Declutter your home and declutter your life
Lots of exciting things have happened since I decluttered my home. By removing my life laundry I gained a whole new outlook, and for the first time in years, everything became clear. I apologise if that sounds a little cheesy, but it really has been a moment of clarity!
Welcome back life, I lost you under all my stuff!
Minimalism and simple living are not about living uncomfortably for the sake of it, nor are they about white minimalist rooms (although that’s my preference!). They’re about being grounded and grateful and breaking the habit of constantly wanting more. Minimalism is prioritising the good stuff and discarding the things that don’t bring happiness and joy. So, today I’m sharing a few of the things I gained when I decluttered my home.
1. Feeling lighter
I thought I’d start with a totally abstract benefit which I’m already struggling to put into words. I guess what I’m trying to convey is I feel lighter and freer. Cupboards of clutter can weigh us down and excess baggage connects us to the past and can prevent us from moving forward. With the majority of my stuff gone, I feel clear about how I want to live. Every item in my home is something I use or love, they all facilitate my life and there’s nothing getting in the way. It’s a lovely uplifting and energising feeling.
2. Less housework and maintenance
Less stuff means less housework, less time organising and tidying, less time looking for things and less time getting things repaired or replaced. This leads to more time to do the things I love. My man and I live in a small apartment which is inexpensive to heat and involves little maintenance. It’s cosy and we enjoy every inch of the space, not to mention a smaller mortgage!
3. More time for family and friends
The increased time from owning and pursuing less means more time for family and friends.
4. Less focus on consumerism and a greater enjoyment of the things I own
I’ll always love nice things, however, I no longer have the desire to collect stuff. The old me was a hoarder and I purchased far more than I ever needed or used. Since letting go, I really appreciate and enjoy the things I have left.
5. More freedom
Owning less has given me more time for day trips and holidays, it has also redefined my life values. I guess I’m now a collector of memories rather than things. I must also add that minimalist packing and unpacking make life so much easier!
6. Healthier living and less stress
Having more time has encouraged me to improve my diet and enjoy regular exercise. I’ve always been someone who struggles to relax but living in a low maintenance home has encouraged me to put my feet up. I also have time to read and at the end of 2014, I started mindfulness meditation which I do using the Headspace app each morning.
7. More space
My apartment feels bigger now the shelves, stuff and excess furniture have been removed. It’s perfect for entertaining and Kate bush dancing!
8. Less comparison
Simple living has helped me to think about the way I’d like to live, without the trappings of consumerism. I can make choices without worrying as much about money, or what the Jones’s are up to. It’s a liberating feeling.
9. Less work
After buying very little, I realised I no longer needed to work as much. So, at the beginning of 2015, I began working part-time after twenty years of full-time work. The extra time to indulge in creative projects resulted in a flurry work offers, and after much consideration and planning, I decided to leave my job at the University of Oxford to work freelance.
On reflection, I definitely felt my job title and salary defined me. But by abandoning the pursuit of material possessions my view of what is important shifted, as did the pressure I put on myself. Life’s too short to do what’s expected of you and I regret not realising it sooner!
10. Doing some good
I decided to donate the majority of my stuff to Cancer Research. This enabled me to quickly remove it and to start enjoying a clutter-free life. It also lifted some of the guilt I had from buying so many things I hadn’t used.
So, there you have it, the ten benefits I experienced when I decluttered my home. I fully understand that minimalist living are not for everyone, but for me, it is the best lifestyle choice I’ve ever made. After all, who can argue with less work and more time for family and friends?
Further reading on my blog
Thanks for stopping by, I hope you have a gorgeous day!