An image of an interior with living space, desk, and shelving, in medium wooden furnishings.


New Year. That elusive time for change, the space between now and our future. Fireworks crash outside, great streams of fizzing light drunkenly soaring through the dark skies, welcoming in a new era in our lives. We list the things we want to change, new additions which we choose to make when December’s last evening ticks into January.

We amend our lives around the New Year. Sure, we could change things any time of the year, but the New Year gives us a collective time to reach for change in our lives and to make things happen, when we might usually put it off for another day or another month.

Whether you’re brand new to minimalism, or you’ve been practising it for some time, it’s easy to find yourself falling back into collecting, or keeping things, which you thought you might need (yes, that includes the random kitchen appliance which you’ve only used once). It’s useful to spend some time looking over things you might have bought, or held onto, within the last year- especially during such a strange and chaotic year- and the time to do that is now.

Here’s a rundown of some key things to minimise before the New Year:

Rarely-Worn Clothing

Whether you’re experimental with style choices, or you’re forever returning to the same monochrome wardrobe, there’s often that one piece which just doesn’t leave the closet. Whether it’s bad fit, wrong colour, or worn out, the longer that item stays there, the more you forget to declutter it. Maybe it’s that pair of blue chinos which are just a bit too small, or it’s that ugly Christmas jumper which you actually hate wearing- whatever it is, it’s time to clear it out so that you can look into a wardrobe or drawer and know that you’d be happy to pick out any item in there.

Old CDs / DVDs

There’s a common misconception that digital can replace physical when it comes to music. But the reality of digitisation is often flawed- iTunes rewrites, unreliable cloud storage, too-small hard drives which are easy to lose. You probably don’t need that pop compilation from 2006, but it’s worth keeping a couple of physical copies of your favourite CDs, more so than DVDs- especially irreplaceable or rare items. DVDs, on the other hand, take up a lot of space. How many of us have shelving units filled with unwatched DVDs, some of which we don’t even like? Unlike CDs, many movies can be easily found in streaming services, and so don’t require a backup. Reduce your DVD collection and go into the new year with a precise collection of your all-time favourites.


You buy the thing. You keep the box, just in case. You keep the receipt, in an old wallet or drawer somewhere. After a couple of years, you don’t even remember when the guarantee or warranty lasted, you’re just staring at a pile of boxes, not knowing what to do with them. It’s time for those boxes to go. Of course, perhaps you’ll find that guarantee that you were looking for, or perhaps you’ll realise it expired four years ago. Either way, it’s something we forget to declutter, and it’s time to focus on it.

What will you minimise for the new year? For more ideas about minimalism, essentialism, happy living, and self-improvement, follow the minimum man and be part of the conversation on a weekly basis.

Featured image: Karl Solano via Pexels.

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