While some might think of minimalism as a trend, it’s likely one that’s not going away anytime soon. Living with less is not only better on your pocketbook, it’s better for your mental clarity and overall happiness.

Here’s how to get started:

Start today. Sometimes we hear of an idea that sounds great, but leave it for another day when there is less on our plates. The best way to get started with something you know will have a positive overall impact on your life is to just do it. Right now—before you have time to talk yourself out of it and make excuses. Clear out and organize a cluttered part of one room—a small closet or maybe your desk. This small step will get you started and motivate you to keep going.

Know it will get worse before it gets better. When it comes to decluttering, the thing that tends to scare people away is dealing with the in-between period—where your stuff is out of hiding and all over your living room floor. Just thinking about that image might give you anxiety, but don’t let it stop you from proceeding. That period is temporary, and when you get through the piles of stuff and realize just how many items you’ve held onto that you never use, you’ll feel happy for having finally done the work to lighten the load.

Ask the important questions:

  • Does it bring me joy?
  • Does it serve a purpose in my life that another item doesn’t already serve?
  • If keeping it, where does it live?

These three questions are all you need to decide if something is worth keeping, donating or throwing out.

Think before you buy. While it’s easy to mindlessly buy something just because the price is right, that doesn’t mean you should. With your new lifestyle in mind, you’ll have to stop and think before every purchase and ask yourself if you truly need this item. Ask the questions you asked of each item when you were purging. If it doesn’t bring you joy or serve a purpose that something you already own doesn’t serve, you probably don’t need it.

Evaluate and adjust your method if necessary. Just as no two people are alike, so goes the same for minimalists. One person’s ideal clutter free lifestyle might be too little, or too much for you. Now that you’ve begun this journey, it’s up to you to decide what does and doesn’t work for your particular lifestyle. Being minimalist doesn’t mean you have to live in a tiny house with only one backpack worth of items to your name. It looks different for everyone, so take some time to evaluate just how far you want to take it.