Never in human history have people lived with such material excess as we do today. As our lives have become richer and more complex, so too have they become cluttered with unspeakable amounts of “stuff” that corporations and their advertising agencies have convinced us we need in order to lead fuller, more satisfying lives. The reality is that the opposite is the case. There is little correlation between GDP and happiness. Some of the world’s richest countries are the unhappiest. Meanwhile, people all over the globe are opting for a simpler and cleaner life, unencumbered with excessive, non-essential possessions. The minimalist home has become an ideal that many are striving towards in pursuit of a simpler, more mindful existence. Let’s look at a few things that you can do to free your home of some of the noise crowding your space and mind:

Ditch the Plastic
Look around you right now. Count the items in your space are made of plastic. Chances are your surroundings are littered with the ubiquitous material. The low cost of plastic means that many accumulate far more items than they need. Despite their undoubted usefulness, most plastics do not biodegrade and contain harmful chemicals that may have long-term ill effects on your family. Consider going through your home and removing as many of the plastic items as practicable. Be sure to recycle as much of it as possible, and research how to dispose of the remainder properly.

Cathartic Culling
We have a simple rule in our family: if it hasn’t been looked at or used in more than six months, it’s out. Of course, we make exceptions for some sentimental items. However, our twice yearly culling ritual has become one of the highlights of our year. You will be surprised at how light and free you will feel once rid of all those extraneous things without which you were previously certain you could not live. It’s incredibly cathartic and helps keep your home cleaner and tidier.

Clear as Day
Surfaces, floors and walls have a natural tendency to gather excess papers, decorations or general detritus of everyday life. Keeping these areas clean and free of junk will go a long way towards achieving that minimalistic feel. A side table, desk, cabinet or bench top should have a maximum of two items on it. Resist the temptation to cover your walls with too many photos or artworks, as these will make them look too busy. If you have children, it can be a challenge to kerb the spread of junk. We have four elegant wicker baskets placed strategically throughout the house, in which we deposit all papers and the like. Once a week I go through them to dispose of what is not required and find homes for what is.

Toy Story
Children are junk magnets. If you ask them, they simply cannot live without the four and a half million toys strewn across every corner of the home. Take it from me, within twenty-four hours of their being gone; they will have forgotten that most of their toys and games ever existed. Consider keeping 2-3 storage containers of the best and most-loved toys in a cupboard or shed, and then cycling the toys out every few months. This will keep things fresh for the little ones and ensure that they only have what they genuinely need to play with at any one time.

There are so much more ways to achieve a more serene space that will help you lead a simpler, less stressful life. Hopefully, these tips will give you a great start.

Author's Bio: 

Caitlyn Bell is an Arts student whose experiences in life make her really tougher than anyone else. She can lend you expert tips on diverse topics ranging from relationship to fashion, making money, health and so on. Her write-ups are a window into her thoughts and knowledge.