Have you ever wanted to try minimalism, but weren’t sure where to start? Or maybe you aren’t a fan of the idea of emptying out your house and living with 1 of everything just for functionality?
I have some good news for you: minimalism doesn’t have to mean stripping your house down to the bare bones and living with nothing extra. People like to put labels on things and think we have to fit inside of the box that label is on. But we don’t!
I love having tons of throw pillows on my couch and a basket full of fuzzy blankets. I don’t want to have to get rid of those because I want to be a “true minimalist”.
I’m sure most people feel this way. And that’s why I wanted to tell you about the new and best form of minimalism that I’ve heard of and have decided to adopt in my life.
I’ve been seeing the minimalism trend for a few years and it’s becoming increasingly popular lately (thanks Marie Kondo). I love the idea of minimalism, but I also haven’t been able to get 100% on board. My first blog post I ever published was actually about becoming more of a minimalist!
I recently read about a different take on this idea called “cozy minimalism”, and I think that resonates with me a lot more. The idea here is that you have just enough. Not too much, not too little. Goldy Locks style, it’s juuust right.
My desire to step into minimalism has been steadily growing over the last 4 years. When I moved to KC, I had SO MUCH STUFF. But I didn’t need most of it. I just was hoarding my things because I always feared getting rid of something and needing it again later. Side note, that’s only happened once since I started this 4 years ago and it was an easy replacement and I like the new thing a lot better anyway!
My first purge of my closet wasn’t the best. The biggest thing I remember is that I had 36 pairs of pants in there, and I maybe rotated between 5-6 consistently. The rest sat there, never being worn. After I got rid of a bunch of stuff and felt the difference it made to de-clutter, I was hooked.
It’s been ongoing ever since.
I see tons of pictures on Pinterest of downsizing and minimizing your life. But I don’t want to completely get rid of EVERYTHING. I’m sure you don’t, either.
But being happy with less is an awesome idea, and as someone who has taken probably 70+ trips to Goodwill in the last 4 years, I can tell you that you will feel SO MUCH BETTER letting go of all the things cluttering your life that you feel like you need but you DON’T.
That’s where this idea of Cozy Minimalism comes in.
WHAT IS IT?
I love the word cozy. It just makes me feel good. I’m all about comfort in all areas of life, and the less chaotic, the better.
Cozy minimalism is basically a combination of traditional minimalism and Hygge (pronounced hue-gah), which is the Danish idea of happiness and having a comfortable aesthetic in the home. It mainly focuses on those small things that make a house feel like a home, which I am ALL about (think the fuzzy blankets, pillows, warm drinks by the fire).
Hygge is about feeling comfortable, safe and content in your home. Minimalism focuses on having the minimal amount of possessions that you can to live a happier life. It’s actually about freedom and being free from consumerism and clutter.
The combination of these two ideas created this amazing new concept that I think is the perfect middle ground for most people.
As someone who focuses on affordability and being on a budget, I love the idea of buying less, saving more, and being happy and free from the constant desire to buy, buy, buy. That love of buying got me into a lot of trouble in my early twenties…
When I came across this post on Minimalism, it really made me see it and understand it in a whole new way. Instead of going to the extreme of owning just 51 things (like one of the guys they mention), you have to see WHY he decided to go that route (he travels the world, it’s necessary to have less).
I like the idea of living in a tiny house, but don’t think we would ever make that happen. I love the idea of spending less on material things and spending more time with my husband and our fur babies and creating memories and experiences.
I’m not ashamed of the fact that I have a closet full of clothes because I actually have whittled it down to what I really love and wear. It’s not 30 pieces, but it’s what works for me. I definitely don’t have as much as I used to, which is also good because I never used it all!
In this series of posts about cozy minimalism, I’m going to share my idea of cozy minimalism and what it means to me in terms of clothes, shoes, and our home. If these ideas work for you, then that’s wonderful. Feel free to adopt them in any way you want in order to make it best suit YOU and your life.
I want everyone to see that we don’t have to be extremists to like an idea and want to apply it to our lives. What works for one person might not work for someone else, and that’s 100% ok. Life is not a one size fits all.
WHERE DO I START?
If you want to get started with this idea, set aside a few hours and go through your home room by room. Start pulling things out of the closet, draws, storage, etc.
You have to take out everything, and I mean EVERYTHING. This is the only way to really have the full effect. It hits you differently when you see it all at together.
If you haven’t worn it or used it in a year or more, it needs to go (unless it’s something for a special occasion). If you need help deciding on things, check out this post for getting started with cleaning out and organizing your closet! These rules apply to all areas of the house.
Don’t cling on to things just because you spent a lot on them. If you think they’re worth selling, sell them! Get my best tips for selling your stuff for the most money here.
Once you sort things, you have to actually get rid of them. Don’t let them just continue to sit there and take up space. Schedule a time to take them to Goodwill so they can help someone else. Donations count as a tax write off, too, so be sure to get your receipt if you want to count them!
THE BEST TIPS FOR COZYING YOUR HOME
When it comes to making your home comfy and cozy, there are a lot of ways to make it feel great without adding too much clutter.
Soft Blankets. Adding throw blankets to your couch instantly makes things feel homey and softer. Even the LOOK of the blankets makes things feel better. The best blankets are the buttery soft ones.
Throw Pillows. My husband thinks throw pillows are stupid, but when the boys were puppies and ate the house, even HE commented when the couches had no pillows. You don’t need 10, just a few will make it feel more homey. Go for soft materials and subtle earth tones.
Natural Light. Open those curtains and pull up the shades! Natural light warms everything up and makes it look great.
Books. You don’t need a ton of books just scattered around, but coffee table books are great for creating a homey aesthetic. There’s a great one about Hygge, and I just got this one on Cozy Minimalism! You can even get fake books if you want.
Simple furniture. You don’t need anything overly ornate. Typically fancy furniture gives the vibe it’s just to look at, not touch. We want comfy not stuffy, right? Neutral pieces with clean lines are best as they’ll always be in style. They’re easy to transition with the pillows and throws.
Candles. Great smells and cozy feels are the best part of candles, right? There’s nothing better than lighting a candle with your favorite scent and relaxing. I get all of my candles from Home Goods because you can get the huge ones for $10 and they last forever!
No Clutter. Even before you start making things the way you want them, the real quick, easy and FREE way to make things feel better is to just de-clutter. Take out all the excess things that don’t belong in the space, or things that you no longer want/like/need.
If you google Hygge and minimalism both, you’ll see the empty space is part of the appeal. There isn’t a bunch of “stuff” everywhere.
When re-building your home to be the way you want it, start slow. Search around on Pinterest for some inspiration and shop for pieces over time instead of all at once.
Get a new blanket one day, get some pillows next weekend, etc. Spread it out and build your space up little by little in order to not break the bank.
Make a list of the things you want to use to enhance your space and/or closet and keep it with you (I keep mine in my phone). That way when you’re shopping you know what you need and you can resist impulse shopping.
Use ShopTagr to notify you when pieces you love go on sale! You just install the extension on your computer and when you’re on a site, you can save the item and get sale notifications so you know the best time to buy!
Thank you so much for reading!