With a minimalist mindset, you may have already discovered the following to be true: the less you own, the less that owns you. And it is a great feeling, isn’t it?
If you are treading softly on your way to minimalism, admiring the cleanliness and spaciousness of it all, then take the words of William Morris to heart: “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.”
To be efficiently clean and tidy, we must have open spaces in our homes, areas free of clutter, without obstructing furniture, yet with a strong sense of simplicity.
Dust will always settle, whether you have generous amounts of clutter or none, at all, so one thing to keep in mind is that easy-to-clean surfaces are important in the design, remodeling and general appearance of your home. In some instances, you won’t have any control over this aspect, just do what you can to turn the situation in your favor.
Once you have developed a minimalist mindset, these 3 guiding principles will keep your home healthy and clean at a very low cost.
1 Keep your home clutter-free
The best, and most effective approach to maintaining a tidy living space, is to prevent unused and unwanted items from entering your home in the first place. However, if you do have objects lingering about, and most of us do, there are ways to modify your habits to bring about more orderliness. Start by reducing the number of your belongings – toss out what brings no joy, what no longer works, or fits. Keep only those items that you use often. If, for instance you haven’t used something in one year, then perhaps it is just taking up space and it is time to let it go.
An organized mess may be a disguise for clutter, so examine your home critically, or hire a professional home organizer when your many belongings leave you with a sense of defeat.
Once you have reached a level of minimalist comfort in your home, reassess it every now and then, and get rid of clutter the moment it appears.
2 Use non-toxic cleaners for a healthier home
Awareness has grown in the past decades about dangerous toxins (phthalates, triclosan, 2-butoxyethanol, ammonia, sodium hydroxide) in conventional cleaning supplies. Nowadays there are many great eco-friendly cleaning products on the market from Seventh Generation, to Sonett and Dr. Bronner’s, but there is also a growing trend in DIY non-toxic cleaners.
Making DIY cleaners at home with basic ingredients such as baking soda, vinegar, lemon juice, salt and essential oils, is a fantastic alternative to store-bought supplies. Not only do they smell good, imagine a home cleaning combined with relaxing aromatherapy, they often disinfect better than harsh chemicals that get washed down the drain, polluting the water along the way.
A natural clean is sustainable and environmentally friendly in more than one way. You get to refill your bottles as often as needed, plus you have complete control of the ingredients, which is an extremely important thing if you have chemical sensitivities.
3 A few simple, yet quality tools will maximize your efficiency in keeping clean
Simple is good. It is about having few things, as well as quality ones that are made to last. It is about embracing multifunctionality over single-purpose products in single-use packaging. The key to a green clean is to reuse all that can be washed, dried and set into use again. A broom and dustpan is a good example to this principle, one can sweep and pick up, again and again, but it doesn’t suit all surfaces or all levels of “clean”.
A more modern approach to home cleaning may include a reusable microfiber Turbo mop. It cleans all kinds of surfaces and gets in tight corners where dirt and dust get trapped. Without a bulky mop bucket, you can store your most important cleaning tool behind a door, or hanging flat on the wall. Useful and practical tools that take up little space are of high value to minimalists.
Other cleaning supplies that can be reused are plastic/glass spray bottles, cleaning cloths and cotton rags.
Once you find a cleaning routine that works best for you, keeping your home clean and tidy will become easier and easier with a minimalist mindset. It all starts with getting rid of and eliminating clutter, embracing natural cleaners and having a small, yet quality set of tools to get the job done.
Whether you are an aspiring minimalist or an experienced simplifier, people will begin to envy your tidy, well-kept home. It takes just a few minutes each day to keep a simple home clean, let others think it took hours to achieve perfection!