Two years ago my home was filled with all the things I thought it should be; ornaments, sentimental keepsakes, wardrobes full of clothes, drawers full of makeup, furniture to fill the space in each room. It always felt a mess and this would really stress me out. I would clean up, and by the next day
everything had gone back to the way it was before. I could never figure out where I was going wrong. I love interior design, and scrolling those beautiful interior decor images on Pinterest is something I love to do. I’d always be left thinking, why can’t my home look like that?
The life changing magic of tidying
I’d been having a really tough time with my health and work and I felt the need for change. On reflection, my home and everything in it represented my life, and I was sick to death of it feeling like a mess. I was sick of it stressing me out. I was craving a simpler, calmer environment but I had no idea how to achieve it. Enter a little minimalism. It’s funny how things can find you at the exact time you need them too.
In a quest to what I thought was simply to improve my tidying skills and get my home a little more Pinterest worthy, I read THE LIFE CHANGING MAGIC OF TIDYING. I didn’t even know what decluttering was but the book was recommended by a friend as a quick read, so I thought it was worth a go. It is no secret, 4 million others have read it. If you’re interested in decluttering or simplifying your life, I urge you start here. It took me two days to read and I can honestly say it was life changing. It’s a ‘do it once and do it right’ method, which worked for me at that time, but some can find it too extreme. An alternative method, is the 30 day minimalism game, which has the same goal but takes a slower pace.
After reading the book, I threw out around 50 black bin liners full of stuff, followed by a lot of furniture. People thought I’d lost the plot, they’d say “This is ridiculous, why have you thrown that away?”, “You’ll have nothing left”, “But I bought you that!” They couldn’t understand it, but what utterly shocked me was how happy I felt. There was no talking me out of it. I knew I was onto something and I kept going. Everything was starting to feel simpler and with that came clarity and calm. I was addicted to the feeling and I wanted more.
I didn’t stop with possessions. I decluttered everything I could think of – my digital life, friendships, commitments, work life. Everything I purged felt like another weight had been lifted. I felt calmer and more in control of my life. Life in general began to feel more straight forward. Simple things like having less clothes made the process of getting dressed less stressful. Having less items in my house made cleaning it a breeze. I found myself with more time because of having less.
life after decluttering
Decluttering is just the beginning but it’s a great start to living a more minimal lifestyle. I knew nothing about Minimalism when I ordered The Life Changing Magic of Tidying, but I soon became obsessed with wanting to know more about living with less because of all the positive impacts having less had made. I’m still obsessed and read as much as I can on the subject. Wanting to share what I’ve learned and how it’s changed my life for the better is one of the reasons I wanted to start a blog. Pre-minimalism, I would never have time to write because my time was filled with all the wrong things.
Minimalism isn’t just about getting rid of all your things, for me this was just the start. It’s a way of carefully considering everything that makes up our lives by assessing its value. If it has no value or use then it is discarded. It is that simple and we can apply that method to every aspect of our lives. I can personally guarantee it works. The hard truth that not many of us want to admit, is that we choose what we allow to enter our lives. The part we forget is that we have a choice and realising that can be a scary thing. We allow a lot in because we think we should, instead of because it adds meaning.
My home doesn’t stress me out anymore because it rarely needs tidying and takes less than an hour to deep clean from top to bottom. I wake up on a Sunday, and because I haven’t made any plans I never wanted to really keep, the day is mine to do with as I wish. I have more time to be creative, more money to spend on the things that add real value to my life like travel and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’m so thankful to that little book that only took me two days to read.
The freedom I got in return for simplifying, is priceless. I used to ask myself how might my life be better with something, until I starting thinking about how I might be better off with less.
What are your thoughts on living with less? How might your life be better with less? Let me know in the comments below.
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