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.