Plant on a white background

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. 

iPhone

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!

A chest of drawers

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).

Derwent Water

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.

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15 comments on “Seven steps I’ve taken towards minimalist living”

  1. Number one, the paper minimalization, is a big one for me. When I bring in the mail, I don’t even sit down until every piece of junk mail has gone into the recycle bin and every action letter (like a bill to pay, for example) has gone onto the calendar. And THEN I sit down and enjoy any personal correspondence. Keeping paper clutter in check makes our lives less stressful for sure! Good post!

  2. It’s so important to be able to live minimally! I think our lives are taken up by so much clutter and competition these days that it can’t be good for us.

    • Our lives do get taken over by clutter, don’t they? I find it much nicer when I don’t have so much stuff 🙂

  3. These are such good tips and will be amazing when I move flats soon! Living minimally is the one 🙂

  4. A subject I’ve recently been discussing 👍🏻

    Whenever we go on holiday we take hand luggage only and it always reminds me of how many things I can live without!

    Also I peruse social media more than I should so I’m reducing this simply by logging out! Blogging means I rely on social media but that doesn’t mean I have to check it during every set of adverts on tv! Logging out means that when I click on my social apps I’m reminded that there’s probably not much that’s happened since I last checked! And therefore probably no point in logging in!

    A great article, food for thought 😊

    • Going on holiday with only hand luggage sounds so freeing, I really need to try and do this next time we travel! I might be in touch for some tips!! I like the idea of logging out of social media apps…they’re so easy to access on smartphones, aren’t they!

  5. This is my dream but I do find it so hard to get rid of items, like drawings that my daughter has done. Shells from beaches on holidays the list goes on.
    Doesn’t help my husband’s hobbies include scuba diving and cycling, which means gear that takes up a lot of space but he is always on at me to get rid of my things.

  6. Living minimally has many advantages but the most important one is that it helps us to lead a stress free life!! I always try to get rid of many unwanted things in my home but It’s not really that easy.
    You have given some great tips and ideas to follow. I am definitely going to try applying few of these ideas. Thanks !

    • Oh, I agree. It definitely helps with stress. I am glad you enjoyed the article, I’d love to hear how you get on 🙂

  7. Another great post 🙂 I think I’ve been pretty solid about completing all of the things on this list with the exception of simplifying my phone. It’s not even that I don’t want to, it’s just that I’m stubborn and it takes me longer than I’d like to spend paying attention to it. This post is just another tiny reminder that I have zero data storage left because I’ve just been lazy, haha. But you’re absolutely right! I think for anyone to function simply now, their phone has got to be one of the first things that gets streamlined.

  8. I’m currently at the beginning of my minimalism journey. I feel like I’m frequently reassessing the things I need and don’t need. I need to minimalise my phone!

    Also, forest bathing sounds amazing! Off to read that now x

  9. These are great tips! I am trying my best to follow some of these simple steps but it feels like the clutter just keeps coming back. My sister-in-law recently told me about this book by Marie Kondo! I highly recommend it!

    • Thanks, Amina. The Marie Kondo book is great, isn’t it! I think decluttering is definitely an ongoing process…it takes so long to build up the clutter in our homes that it’s always going to take time to reduce it. Good luck with your decluttering, and thanks so much for stopping by 🙂

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