Homebuying for the Minimalist Lifestyle

by Charene Clark 01/19/2020

Are you a minimalist? If you’ve heard this question recently, you may be wondering just what it means and how does it affect you. It is NOT a set of rules.It is NOT about how much you own.

It is NOT about how much money you earn. 
It is NOT about buying specific items or giving up certain things.
It is NOT about being frugal.
It is NOT throwing out all your belongings and sleeping in a yurt (unless that makes you happy).
It is NOT about living in a tiny house (although it can be for you).
It IS about quality over quantity; peace over disorder; satisfaction over extravagance.

Minimalism is a mindset about what we require to be happy and what only clutters up our homes and our lives. It is about getting rid of the unnecessary things that take up space, consume time, and contribute to frustration and exhaustion. You can be a true minimalist in a mansion, a townhome, an apartment, or a houseboat as long as what fills your space contributes to contentment and order rather than stress and chaos.

When it comes to buying a home, minimalists look for spaces that reflect their personality rather than the latest trend. A minimalist is a different type of homebuyer. Becoming minimalist might be right up your alley if you hate the over-stuffed closet or messy junk drawer, find yourself irritated by clutter and uncomfortable with a hodgepodge of decorative items you subconsciously think of as “dust collectors.”

While a form of minimalism is an architectural style commonly seen in Japanese design with an aesthetic toward simplicity and clean lines, most homes do not fit into this category. Does that mean you can’t have a minimalist lifestyle? Of course not. Just adopt minimalist concepts to fit into any living space.

One way to accomplish this is to reduce the amount of furniture you have in each room. Opt for the pieces that everyone uses and give away ones that only fill up space. Reduce window coverings to a minimum rather than the multi-layered blind-sheer-drape-valance style. Organize the items that you keep so that each has a home. Reduce clutter by highlighting one or two items of a collection and rotating special pieces instead of displaying them all at once.

Simplify in other ways by installing native grasses and plants, thereby reducing the need for lawn care and gardening. Add interest to your yard with hardscaping: rock gardens or paver stones in decorative patterns.

When seeking a new home visualize what makes you most happy as you walk through model homes and open houses letting your imagination discard what doesn’t fit. Help your real estate professional know about your aesthetic to have the best chance of finding your minimalist home.

About the Author
Author

Charene Clark

A resident of Old Lyme since 1992, Charene has been specializing in residential real estate for over 24 years, serving Eastern Connecticut to the Rhode Island state line. A consistent top producer with extensive knowledge of residential sales including single and multi-family properties, condominium sales and new construction condo projects. Charene is dedicated to the profession with 5 years served on the Board of Directors for the Eastern CT Real Estate Information Service (MLS), including a year as president and involved in the community through local non-profit organizations, an animal advocate, and an avid runner. Charene's success is attributed to good communication and rapport with clients and peers, knowledge and experience in changing markets and providing professional service with a personal touch. Member: National Assoc. of Realtors; Connecticut Assoc. of Realtors; Eastern CT Assoc. of Realtors. Past President: Eastern CT Realtor Information Service. Founder: 4PAWS, Inc. A non-profit organization (1998-2004)