For a long time I had been thinking about “going zero waste”. It turns out that this is a much bigger job than I realised. We generate a LOT of rubbish in our house. There are two wheelie bins outside the front door – a black bin for non-recyclable rubbish and a green bin for recycling. All glass goes to the bottle bank (our council doesn’t collect it), and I take all textiles to textile recycling. I also make occasional trips to the tip for bigger items.
I began decluttering purely because I felt overwhelmed by the physical clutter in my home. When I first started clearing my space, I felt an incredible sense of lightness. When I got more serious about minimalism, and was further along in my journey, I hit a bump in the road. Something I hadn’t anticipated is that finding yourself is a side effect of minimalism. And this made me feel very uncomfortable at first.
A couple of caveats before I get started on my minimalist home tour.
Firstly, I am a normal mum with three normal kids. I did put away the toys that were on the floor before I took photos – my house isn’t permanently immaculate! But these photos aren’t staged. This is pretty much how it looks every time I put the toys away.
If you’ve ever said, “I love the idea of simple living, but I just wouldn’t know where to start,” this post is for you. This is my ‘simple living how to’ guide – an outline of how to live a simple life in a nutshell. It is unlikely that you can make all these changes overnight, or even in a few weeks. Don’t fret about getting to the end. The goal is the journey itself.
Some things will take longer than others. And sometimes you will find you make huge leaps in one area, but lag behind in another. It all balances out in the long run. Keep going and eventually you will find your life changing beyond what you thought possible at the beginning.
Ever wondered why minimalism matters? Over the last seven years, I’ve been unlucky enough to lose four member of my immediate family: my last two remaining grandparents, my uncle and most recently, my mother.
It has not been an easy time, and each death has affected me quite profoundly. I was lucky as a child – my brother and I grew up in a family where death remained at a distance. We didn’t know what it was like to lose someone until our grandfather died, by which time I had left home and gone to university and my brother was in his teens. Then, we had another long period of time where death seemed to be something that only happened to other people.
What exactly is the difference between simple living and minimalism? If you’re new to either or both of these terms it can seem as though they are both referring to the same thing.
At its most basic, minimalism is something that is almost completely (but not quite) encompassed by simple living. Let’s have a look at a simple Venn diagram I’ve drawn for you:
This is a totally independent, and unaffiliated Big Berkey water filter review. I purchased a Big Berkey after quite a lot of research into providing filtered water for us to drink at home.
So many people dream of living a simpler and less cluttered life. We love instagram images of minimalist houses and Pinterest pins of decluttering and organising methods. But the action required is often overlooked in favour of other things. What stops people from decluttering and creating an environment they want to live in?
Stuck with decluttering? We’ve all been there.
You start out full of enthusiasm, ready to tackle that drawer, wardrobe or cabinet, and after the first 15 minutes you find yourself staring at the same thing over and over, unable to make a decision about it.
Long-forgotten feelings surface. You think about the memories attached to it and although you really thought you didn’t need it any more, suddenly it seems important. It doesn’t belong in the room you’re in, but you aren’t sure where else to put it.
A nagging feeling eats away at you. You start to get bored with all this sorting out. It’s taking too long. Decluttering has stopped being fun and is now hard work.
Are you living in a house that is so cluttered and messy you think you’re beyond help? Maybe your clutter problem has gotten so bad it’s affecting your job, or your relationships with others? If nothing else is working, here’s what to do if you have so much stuff you can’t even see your floors.
If you’ve gotten yourself into a situation like this, you need to know that the origin of the problem is not physical.
This level of extreme clutter (or hoarding) tends to occur following traumatic life events like divorce and death, but it can also be a cumulative representation of a life that you just aren’t happy with.