Minimalist living is a concept that I find very appealing...I'd love to wake up one day in a home that was airy, spacious and free of clutter. To wake up surrounded by only those things that I truly love or find useful....to have space to relax without looking around and seeing piles of books, shoes or junk mail. Sounds heavenly, doesn't it? But seriously, in reality, I know it's not going to happen overnight. It's going to take time and I'm fine with that... these are just a few of the things I've done recently to make my home a nicer, less cluttered place to be.
1. Paper be gone. Junk mail, catalogues, or letters that I don't need are being recycled as soon as they enter the home. Subscriptions I don't enjoy or need have been cancelled. Letters with important information and appointments? I photograph them or add them to the calendar on my phone.
2. Use doorstep collections. Living in town, I regularly get collection bags pushed through my letter box from charities (such as the Air Ambulance, cancer charities etc). I try to put a few items in the bag when I can, it's a great way to recycle clothes that I no longer wear or items that the children have grown out of.
3. Make your own cleaning liquids. Making my own cleaning liquid, by diluting liquid castile soap and water in a spray bottle, saves me a lot of space in my cleaning cupboard. I can use it to clean my kitchen, my sinks, my glass and my mirrors. I even use it to make hand wash with, too. Personally, I love the smell of lavender, as I find it really calming, but there are many different fragrances available.
4. DVDs sold. When I noticed how many DVDs we had, I realised they had to go. Not only were there over 50 on our TV shelf, but none of us could remember the last time that we watched any of them. We saved a handful and sold the rest online. It's so easy these days to watch TV or movies on a subscription service, that we've just not missed these at all. A week later, we also recycled the DVD player, figuring we could watch DVDs on our laptop if we really wanted to!
5. Decluttering cupboards. After reading "The Joy of Less" (review here) I used the decluttering tips of emptying everything out of a drawer or cupboard, and only putting back things that I loved or found useful. On this occasion, I even removed the door from the lower right hand-side of this unit....making a more useful space for my printer and my daughter's laptop. Nearly everything from this space has been recycled, donated or binned.
6. Simplifying my phone. Like many others, I must admit to being guilty of spending too much time on my phone - be it checking news stories, social media, looking at photographs or texting friends. In an attempt to spend less time staring at the screen, I've reduced the number of apps on my phone. I now only have one game (for the kids when I need to distract them) and one social media account (Instagram - as I just love being inspired by, and sharing, photos, find my account here if you'd like to connect).
7. Keeping my hobbies simple. By decluttering my home, I'm really hoping to simplify my daily routines and free up more time to spend time with family and friends. One of our favourite hobbies is walking and spending time in the lakes....this requires little equipment other than a pair of good boots, a coat and a packed lunch. You can read about our favourite walk here and the benefits of "forest bathing" here.
As you can imagine, I have a long way to go to achieve a more minimalist lifestyle but I'm on the way, so-to-speak. My targets for the rest of May and June has to include decluttering my bedroom. This has to be the most cluttered room of all - the place where items get "stored" temporarily (think washing, piles of kids books, laundry) or items are simply "dumped" when we get unexpected visitors. I'm hopeful though, and looking forward to getting that done! Are you interested in minimalist living and decluttering your home? I'd love to hear about your experiences and any tips you can share below.