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The Minimalists' guide to becoming a minimalist

Ask yourself: would your life be better if you owned less stuff?

"This is an important place to start. It's so much important to know the why - why you're doing what you're doing. We all know effectively how to declutter our closets. That's a fairly simple step. But if we don't know why we're doing it, a week from now or a month from now the closet will just be cluttered again. Knowing why gives us the leverage to move forward. "

Get an accountability partner

"Find someone else in our life that wants to make a similar change and feels compelled to shed to excess. That has helped Ryan and I as well as tens of thousands of our readers who have played the Minimalism game, which is on our website, www.theminimalists.com. The game starts out really small - get rid of something that you're attached to but not too attached to. The feeling letting go is freeing as opposed to painful."

Don't be sentimental

"My mother died of lung cancer and I had to deal with her material possessions. There were 65 years accumulated of sentimental items but memories aren't in the things - they never will be. The memories are in us. With that revelation I spent the next days selling and donating her stuff. I did keep a few sentimental items but I get so much value by those few things because I'm not deluded by hundreds of them."

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