the connection between minimalism and mental health

By following these strategies and procedures, you can create a more minimalist and organized living space that will help reduce stress and anxiety in your family home.
here are some research studies that support the connection between minimalism and mental health, specifically in reducing stress and anxiety:

A study published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology found that women with cluttered homes had higher levels of cortisol, a stress hormone, than those with uncluttered homes.

Another study published in the Journal of Consumer Research found that simplifying one's environment can improve productivity and focus.

A study published in the Journal of Positive Psychology found that minimalism has numerous well-being benefits related to autonomy, competence, mental space, awareness, and positive emotions.

A study published in the Journal of Happiness Studies found that people who live a low-consumption lifestyle are happier and have higher levels of life satisfaction.

A study published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology found that decluttering one's home can lead to a reduction in carbon footprint and contribute to environmental sustainability.

decluttering your belongings

Start by sorting through your belongings and categorizing them into three piles: keep, donate, and discard. Use a checklist to keep track of the items you're getting rid of, and make sure to donate or discard them as soon as possible to avoid cluttering up your home again. Read our decluttering techniques from minimalists that actually work post here.

simplifying your living space

Once you've decluttered your belongings, focus on simplifying your living space. Start by creating a minimalist living room checklist that includes only the essentials, such as a couch, coffee table, and a few decorative items. Read our post on how living with less can lead to so much more here.

creating a minimalist kitchen checklist

A minimalist kitchen should include only the essentials, such as a refrigerator, stove, oven, and a few basic utensils and appliances. Use a checklist to declutter your kitchen and keep only the items you use regularly. Read our simplify home cooking with a minimalist kitchen post here.

simplifying your bedroom

Your bedroom should be a peaceful and relaxing space. Use a minimalist bedroom checklist to declutter your belongings and keep only the essentials, such as a bed, dresser, and nightstand. Read our guide to better sleep in a minimalist bedroom post here.

creating a minimalist bathroom checklist

Your bathroom should be functional and clutter-free. Use a minimalist bathroom checklist to declutter your belongings and keep only the essentials, such as a shower, sink, and toilet. Read our post on creating a tranquil minimalist bathroom here.

simplifying your home office

If you work from home, it's important to create a functional and organized workspace. Use a minimalist home office checklist to declutter your belongings and keep only the essentials, such as a desk, chair, and computer. Read our post on being more productive with a minimalist home office here.

creating a minimalist wardrobe checklist

A minimalist wardrobe should include only the essentials, such as a few pairs of pants, shirts, and jackets. Use a minimalist wardrobe checklist to declutter your clothing and keep only the items you wear regularly. Read our post on creating an everyday minimalist capsule wardrobe here.

simplifying your schedule

In addition to simplifying your living space, it's important to simplify your schedule as well. Use a minimalist schedule checklist to prioritize your activities and eliminate any unnecessary commitments. Read our do less to achieve more blog post here.

By following these strategies and procedures, you can create a more minimalist and organized living space that will help reduce stress and anxiety in your family home. Remember to use checklists to stay organized and on track, and don't be afraid to adjust your minimalist goals as needed to fit your family's unique needs and lifestyle.

Some food for though on simple steps to creating a streamlined, minimalist environment can be quite a journey, especially for a family with children, along with all their needs and keepsakes, can make decluttering a unique challenge. Here are some practical strategies, procedures, and checklists to help a family transition towards a more minimalist lifestyle effectively:

1. family meeting
  • Objective: To discuss the benefits of decluttering and get everyone on board.
  • Procedure: Arrange a casual meeting to discuss why minimizing is beneficial. Use examples suitable for all ages to ensure everyone understands and can see the benefits.
2. zone-by-zone decluttering plan
  • Objective: To systematically declutter the home without overwhelming anyone.
  • Procedure: Break down the home into zones (e.g., kitchen, living room, each person’s bedroom). Assign a week to tackle each zone to keep the process manageable.

Read our post called How to create a personalized decluttering plan to suit your home and to help tackle clutter in your home.

3. decluttering checklist for each zone
  • Checklist:
    • Remove items that haven’t been used in over a year.
    • Donate or sell clothes that don’t fit or aren’t worn.
    • Recycle broken toys and electronics.
    • Create a box for items of sentimental value, limiting the box size to encourage careful selection.

See more decluttering checklists here to help you make the easier choices to reduce, recycle and donate unwanted items in the home

4. daily decluttering minutes
  • Objective: To make decluttering a habit.
  • Procedure: Set a daily timer for 10-15 minutes where the whole family tidies up together. This could be right before dinner or bedtime.
5. one-in, one-out Rule
6. monthly review sessions
  • Objective: To prevent clutter from building up again.
  • Procedure: Schedule a monthly family meeting to review spaces and items, deciding what should stay and what should be let go. This reinforces the minimalist habits.
7. seasonal donation routines
  • Objective: To clear out unused items and help the community.
  • Procedure: Every season, gather clothes and other items that are no longer needed and donate them to local charities. This can be tied to seasonal wardrobe changes.
8. visual reminders
  • Objective: To keep the benefits of minimalism visible.
  • Procedure: Place visual reminders around the house about the benefits of having less. Quotes, simple artworks, or before-and-after photos of decluttered spaces can serve as motivation.
9. rewards system
  • Objective: To make decluttering enjoyable for children.
  • Procedure: Implement a reward system for decluttering achievements. For example, after a successful decluttering session or maintaining their personal space clean, reward children with a family outing or a special activity rather than new items.
10. education through stories and books
  • Objective: To reinforce the value of minimalism.
  • Procedure: Include books and stories in your reading routine that highlight simplicity and the joy of less. This helps children understand and embrace minimalism beyond the physical act of decluttering. Check out our post on ways to teach children how to let go of stuff with the use of story books.  

Implementing these strategies can help a family achieve a cleaner, simpler living environment while reinforcing the values of minimalism. Each step is designed to integrate into daily life gradually, ensuring that the process is sustainable and stress-free.

written by:

Jules Dolan March 25, 2024
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