Minimalism and the 80/20 rule

Imagine having a wardrobe closet, kitchen cabinets, or a garage so un-stuffed that it’s as if you walked into a department store window display to live.

A small handful of clients out of thousands I’ve worked with actually live that kind of minimalist lifestyle. Case in point: many people have too much clothing and not enough closet space to use wooden hangers as they do in magazines and advertisements. Wooden hangers take up lots of space. Lack of closet space is why slim hangers are so popular now.

Minimalism: A dream only obtainable through curated lifestyle magazines and Instagram posts?

The photo in this post depicts minimalism, but it hasn’t been curated to obscure reality. It is how the closet I organized truly looks. There really is that much space between clothes, and it’s because this person chooses to own very little. It reflects the simple lifestyle of a client I recently worked with for the second time. She’s called on me twice for help when moving homes. She’s done all the decluttering herself.

How can someone live so simply? Here are a few excellent ways to start:

  • Restrain yourself – we don’t need to buy a ton of organizing supplies to get organized. Most people I work with need very few or nothing at all.
  • Say “so long!” to magazines – they are primarily ads for things to buy and these ads work on the subconscious more than we realize.
  • Go offline – cut down on personal time spent on social media and the web (including Amazon). Facebook and Instagram exist today only because corporations are making big money through this new form of marketing. And “free shipping” is a drug to start weening yourself off. Take a few months hiatus a couple times a year. You won’t miss anything important, trust me.

Take action TODAY:

  • Declutter, Declutter, Declutter – Set up a donation bag or box that lives year around in your home and toss into it anything your heart, mind, and soul tells you. Place it somewhere you see it every day. Over time, this box will fill and refill, and you and your home will begin to feel lighter and free.

Do you want to live the minimalist lifestyle you see in magazines and on Instagram? It’s possible!

The Pareto Principle

Research shows that people use 20% of what they own 80% of the time. The rest takes up space, mostly untouched. Consider the things in your home, the clothes on your body, and even what you take in your luggage on vacation. This is an example of the Pareto Principle, also known as ‘the law of the vital few’ and the 80/20 rule. In life, it means that 80% of all effects result from 20% of all possible causes. Does the 80/20 rule apply to you and your stuff?

Imagine the money you’ll save, how easy it will be to clean, and how quickly you’ll find what you need living a life of minimalism. What would you do with the free time and space created by owning only what you truly love and use?

If it’s a minimalist lifestyle you want to live, you can do it. YOU can make it happen. Start TODAY.

San Francisco Bay Area Professional Organizer Isabella Guajardo works with clients to downsize, minimalize, and organize their wardrobe closets, offices, paperwork, kitchens, garages, and any challenging area of the home. Call her today at (510) 229-7321 for a complimentary 20-minute conversation about downsizing and minimalism.