The new year is here, and all of us like to take this opportunity to plan for the year ahead and find ways to better ourselves. While most of us are trying to eat better, exercise more frequently, and read more books, have you considered any quality-of-life upgrades for your home? Perhaps one that will make all your other new habits easier to stick to?

While the new year is still fresh and your motivation is high, consider the benefits of doing your spring cleaning a little early this year, and bringing a minimalist philosophy into your home. Now before you run away to clutch your prized possessions close, don’t let the M-word fool you into picturing your bedroom as no more than a wooden mat on the floor. Minimalism isn’t about monk-like austerity – it’s about honing your focus on to the things that really matter to you and eliminating the extraneous.

Reducing the clutter that we accumulate comes with all sorts of benefits. Chiefly, the calming effect of minimalism. Clutter around your home creates visual distractions, which requires your unconscious mind to sort through additional information every time you enter a room. And when we’re already as over-stimulated as we are, it prevents our homes from being the place of rejuvenation that we need them to be. Less visual stress, more relaxing rest.

Plus, if you’re planning on moving into a Shea home this year, minimalism makes moving much more manageable!

If you want to dip your toe into the minimalist waters, we’ve got a few tips to get you ready to turn your home into the beautiful and calming space it was meant to be.

One Room at a Time
If you’re moving into a new Shea home, there’s no better time to get rid of as much as possible to make the logistics of moving easier. But if you’re already in your new home, start your minimalism foray with just one room, rather than trying to tackle the whole house in a weekend. Start with your bedroom and ask yourself: “what do I really use in here every day?”.  Your bed, nightstand, dresser – no need to take those to the curb. But that reading chair that only holds coats and purses? Out with it. What about the dozen pillows on your bed? How much quicker would your morning be if you only had to reset the two you sleep with?
Be methodical, and once your first space is cleared of the non-essential, move to the next room, and then the next. Until your entire home is lighter and more open for your efforts.

Keep Flat Surfaces Bare
Once you’ve pared down the big things, like furniture, it’s time to look at your smaller items. A good rule of thumb is to keep your flat surfaces – your desk, nightstand, dresser, coffee table – as clear as possible. This doesn’t mean you have to live in some barren, militaristic dorm; quite the opposite. By removing the unnecessary, you draw more focus to the things you keep out. The family photo on the mantle takes on more meaning when it’s the only thing there, the souvenir from your last trip becomes a reminder of good times rather than a simple decoration. Be intentional with your choices, and let your décor reflect who you are.

Make it a Habit
While you may need a few hours here and there for your initial purge, you can bring the minimalist attitude into your daily life with a few simple habits. In his New York Times bestselling book, Atomic Habits, author James Clear refers to the story of Oswald Nuckols, an IT developer from Mississippi who keeps his life in order by “resetting the room”:

“For instance, when he finishes watching television, he places the remote back on the TV stand, arranges the pillows on the couch, and folds the blanket. When he leaves his car, he throws any trash away.”

Incredibly simple, yet powerful. When you finish making your breakfast smoothie, you immediately replace the blender under the counter so not to clutter the countertop. When you finish dinner, you immediately wash your dishes and replace them – now there’s nothing cluttering your kitchen, and with always clean dishes, you can afford to reduce your number of pots, pans, and plates from a few dozen to just a handful.

Have you tried out the minimalist philosophy in your home? Let us know in the comments below and share your pictures with us on social media. Be sure to tag @sheahomesaz and #sheahomesaz!

For everything else Shea, visit sheahomes.com.

Sales by Shea Homes Marketing Company (AZ DRE #CO550381000), Construction by Shea Homes Limited Partnership (ROC #195895).

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