In these times of consumerism and busyness we often have too much stuff in our houses, sometimes we don’t even know where it all comes from! But picture in your mind your dream home, I bet it isn’t crammed with clutter!? I know I don't add clutter to my show homes!
I have grown up in houses groaning at the seams with stuff, whether that’s books and papers or china and ornaments between my Grandparent’s house and my Mum’s house I have felt overwhelmed by stuff most of my life. So, a few years ago after finding my house was already crammed full and tensions were frayed I started to look into the idea of minimalism. It was also partly fuelled by my passion of interior design and I wanted to understand the concept of the minimalism style, it always seemed so bare and unrealistic.
I started to read a blog by a guy called Joshua Becker and loved it, then I read his book, followed by a book called The Joy of Less by Francine Jay and then The Life Changing Magic of Tidying by Marie Kondo and then the Minimalists…see my further reading list at the end!
Despite all that reading I am definitely not an expert, but I have had a good go at my own house and I wanted to share with you some of the lessons that I have learned to help you declutter too.
One thing that really helped me to let go of stuff was understanding some of the ethos behind the minimalist style, its not just about having those bare, sleek, cold feeling rooms that you might see in magazines but its actually quite a moral take on homes and how we live in them. Take this verse from the Bible:
Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal www.esv.org/Matthew+6/
Or what about the eco mantra of reduce, reuse, recycle? Whilst we might have to actually remove things from our homes to start with (and I’ll cover that later) actually reducing what we bring into our homes or being more careful about what comes in will help us in our efforts to be more eco-friendly.
The minimalist way is to live with only what you need, promoting the things you care most about and letting go of the things that distract you.
My next blog is all about how to actually do it with some practical tips and ideas from my own experience but for now here are some things to be thinking about before you start…
Tiding up and organising is simply moving stuff around. This takes time and effort, what if you don’t need those things? Is it worth keeping them at all?
Sometimes we keep things that we like the idea of but very rarely use – but someone else might really need it and might use it every day, what if we could give it to them?
Some of the stuff we keep is for ‘just in case’, but I love the 2020 rule by the Minimalists – can you replace it within 20 minutes, for £20? If you can, is it worth keeping it?
Remember that you are paying rent/mortgage on the space that your stuff is in…again is it worth it?
Does something make you feel negative? Is there something you can do about it? Or is passing it on the best thing for you?
Know what you love to see and use regularly – remember what William Morris said, ‘Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful’
In my next blog I will cover the kitchen, clothes and beauty products, books and toys and the hardest one last – sentimental stuff. Are you ready to start the year with a declutter?!
Thanks for reading!
BA (hons) Interior Design