Less is More
Less is MORE!
I don’t know about you, but I’ve sure felt at times in my life that my mind is so busy and there’s so much “stuff” to worry about! We gather, collect, add, accumulate and hold on to so many things as the years go by, both physically (as in things, stuff) and mentally (within the mind). Whether we realize it or not, it influences our day-to-day lives in the way we respond, react, cope, think, believe and engage with ourselves, others and the world around us. Most of us have grown up in a time where consumerist culture dominates our societies, and we are led to believe that we need more stuff to be successful and happy. (Marketing, advertising, developments in psychology and the drive to increase countries economic outputs have been the catalyst to this) More money, bigger cars, houses, gadgets will make life easier and better, we’ll be more fulfilled, have more free time and create the “perfect” life. In concept, this all looks like a great idea, but in reality, it seems that this may not be quite the case…
So what do we do then about the dilemma? We all want nice things, a happy life, to be successful and contribute to the world. (well, most people…) So when is enough, enough? How much is too much? How can we find more freedom from the clutter and the ties that bind us? Well, part of the solution may lie in MINIMALISM. Now let me just be clear here, that there’s nothing wrong with having possessions or wanting to be successful, minimalism will just allow you to be more focused and deliberate with your choices AND resources. Think quality over quantity. By clearing out the things in your life that you don’t really NEED, this creates space for other things. Rather than assigning so much meaning to “stuff” we can devote more time to our relationships, our passions, personal growth, and give more attention to our health and wellbeing.
We all come from different countries, backgrounds and family situations, we may lie at different ends of the spectrum on the number of belongings we have and need to clear out, but the process to get going will be the same. In order for your de-cluttering to be a long-lasting success, you need a plan, a method, structure and a genuine commitment to the process. Perhaps you’ve heard of the Tiny House movement, The Minimalists or the Marie Kondo method? As with most things, there are many ways to approach the situation and it may not end up being a perfectly linear process, but what will matter is that you look at tiding and simplifying your life in a positive light and remember that your possessions are NOT what identifies you. Another thing to consider before you get going, don’t just get rid of things for the sake of fitting into the “minimalist box”. What I mean is, don’t discard a perfectly good coffee table to go out and buy another one that LOOKS simpler or cleaner. The idea is to save money in the future by only purchasing things that really spark joy! as Marie Kondo suggests.
The popularity of the minimalist movement has come not only out of the rise of social media or apps like Pinterest, but also of a genuine need and interest to become more sustainable. More and more people are becoming dissatisfied with the status quo, living paycheck to paycheck, racking up hefty credit card bills just to “keep up with Jones’s”. Perhaps we could even equate the rise of minimalism due to an increase in awareness around mindfulness? Either way, I think it’s all quite positive, as long as it leads to a life that is simpler, more sustainable, less stressful, offering us more free time and financial freedom, leading to a happier, healthier existence.
So, to wrap up this week’s blog, if you have a home that feels cluttered, untidy and out of sorts, here are a few things you can do to get you on the right track:
- Start by asking yourself what areas of your life feel cluttered or stressful, and what benefits could minimalism bring to your life overall
- Work through the process room by room and set a timeline for when you want to have things done by so you have a clear end in sight! (it could take a few weeks, or even months)
- Set up piles by category: Keep, donate, sell, throw out
- Anything broken, toss it! Be that a dish or a shirt…
- When it comes to shoes and clothing: If it has stains, doesn’t fit or you don’t like how you look, it goes, keep the items made from natural materials like cotton, linen and leather
- Go through the fridge and kitchen cupboards and get rid of all the outdated food
- Let go of all those appliances you thought would make life easier but that you never use: like the egg boiler, bread maker, ice cream machine and the George Forman grill sitting at the back of the cupboards
- If you have kids, go through all the toys with them and donate/sell the things they have outgrown and you haven’t seen them play with for years
- Reduce the amount of toiletries you use/have around the house, finish what you have before buying more
- Have a filing system for all your bills and papers that are important and toss the rest, go digital where you can
- Go through your books, decorative items and nik-naks and just keep the things that are really special (does it spark joy!)
- Keep on top of things by clearing out every few months and rather try to upcycle things that are looking a little tired or outdated
Get your family, partner or housemate on board so you don’t feel like you’re facing the task alone and see this not as a chore, something you HAVE to do, but rather shift your perspective and see it as something you WANT to do. Put on your favourite tunes, get out the trash bags and storage boxes and have some fun while you make space in your home and your heart!
Best of luck! Kirst xxx
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