Being a minimalist often goes hand-in-hand with being organized. Minimalists love their space to be clean, open, and clutter-free. But sometimes popular organizational tricks can create issues for the aspiring minimalist. Sometimes these “tips” can even encourage the accumulation of more stuff. Luckily, when armed with the knowledge of the flaws in these strategies, it’s possible to work around them! Here are the ones I’ve found, and some ideas on how to have your minimalist cake, and eat it too:
1. The problem: being organized can be expensive.
This one is kind of obvious, but a lot of people, when going on an organizational rampage, may not realize exactly how much money they are actually spending. Rubbermaid tubs, crates, IKEA furniture, and space bags really add up.
The fix: purge before you organize.
You know what isn’t expensive? Downsizing! Make it a rule to clean out items you don’t use regularly before revamping your organizational plans.
2. The problem: storage can be a band-aid.
Cute, colorful boxes look wonderful, but if all you’re doing is hiding your clutter, they won’t help in the long run. Also, storage can be a wolf in sheep’s clothing if you find yourself hiding boxes of decor all year only to pull them out for a week or two around the holidays.
The fix: only use clear boxes or open storage, and keep stuff where you’ll see it often.
Clear boxes will help you find items in each box. This is great, because hopefully you’re only storing things you use on a regular basis. (Right guys? Right?) Closet storage is an easy way to forget what you have. Keeping storage out in the open encourages you to keep your inventory light.
3. The problem: remodeling your home can hurt your flexibility.
Adding drawers to your bathroom cabinets, or a roll-out pantry for beside your fridge may sound like a great idea. But in reality, those types of changes can be a little too permanent. If you remodel your bathroom to be able to hold more hygiene supplies, you’re more likely to believe you should keep those new spaces full.
The fix: make only non-committal fundamental changes.
Try to find organizational tools that are easily changeable. Rather than rebuilding a piece of furniture, head to Goodwill and find some creative storage solutions. A pencil cup on top of the desk is happier than a built-in one on the day you decide to downsize your pen collection.
4. The problem: organizational furniture can take up MORE space.
Crafters have a particularly difficult time with this one. In our effort to keep supplies within easy reach and well sorted, we tend to go overboard with the sorting part. This can lead to losing space rather than freeing it.
The fix: look for the simplest form of storage.
Do you need an entire rolling cart for that scrapbooking paper, or will an accordion file do? A toilet paper holder for the bathroom can be cute, but is there extra space under the sink you could utilize instead?
Heaven knows minimalists love to organize. Now we don’t have to sacrifice one for the other. Ta-da!