Ever wanted to have more time, a cleaner home & more money?
I love watching Youtube videos, reading articles and then started reading books about minimalism. It did not take long until I had the motivation to have a clutter-free home with only the things I love. As a previous clothes and makeup junkie, I cleared it to a minimal. Once I had started, I could not stop and now, life is much easier and clearer, having a cluttered space I believe can have a huge impact on your life.
I was tossing up if I should upload an article like this, straying a bit off topic, but then I came to the conclusion, it's an excellent idea. I talked to my Grandma about the topic one day, and it not being to have nothing but to clear your life of clutter. One book I read, described it as being aware of your anchors and letting them go, things that are holding you back and holding you down, stressing you out and wasting your time. With not much convincing she was on a clear out too, both listening to minimalism audio books, every time we talked it was about what cupboard we cleared out or just about the topic in general. This is why I thought it was a good idea to make an article like this, to motivate and bring light to the topic of minimalism and its benefits.
So what is minimalism?
When thinking about minimalism, clean homes with open windows, indoor plants and natural light come to mind, some people can live out of a backpack, with no television and have no car, but this can be different for everyone, for me, minimalism is about living with only things you love and are useful, with no clutter. Living this way, I have saved a lot of money, with a different mindset when shopping, not bringing useless stuff into the home that will become clutter. Pretty much, own less stuff.
I do not call myself a minimalist, but I do have very few things in my house that I would not use on a regular basis. Some items are easier to remove than others. Here are eight category's to go through and de-clutter.
1. Old magazines and papers- I will admit, I am a paper hoarder, but I have decreased the amount of paper coming into the home, by opting for my bills to be sent electronically and making sure the paper I have is filled neatly and not left all over my study in piles. Camscanner is a great app to scan documents that may be important into a digital copy.
2. Clothes- The easiest way to do this, is to take every piece of clothing out of your cupboard and ask yourself some questions when deciding what to keep. Ask yourself would you buy it again if you were in the store? When was the last time you wore this item of clothing? Will you wear it in the next six months? Is it stained or does it fit?
Another great tip to remember with clothes is the one in one out rule. If you buy something, another thing has to go. This has stopped me buying items several times, thinking to myself I don't actually need this, I have another one similar.
Also, don't buy, borrow. for example, if you have a party where you need a nice dress and you don't own any. Instead of buying a dress you may only wear once, see if any of your friends or family have a nice dress you can borrow.
3. Toiletries- Makeup and body products expire. Check the open jar label on the back. The open jar will tell you how long the product should be left open till it is no longer at its best. This could be 12 months or 24 months. If it is over that time frame, throw it away. A tip I used when going through my cupboard, I found about 5 open bottles of body moisturiser so I brought a pump bottle from a cheap shop large enough to put all the product that was in all five bottles into one. A very simple way to save space.
A tip for clothes and toiletries, if you travel, is to go through your clothes and toiletries cabinet. Pick things out to take with you that you have not used in the past 6 months. Use all these things while you are away and plan to not bring any of it home with you. If you really love it while using it when you are away, you can bring it back home, but if not, it will save time unpacking.
4. Linen and towels- Anything stained, or with holes in it. Take everything out and fold nicely and put back only what you use.
5. Tupperware- I know you have one of those cupboards, we all do. I am sure there are broken items, containers with no lids or just chaos when you open the door. Take everything out, only put back what you know you use.
6. Electronics and electronic cords- Old computers or mobile phones. We tend to hold on to these sort of things because they are high in value, but these things take up space so remove from the home appropriately.
7. Stationery- Pens that don't work and old books. I know when I moved my house and went through all my boxes of stationary - I had about 6 erasers, 3 rulers, 3 staplers, pens that did not work, dried up markers, I was so surprised how much I was able to get rid of.
8. Old gifts -We are all guilty of holding onto things that serve us no purpose just because someone brought it for you. Do not feel guilty about throwing away gifts. Donate the items and feel happy it served you a purpose and that it will continue to fill a purpose in someone else's home.
A great tip for Mums with young children
Kids have too many toys? Split kids toys into 2 storage containers. Keep one out and one in a cupboard and switch up every two weeks or every month. Kids will be excited they have new toys to play with and you don't have to clean up as much every day.
Another great thing about bringing minimalism into your life is that your home will become easier to clean. Clearing surfaces of clutter will help dramatically with how your space looks and also how easy it will be to dust and clean. Since adopting a minimalism mindset, I have also wanted to reduce the amount of chemicals that enter my home and I have found a great way to do this is to look at the cleaning products you are using. I now use vinegar and water or diluted eucalyptus oil for all my bench tops and use baking soda, lemon, vinegar and essential oils for other cleaning tasks.
There are many books on this topic that can give you great motivation. Some books that I loved are:
Minimalism- Live a Meaningful Life by The Minimalists The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying: The Japanese Art by Marie Kondo Power of Less, The: The Fine Art of Limiting Yourself to the Essential by Leo Babauta The Art of the Natural Home by Rebecca Sullivan The Joy of Less, A Minimalist Living Guide: How to Declutter, Organize, and Simplify Your Life by Francine Jay Goodbye, Things: The New Japanese Minimalism by Fumio Sasaki
Overall, this topic is something that can help everyone, If its to save money, or help with cleaning, or to take it to the extreme and clear your whole home of clutter. For me its being able to spend money on experiences not things and being happy with what you have. One coffee mug that you love is better than five that you think are alright. To eliminate distractions to focus on what brings you joy. Creating a happy, clean home and filling your space with meaning and things that make you happy and eliminate clutter.