisp patterns, and a flow of color and shape that complements your home. A home designed with a minimalist objective is one that feels open and airy while still comfortable. Because a minimally conscious home is one that creates a sense of space due to its intentionally selected furnishings, decor, and colors/patterns, people never feel that illusive sense of crowding that cluttered homes have,” says Jordan Nathan, Founder and CEO of Caraway.

Another brand that has embraced the art of minimalism is Restoration Hardware, who even released a line, RH Modern, devoted to minimalist design as an act of cleaning up the home through aesthetics. Gary Friedman, the CEO of Restoration Hardware, points out that being minimal in your home can look like focusing on proportions and lines that create a sense of openness because these aspects can actually increase a sense of comfort.

“From antiques to architecture, from the environments we work in to the devices we work with, there is a modern sensibility that is influencing what we see and how we live in the world,” Gary Friedman, CEO of Restoration Hardware. “This is the first time in history that multiple modern trends are converging at once. RH Modern has its own identity, aesthetic, and spirit. With distinctive collections spanning nearly every facet of the home—living rooms to dining rooms, bedrooms to bathrooms, home theaters to home offices, and pools to patios—RH Modern represents clean lines and a minimalist aesthetic, but with the comfort and quality that define the RH brand. RH Modern is defined by a minimalist aesthetic and maximum comfort. It’s a study of trying to achieve the perfect proportions, combined with clean lines that both looks and feels comfortable to live in and with.” 

The Little Market, an online non-profit featuring artisan made home products, emphasises both functionality and appearance in their goods. This is another tactic that aids in the minimalistic curation of your items, because when you choose pieces that are useful and complement your home, you’re more likely to enjoy them for a long time while needing less. Hannah Skvarla, the co-founder, addresses how being minimal in your product choices actually helps create a more sustainable lifestyle that benefits not just you and your mental clarity, but also the planet.

“At The Little Market, we strive to build a collection of home décor that is both functional and beautiful — something that our shoppers can easily imagine in their homes and mix and match with their pieces. I like to periodically organize my home and clear any extra clutter that may have collected over time. When I do this, I ask myself, ‘Will I or have I used this product in the past one to two months?’ If I say no, then I choose to find a new place for it — whether that be to donate, recycle, or properly discard it. This helps me free up space and stand by my commitment to invest in sustainable, timeless pieces that are better for people and our planet,” says Hannah Skvarla, Co-Founder of The Little Market.

Clearly, minimalism is a whole lifestyle focus that can play a role in all areas of your life. But even if you respect the concept but can’t upheave your current lifestyle to shift it to a minimally centered one, you can still experience the mental and physical benefits that come with decluttering. Once you begin to get rid of items you don’t need and never use, you’ll feel a sense of peacefulness looking at your newly cleared spaces. Now is a great time to begin decluttering as we head into a new year and new season. Just remember that your home should be a place of relaxation and mental clarity, so don’t be afraid to get rid of anything that prohibits this.

BC Editorial Team


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