Librarian, writer, mother, and wife of a true minimalist. Minimizing and decluttering since 2011.
Minimalism and Decluttering is All About Psychology
Do you love the feeling of leaving your cluttered home, packing (mostly) only what you will need, and entering into a clean and sparsely decorated hotel room only to feel frustrated when you're back at home where things tend to get cluttered and messy quickly?
Do you find that you are more productive when in a hotel? Why might that be?
Here's a trick. Next time you are staying in a hotel, note the feeling you get from the spaces you find yourself, from bedroom to bathroom to common areas to restaurants. Remember that feeling while you are decluttering rooms and items in your home.
Not traveling any time soon? Pull out some photos of the last swanky suite you stayed in and get inspired!
Aspects of Hotel Minimalism That You Can Replicate in Your Home
- Lack of knicknacks. Surfaces are clear for the most part, and functional.
- Sparse art. We all know that some hotel art is rather bland, but it often reflects colors evocative of the outdoor locale. Take note on how much (or little) art there is, and where the art is placed in relation to things like mirrors and windows.
- Empty drawers and available closet space. Why not aim to give yourself a little more room to spread out in your own home by eliminating more of the items that you don't use as much? Minimalism is all about making room for what you really need, or the goals that you have, rather than making room for items themselves.
- Statement Pieces- Instead of having a lot of smaller things to decorate your space, invest in larger pieces like a standout headboard or uniquely designed chair.
Make Space for What You Want in Your Life
Minimalists don’t focus on having less, less, less. We focus on making room for more: more time, more passion, more creativity, more experiences, more contribution, more contentment, more freedom. Clearing the clutter from life’s path helps make that room.
— The Minimalists: Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus, https://www.theminimalists.com/
Ways You Can Benefit From This Exercise
- Increased Functionality- Design a room based on what you can see yourself doing rather than what items need to be stored there.
- Easier to Clean- Ever notice how maids can whip through all the rooms on a floor in a fraction of the time it takes us to clean our spaces at home? With less clutter, cleaning can be done in a snap!
- Appreciate Your Own Space More- If we could truly relax and destress when we walked into our homes, maybe our goal wouldn't be to leave it as soon as we're able.
Taking Memories With Us
Why don't we fill a hotel room with knickknacks? We put them away snugly in our luggage to give us a memory. Can we remember it better with a digital photo? Why are humans natural collectors?
We collect to establish a sense of self or identity, even when we don't have the space in our homes to do so. We collect for perceived usefulness, but also for very sentimental reasons, for memories.
Yet peace of mind comes along with empty spaces. Still, if you must buy a physical memory, go for something functional like a toy or a dish that will be played with or used for years to come!
What is the main function of a vacation? To relax, to destress, to experience something new, and most of all, to create new memories. Wouldn't it be great if your home design provided these same benefits?
Decluttering is a Process and it Takes Inspiration
I'm not saying you should get rid of all your possessions, live out of a backpack, or go on a trip with no luggage and buy all new things...for me, that has been unrealistic...but what could you learn if you did? Stories like these can inspire us to live with less and like it more!
Jarrett, C. (2013, August). The Psychology of Stuff and Things. In The British Psychological Society: The Psychologist. . Retrieved July 7, 2020, from https://thepsychologist.bps.org.uk/
Ryan, N., & Millburn, J. F. (n.d.). About. In The Minimalists. Retrieved July 7, 2020, from www.theminimalists.com/about .
© 2020 Margo Valentine