I think Joshua Becker of Becoming Minimalist says it best, "Maybe the life you've always wanted to live is buried underneath everything you own".
Since April, we donated/trashed/gave away over 1,000 items. My goal for this year is more than double that. To kick-start our road to more minimal living I participated in the Minimalist Game (or Minsgame). You can read more details on the official page, but here's the low down. You get rid of one item for each day of the month; for example, 1 thing on the 1st, 2 things on the 2nd, and 3 things on the 3rd and so on. All the way through the month. We removed more items from our home that the game suggested... so many that I stopped counting during the 2nd month.
I also signed up for Joshua Becker's Uncluttered Course to keep moving full-steam ahead. (full disclosure: When I signed up he was running a special. If you pre-ordered his book The More of Less before it's summer release date you got the course for free. Which is a huge savings. But the class is completely worth the full price) The course helps you go room by room, giving suggestions on how to eliminate the excess. The facebook group and weekly emails give you the encouragement you need to keep pressing forward. I strongly suggest the book (which is the foundation of the course). Since you are trying to embrace a more minimal lifestyle I'd check your local library for a copy rather than buying one. (ha!)
For this new year I am taking the Decluttering 2017 in 2017 Challenge by Nourishing Minimalism. She has a great chart to download and help you keep track of your progress. (I love her blog! It's one of my favorites.) It's January 1st and I have over 200 items bagged up and ready to leave the house. I'm ready to do this! I hope you'll join me.
These are great resources that have helped me on my way. If you are looking for encouragement and want to dig a little deeper into this whole minimalism thing I hope these help. I'll post a bit more frequently here about our journey, some of our new habits, and what our version of minimalism is starting to look like.