Minimalist Journey ~ How I Started Living With Less.
Are you born with the need to be a minimalist or is it something you decided to do one day when you’re fed up with the clutter? Find out how I started out on my minimalist journey and how I started living with less.
What is minimalist living?
There are many different answers to this question depending on who you ask.
Some people believe minimalist living is only owning a certain amount of objects, some think it’s keeping just enough to put in a backpack and travel the world unhindered by possessions. Some believe it’s only saving things that spark joy. For me, it’s living a simple life with less.
Less than the average person in Britain or America.
It’s a feeling that you already have what you need
It’s the feeling of peace and calm you get from minimalist living rather than clutter.
It’s the feeling of freedom which simplicity brings.
It is living a simple life with little money.
How I Started My Minimalist Journey.
As a child, I enjoyed empty spaces, rolling fields and order.
We lived way out in the countryside in the Lincolnshire Fens where it was flat, empty. I loved the freedom of the open spaces and lack of buildings.
My mum is a highly organised person so our home was immaculately clean, tidy and organised, I thrived in this uncomplicated clutter-free environment.
If I lived on my own, I’d have almost no possessions, no TV, and tidy house.
But I don’t, and as I can’t get rid of everyone else’s possessions, I have to find a way of dealing with their “stuff” and continue in my quest of living with less stuff.
My partner is a borderline hoarder who keeps boxes from phones he no longer owns!
I too battled for years to contain my “stuff “, I would stuff it all in drawers, cupboards and the garage.
My house would be serene looking on the surface, but everywhere else was a tangled mess of chaos and I struggled to get the motivation to declutter at times
I had the urge to get rid of everything I owned, to make my overstuffed drawers and cupboards as clutter free as the surfaces, so I started to get rid of stuff and it felt great.
However, I just kept filling up the newly acquired space with new purchases.
Every time I looked at the huge hoard of possessions I was clinging onto I felt anxiety and it felt as if I was drowning in my own possessions.
I knew things had to change but I knew I’d sooner or later fall back into the trap of buying more things to replace the things I’d decluttered.
I am an avid reader of mostly self-help books and I often listen to audiobooks when I’m working, so I get through a ton of books in a month,
One day whilst browsing for a new read, I stumbled across a book which put me on a journey to simplifying my life.
It immediately changed my attitude to shopping and clutter; it gave me a plan, a way to achieve the “click point” in my life that I’d yearned for from my childhood, where I could actively live with less.
How to begin living a minimalist lifestyle.
I started with clothes and minimised my wardrobe into Seven Key Pieces this enabled me to create a Minimal Wardrobe I then Added A Pop Of Colour which enabled me to create stylish outfits with fewer clothes. It meant I was not buying any more stuff and I saved money!
I slowly worked my way through the categories in the book, decluttering as I went and I only kept things I truly loved and cherished.
In that order.
Following the advice given in the book, I began to realise how and why I’d been shopping for things I didn’t need and how I’d been holding onto things due to guilt or misplaced duty.
I felt terrible about the amount of money I spent on useless possessions which were now going to be donated, money which could have been used for holidays or savings!
I worked my way through the kid’s things and decided to keep a minimal amount of toys and I created a kids capsule wardrobe for them too, so now they play more with fewer toys (which I rotate) and they have many more matching outfits than they ever did with more clothes.
The best decluttering books
The author Marie Kondo lives in a small traditional Japanese apartment with very little storage, and from a very young age has been fantastically organised. She talks about her struggle to contain other people’s stuff and how she overcame the urge to throw other people’s stuff away.
She explains how to simplify every area of your life, step by step through all the categories, in a practical, methodical manner guaranteed to have you staying clutter free for good!
Minimalist living, what keeps me motivated to declutter?
The Minimalists are Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus. I love these guys because they had it all, they had a great job, the fancy car, the expensive apartment and they gave it all up, sold everything, worked as coffee baristas to live a debt-free, minimalist life, and they’ve never looked back! They don’t need to be organised because they’ve got no stuff! they’re really cool guys with a chilled relaxed take on life
I particularly enjoy listening to their podcast while driving or doing my chores as it keeps me totally motivated! Click here to check it out; it is of course FREE!
Although they are the extreme end of the minimalist scale, they have some fabulous thoughts on debt, buying stuff and the adverse effect our need for excess things has on our well-being and environment.
Can you be happy living a simple life with less?
- Many children and adults struggle to thrive in a cluttered, chaotic environment. creating a decluttered and organised environment for your children, with less toy allows them more space to play. Kids struggle to focus when their environment is overstuffed with toys. when I decluttered my kid’s toys and started a toy rotation system, my kids played together more and had a much deeper imaginative play. They started to want screen time less and less, choosing to play together instead.
- It’s stressful trying to look after and keep up with all the possessions we hang on to out of habit. A lot of people dislike cleaning, however they stuff their house full of stuff they need to clean! the more stuff you buy, the more stuff you have to clean, the more time you spend looking after your stuff. You can look really stylish with a capsule wardrobe. You can cook a fabulous meal in an organised and decluttered kitchen, you can still read hundreds of book without hoarding books. We spend a lot of time trying to organise and clean our stuff instead of going out and enjoying time with our loved ones.
- A streamlined life enables us to enjoy extra quality time, if you’re not spending your money on useless possessions, you’ve got more money to spend on creating memories and you are not getting into debt and you’ve created more time too as you’ve not got to spend all your time organising! You could start saving for a holiday or an emergency fund and even give to charity.
How to start to declutter.
Here are some decluttering ideas to get you started. Just choose one from the list which you think could be manageable for you and try to focus on it each day.
- Set a timer and just do a few minutes a day, stop decluttering when the timer stops, do this every day! If you need some help with motivation to declutter and clean click here
- Aim to throw away 3 things per day.
- Start decluttering at the door of one room and work your way around the room until you reach the door again, decluttering top to bottom, this can be done at your own pace it doesn’t need to be done in one day!
- Just aim to clear all the floors.
- Aim to clear all your laundry and put it away. For quick and easy laundry tips read here
- Clear all the rubbish.
- Get rid of broken toys. starting a toy rotation system can help you stay on top of the toy clutter for good and help your kids play in an organised space
- Get rid of broken gadgets and electricals.
- Don’t buy any more stuff for the house.
- Ask yourself “Why am I keeping this, why is it in my house”
- Get rid of any duplicate items.
- Keep a donation box in the closets for clothes which are too small or toys not played with.
- Take a before photo and an after photo to keep you motivated!
Try reading some of these posts to get you started on your minimalist journey!
I’ve created a plethora of organising and decluttering posts, designed to ease you gently into the art of decluttering and minimalist living they are simple concise and most only take about four minutes to read.
These posts are designed to help you jump in wherever you are, to start to create good habits to keep you on track.
Your home didn’t get chaotic overnight, so don’t expect to be able to fix it all in one day.
Take your time and do whatever you can, when you can.
To help you on your way to simplifying I have created a library of FREE checklists and resources. Sign up today and you’ll automatically receive my new posts too!
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