Minimalism can be easily defined as having less stuff. In an effort to live more simply and get more out of life many people are drawn to this idea. The questions are always, "Where do I start?" and "Do I have to get rid of everything?"

The answers? Start small and get rid of anything that doesn't benefit you during the process. Sounds easy enough, right? For some it may be hard to begin, but even if you only decide to clear out old clothes you'll still feel the benefits. This will help you become lighter, feel less stress, and leave a little more time for the things you love.

Start with what you never wear. We all have that one item, maybe several, that never gets worn. Whether it be due to fit, color, or pattern, it just doesn't feel right. But you like it so you keep it...until now. Try your clothes on, and if you instantly want to change, that's a definite sign that an item isn't for you. Let it go so you can make room for the items that make you feel good about yourself when you wear them. If you think about doing laundry, are you always washing the same pieces even though you have tons of other things in your closet? What are you holding onto them for? Take the time to evaluate each piece - love it or let it go. This can help you identify your style, allowing your future purchases to fall in line with these principles as well.

Ask for help. It can be hard to let go of clothes. We get attached to stuff for many reasons. My aunt bought me that, I wore that in college - whatever the reason may be. Ask a friend or loved one to come help you through the process. Make it fun by modeling pieces you're unsure about to get that person's real opinion on it. They can help you during those indecisive moments by having you take an honest look at whether or not you are holding on to clothes to be worn and useful or just as a keepsake. There are also professional purgers, organizers, and minimalists who can guide you through. This is a beneficial process and with the right help can feel good throughout.

Places to take the piles of unwanted clothes. There are thrift stores in Buffalo to take your clothing donations to, such as Amvets, The Salvation Army, and Goodwill. You can call different charities to see what sort of donations they accept as well. If you have some pieces that are a recent styles and gently used you can sell them to consignment shops such as Platos Closet, Clothes Mentor, and Second Chic. There  are also places specifically for childrens clothes like Once Upon a Child, Finders Keepers, and Rumpelstiltskin's on Elmwood Avenue. So not only can you rid yourself of these unwanted items, but make a few bucks in the process.

The wellness rewards from ridding the excess. There will be less clothing to sort through each day, making the outfit decision making process much shorter. As you proceed you may find that you're inspired to try a capsule waredrobe that easily works each piece together into outfits. Less morning stress in your routine. There will be a little more time to add to something you enjoy and perhaps the insipiration to move onto to other rooms of the house to review with that similar purging strategy.

Living intenitally with less has added much more ease to my day and I hope it can add benefit to yours as well!