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!
Minimalism and simple living are not about living uncomfortably for the sake of it, nor are they about white minimalist homes – although that’s my preference! They’re about being grounded and grateful and breaking the habit of constantly wanting and buying more, which is better for the planet.
Minimalism and simple living are about prioritising the good stuff and discarding all the things that don’t bring us happiness and joy. Creating a life that makes us feel grateful and content with what we already have. 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 that 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 most of my stuff gone, I feel clear about how I want to live. Every item in my home is something I use or love, each one facilitates my life and there’s nothing getting in the way. It’s an 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 unlocks time to do more of 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 the reduced household bills!
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
I’ll always love nice things, however, I no longer have the desire to collect stuff or buy things I don’t need. In the past, 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 joyful moments rather than things.
6. Healthier living with less stress
Having more time has encouraged me to improve my diet and get into the habit of 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 more time to read and at the end of 2014, I started a regular meditation practice using the Headspace iPhone app.
7. More space
My apartment feels bigger now the shelves, stuff and excess furniture have been removed. This gives me more space for entertaining my family and friends.
8. Less comparison
Living with less has helped me to think about the way I’d like to live, without the trappings of consumerism and constantly striving for more. I can live a slightly different life and make choices without worrying about what the Joneses 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 free time enabled me to indulge in some creative projects which resulted in a flurry work offers. This enabled me to leave my job at the University of Oxford to work freelance – something I never considered as an option.
10. Doing some good
I decided to donate most of my stuff to Cancer Research, this benefited a charity I support, and I was grateful my things were going to be re-used and not sent to landfill. With a simpler life, I plan to live more sustainably by buying less and being mindful of where and how things are made and packaged.
So, there you have it, the ten benefits I experienced when I decluttered my home. I fully understand that minimalism and simple living are not for everyone, but for me, it’s the best lifestyle choice I’ve ever made. After all, who can argue with less work and more time?
How to simplify your life
How to organise your schedule, surroundings and digital life
My decluttering tips
Ten ways I simplified my life
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