Living with less stuff can be an incredibly freeing experience. We currently live in a world that is full of stuff. It’s supposed to signify our status in our community and in life. The more things we have, the better off we are — right?

With all that stuff, though, comes clutter and the need for space to store everything, which can be stressful. Plus, do you even use everything you have?

One way to reduce clutter and stress is to transition to what is being dubbed a “minimalist lifestyle.” Becoming a minimalist is not an easy process, but it’s one that can be rewarding and beneficial. If you’re thinking about becoming a minimalist, below are a few ways to start that task!

Get rid of broken items and duplicates

It doesn’t matter if it’s clothes, shoes, towels or toys — if it’s ripped, falling apart or broken, it’s probably not doing anything in your home but taking up space. Throw it away. If your dishes are chipped or cracked, get rid of them. Having these items around will just clutter up your house.

Additionally, evaluate: How many sets of measuring cups or spoons do you have in your kitchen? Do you have multiple copies of DVDs or Blu-rays? How many coffee mugs and cups do you have in your house?

With most measuring utensils, you only need one set. For cups and mugs, you can get away with one per person in the house. All these things can be washed, so you can reuse them day after day. Small changes like these will help you clear up valuable space you didn’t know you had.

Reduce your living space

If you have a big home, you more than likely have a desire to fill that space with knick-knacks, furniture or other things. After all, a home with empty space looks kind of odd.

If you’re serious about being a minimalist, decide if the larger house or apartment is really what you need. If not, you might consider downsizing to a smaller living space. Having less space will reduce the number of items you need to fill it.

Decide how many clothes you really need

If your closet or dresser is stuffed to the brim, you more than likely have too many clothes and need to get rid of some. If you can get through the week with only five shirts and three pairs of pants, then get rid of the rest. If you have clothes in your closet or dresser that no longer fit you, donate them. There’s no reason to hang on to these things that aren’t helping you in your day-to-day life. Donate or sell them to someone who will be able to use them.

When it comes to your underwear and socks, you only need to keep enough to get you through the week. If they have holes, throw them in the trash. All these items are washable, so you’ll have clean clothes from one week to the next. You’ll just have less of them to worry about!

The path to becoming a minimalist can be challenging, and you may find it’s difficult to get rid of the stuff. However, in the end, it will reduce stress and clutter tremendously. Take your time and make informed decisions so you can be happy with your new, minimal lifestyle.