Take a minimalist approach to minimalism

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Minimalist surroundings help people relax. But you don’t need a book about decluttering to clean up. Just use common sense and create a few decluttered zones in your house or at work. Safe havens you can retreat to when you want to focus or relax. But please keep all that good old stuff that makes you feel good!

you may end up sitting on the floor of your empty minimalist house

Cleaning up your life and leading a minimalist lifestyle is becoming more and more popular these days. Books that teach and inspire you to declutter your home are selling like crazy. Most of them recommend you to go through your house room by room, pick up objects and ask yourself ‘will I use this?’ or ‘I am emotionally attached to this?’ You will probably end up with a few stacks of stuff to: keep, give away or throw away. And you may also end up sitting on the floor of your empty minimalist house.


I totally agree that ‘cleaned up’, decluttered or minimalist surroundings – whatever you like to call them – can help people to relax. But we should not underestimate the power of nostalgia. Because many things you kept, you kept for a reason. Extremist minimalists throw out these things too. But I often go back to old things that I haven’t touched in years – even old toys from my childhood – and feel them again in my hands. Making me feel great.

a long time ago we were all hunter-gatherers

Besides that; we should not deny our human nature. Because a long time ago we were all hunter-gatherers. Collecting and keeping food and stuff we could use later (or not). This is the reason we like to buy stuff and put it in closets and drawers.

But I also believe that people emptying their houses, trying to declutter, are mainly filling the bank accounts of the people writing the decluttering books. It also benefits the people at the second hand stores and flea markets. They love all the perfectly good stuff that these decluttering people are throwing out.

But you don’t need to read a book to declutter your house. It’s all common sense. The books you buy are just extra clutter, aren’t they? Believe me: you can actually clean up and throw out stuff without reading a book first.

I decluttered my work space and my nightstand

Personally, I only decluttered two spaces in my life: my work space and my nightstand beside my bed.

My workspace – both at home and at my office – is completely empty, apart from the computer I use and the coffee mug I am drinking from. All the things I need for my work are digitized and on a hard drive or floating somewhere in the cloud, always at my disposal. It took some time to digitize everything and I still have to scan every paper that I receive but it is really worth the effort.

it became my minimalist sanctuary

My nightstand is also completely decluttered. About a year ago I emptied it and only put back the few things I really use. Over the years my nightstand had become a place to put ‘all those things that you don’t know where to put’. Stuff that you don’t want to throw away but you don’t use either. But after I cleaned it, it became my minimalist sleeping sanctuary.

Why did I clean those out? Because I wanted to. They are now ‘safe havens’ for me to escape to when I want to rest or focus. And I am positive I will create more of these decluttered zones the coming years.

keep all that good old stuff that makes you feel good

Take a minimalist approach to minimalism

That is why I recommend to take a minimalist approach to minimalism. Don’t do it all and don’t do it all at once. Clean up and feel free to create a few decluttered, minimalistic zones in your house (or at work) for you to retreat to when you want to focus. And please keep all that good old stuff that makes you feel good.

Leave a Reply