Since I endeavoured to follow a more minimal lifestyle I’ve been talking to people that like the idea of living a more simple life, toning down their busy lifestyle too, decluttering and organising their homes. In general, lead a more healthy, calm and restful life but they don’t know how to do it. They don’t really want to empty their homes completely, sell them, buy a little cottage in the country and go out foraging for their supper. They like their lives as is, but they would like to simplify it.
It’s about finding the sweet middle and this is where minimalism and home organising comes in. Being mindful of what you own is where to start.
Minimalism is not about what you own, but why you own it!
Tidying up and letting go of things can also be a soul cleansing experience.
Someone told me the other day, that they had no issue with living in a messy home. That they have much more important things to do in their lives than tidying up and this really got me thinking…
Clearing out and tidying up your home, apart from being satisfying, will feel like a weight has been lifted off your shoulders. Living in a messy, cluttered home, can effect your physical and mental health. Things lying on the floor, open shelves packed with things which are impossible to clean will just gather dust and microorganisms that adversely affect your health. Wardrobes that don’t get any air circulation because they are so packed can grow mould and moths that lay their eggs. All this can affect yours and your children health.
How many times were you late because you were looking for things? How many times did you get stressed because you couldn’t deal with all the stuff around you?
At the end of the day, someone has to want to make a change in their lives in order to make it happen.
Change can come easily if you are ready for it! But if you are not ready you can find a thousand excuses: “I don’t have time; I don’t have help; I’d rather be out with my kids; my friends are doing something fun; I have more important things to do etc”
So if you are ready to make a change, here are some things you can start with:
Begin with your clothes, most people I talk to nowadays they have wardrobes bursting with clothes and nothing to wear. Use the capsule wardrobe concept to slim down your wardrobe and only keep the things you really love to wear! No need to be strict with how many pieces of clothing you own, whatever is comfortable for you.
Once you clear out your wardrobe (and if you are a mother, your kids wardrobe too) then you realise that you have all this extra storage space that you don’t need. Extra chests of drawers, baskets, whatever you don’t need just give it away to charity and create some space.
A great new rule to implement to sustain your new lean wardrobe is the ‘one in, one out rule’. When you buy something new, you need to get rid of something old.
take up a lot of space. Go through your books and be very honest with yourself. Are you going to read any of your books again? Like ever?? If not, they are just gathering dust, they gave you pleasure when reading them, but now it’s time to let them go. If you are a mum, go through all your kids books too.
I know this is the most boring, tedious and uninspiring job one has to do. Go around and gather every scrap of paper that is lying around, been shoved into drawers or gathering dust on the kitchen worktop. Create a large pile, make a cup of tea, coffee or a glass of wine works better for me. Get a shredder and start sorting this paperwork out. Shred all the bits of paper you don’t need, most things can be found online nowadays. Don’t forget the fridge manual (from your old fridge) you have in the bottom of the kitchen drawer since 1999, and that IKEA wardrobe ‘how to build’ guide, you won’t be needing that! All manuals are now online.
When you have sorted everything, create a new filing system for yourself, for example, all incoming bills or paperwork that you need to deal with go into a specific place. Just ONE designated spot, then book a day in your diary once a month that you will deal with this paperwork. Obviously, check if any of your mail needs immediate attention. Repeat the shred-filling actions and file everything in one cabinet or box. Once you get into this habit, this process will take only a few minutes instead of hours.
Go through your bathroom cabinet, take a bin bag with you, and just throw anything you don’t use: toiletries that you bought but don’t work for you or you don’t like, samples that you’re never going to use and the small miniature shampoos that you ‘borrowed’ from your last holiday. Do the same for your makeup. Only keep the absolute essentials or the things you really love!…Oh, and don’t forget this medicine box/cabinet, when was the last time you checked the expiring dates?
Kitchen utilities and gadgets.
Ok this is a big one. How many times you have used this steamer in the last year? And how many glass jars do you actually own? Time to let go. Give to charity any gadgets you don’t need and you never use. It doesn’t matter how much you paid for it. All that matters is that you haven’t used it and it takes up space in your life without having any purpose. And really… how many coffee mugs you need? Give it away, throw it, sell it.
“For every minute spent in organising, an hour is earned’
– Benjamin Franklin
So are you ready for a change?
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