How to Create a Minimalist Home

Minimalism is certainly being considered more and more nowadays as a life choice for people. However, before we can look at ways of creating a minimalist home, we need to be sure we understand the term “minimalism” and what it really means.

One of the clearest descriptions of minimalism is: A term used to describe something in it’s very basic, and most simplistic of forms. Uncomplicated.

So how does this translate to the home, and what steps can we take to create our ultimate minimalist home.

What’s The Benefit?

The minimalist home is often a choice of the more frugal among us, as one of the biggest side effects of a minimalist home is less “stuff”, meaning less money spent.

Other benefits of this lifestyle are:

Easy To Keep Tidy. When you clean an everyday home you have to spend an awful lot of time removing various objects from the top of tables, units etc before being able to actually clean the surface.

After which you then have to clean each individual item removed from the newly cleaned surface, and clean it before placing them all back tidily where they stood.

In a minimalist home there is very rarely anything placed on furniture surfaces, making cleaning them a very easy and stress free task.

Easy on the Eye. When you are surrounded by clutter, it can often look messy without actually being that messy. In other words, everything may be in it’s place but with “things on things”, and floor space taken up with units and piles of objects, a room can often give the effect of being messy.

A room empty of such visual distractions is likely to be much more easy on the eye.

Less Likely to Become Dirty and Dusty.

The more “stuff” you have, the more there is for dust to be attracted to. Because cleaning is made that much harder by the clutter, you are more likely to miss spots of dirt, and create a more dusty room than you would like.

In a more sparse environment there is of course also going to be less for you trip over, or hoover up whilst cleaning!

What Should it Look Like

Not all minimalist homes will look the same. Although they will all share similar characteristics they will all be individual, and where somebody may spend a fortune on the few items of furniture they have, in order to create a grand looking set up, the more frugal minimalist may plump for very plain and simple furniture.

The most common features of minimalist homes are:

Less Furniture – In a living room for example, you may only find a 3 piece suite, a coffee or dining table, a simple entertainment unit, the odd picture, and maybe a lamp or two.

In a bedroom you may just have a bed, a simple wardrobe, a bedside cabinet, and nothing else.

The idea here really is to have only the necessary furniture, and nothing more. The rooms are designed to house only furniture that serves a function.

Plain, Empty Surfaces – In a minimalist home, you will not find surfaces covered with pictures, decorations, and “bits and pieces”.

Often surfaces will be completely clear other than maybe a picture, and one other item of decoration.

The same is to be said of the walls. You will not have walls covered with holiday snaps or other artwork. Rather maybe one quality piece of artwork.

The key here is, being minimalist does not mean your house is empty. Merely that clear choices are made about decoration, and only small numbers of decorative items are placed around the home just to give accent, or “light and shade” to a room.

Where do I Begin?

So now you have decided you want to create a minimalist home, you need to know how to go about it.

The first thing is to decide what you want you home to look like. How much do you want to spend? Do you want to be frugal and create a plain look, or have a much grander looking setting for the small amount of furniture you will have.

Once you have decided on those things you then need to pen down a plan of action.

We have given you a rough guide of how to go about setting up your minimalist home in the easiest, and most stress free ways possible.

Don’t do it all at Once – If you intend to simplify your whole home, then one of the best pieces of advice we can give is, do not attempt the whole thing at once.

The best thing to do is to concentrate on just once room at a time. Begin with the rooms that you use the most, and only once you have completely finished one room should you move on to the next.

Once you get going you will surprised how quickly you can get through your whole home.

Furniture next – Look at the furniture you have, and try to figure out what pieces you can do without. If you have a unit that is full of knick knacks, decide what you are prepared to get rid of, and with what’s left, see if you could combine these with the contents of another item of furniture.

The idea is to end up with as fewer items of furniture as possible, without taking away from the functionality of the room.

If you don’t need it get rid – As harsh as it sounds if you are looking at something that does not serve a functional purpose then it has no place in a minimalist home.

Once your room is clear you can decide which accent items of decoration you wish to put back and keep, but for now lose it.

Nothing on the floors - If it isn’t an item of furniture it shouldn’t be on the floor.

That means no little decorations, or fancy door stops. The only things that should take up floor space is the furniture.

Empty the surfaces – This is where it can get difficult but you have decide on just a few photos, or decorations for your surfaces. The fewer the better. If you do not want to throw them away then store them, but do not keep them out on display.

Walls – Select one or two photos or pieces of art for your walls. No walls full of family snaps, or pictures drawn by the kids.

Window work – Windowsills should be left clear. Again no photos or decorations here. Ideally simple plain curtains, or even plain wood blinds will suffice here.

Take Your Time

Do not attempt to make the transformation at once. Enjoy the process, and once complete you can enjoy the benefits of your new frugal, clean, and de-cluttered minimalist home.

This is a guest post written by Timothy a personal finance writer for Balance Transfer Card.

6 Responses to How to Create a Minimalist Home
  1. Money Obedience
    June 2, 2010 | 6:49 am

    This idea is very appealing to me, a neat guy bordering on OCD. Alas, with two little kids in the house it is difficult to pull it off right now.

  2. Austin @ Foreigner's Finances
    June 7, 2010 | 4:06 am

    I would start at your desk. Wherever you create needs to be the cleanest and simplest. I’ve been paying attention to clutter a lot lately and the decluttering process is addicting. I can’t think straight if there’s too much stuff around me.

  3. Timothy Ng
    July 7, 2010 | 5:17 pm

    I agree with Austin. Keeping a clean desk creates a much better working environment.

  4. Richard @ Debt Assistance Guru
    July 19, 2010 | 9:54 am

    I am quite a fan of minimalism though I still like to have *some* possessions around. However a friend of mine with a dog maintains an incredibly minimalist home – more than I think I could stand – but says keeping the house clean even with the dog is quick and simple and as a result the house is always sparklingly clean with not a hint of dog hair anywhere so a minimalist home certainly makes a lot of sense. The key is really finding the right balance I think as a room that is too empty makes some people feel rather uncomortable.

  5. kimberly
    April 6, 2013 | 11:01 am

    At this moment I am going to do my breakfast, once having my breakfast coming yet again to read further news.

  6. Jeremiah
    August 17, 2013 | 7:48 pm

    Thanks for your perspective regarding minimalism. I had previously only thought of minimalism as a way to save money, but the truth is minimalism really creates a less stressful environment. The thought of clean surfaces and less clutter is just as exciting as the thought of saving money.

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