12-step Program for minimal Living

1. Admit you live in a small space. Deal with it. In a modern city, living and working space are your most precious assets. Learning the most efficient way of prioritizing space reduces the stress that city living bestows on us.

2. Use your space to organize your life. Prioritizing space by time can have great rewards. How much time do you spend doing your personal daily routines? Allocate more space depending on time spent.

3. Discard habits that clutter your life. What aspects of your lifestyle are you willing to re-address? Trips to the grocery? Entertaining at home?

4. Decide what’s important. Make an inventory of the things that are important to you personally – especially the things crucial to your quality of life, your job, and your relationship to loved ones.

5. Don’t be a pack rat. Part with the material possessions that you don’t use on a regular basis. Any new material additions to your home or office should be followed by a visit to the local Salvation Army or Goodwill.

6. Know your limits. Try to improve and understand the physical limitations of your living/working space by analyzing your personal moods. This knowledge can guide you into learning how to use your living or working environment more efficiently. It’s an ever changing process: “What worked six months or a year ago may not work for you today.”

7. Get outside. Make use of the public and communal spaces at your disposal – freeing up your personal space for other uses. Meditate or take time to reflect at your local park. Drink, eat and even entertain at your favorite restaurant, bar or coffee house (they love ‘regulars.’)

8. Create a regular maintenance program. Creating an uncluttered environment requires some perspiration. Downsizing on your wastefulness is just not enough for a balanced living or working space. On a daily basis, take fifteen to thirty minutes to do some chores: mop your bathroom floor or clean a drawer in your desk. You’ll be surprised of what a difference this time spent can create.

9. Enter the 21st century. Use technology to your advantage. Today’s gizmos are so compact and multifunctional. They can cut the clutter time.

10. Repeat step #4.  Every so often, relapses may occur, so be ready to repeat step number four. Clutter can accumulate with time and only YOU know how often ‘every so often’ is.

11. Trust your creativity. Feel free to exercise your creative mind. Follow your instincts; life is all about trial and error.

12. Remember your home is your sanctuary. In dense, chaotic, and stressful urban environments, the last thing you want is to come to a space that resembles that outside world. As an urban dweller, you have little control over your outside environment. Use this as your motivation. At home or your office, the way you design your space should resemble the way you touch, smell, hear, taste, see, and feel about the world.

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