I have always been a fan of minimal spaces and minimalistic decoration in general. Growing up with my mother and grandmother was not always easy for me as they were the complete opposite of me when it comes to home decor. They would hold on to every little thing they had and accumulate more. They would attach emotions to all the objects and have a little story of “why that specific item was so important”, whenever I would suggest some sort of decluttering came up. Needless to say there was some conflict back then.
Now I am a mother and decluttering became a big challenge. I researched a lot about Minimalism a few years ago and fell in love with the idea of less is more and of how minimalizing items around you can give you clarity and reduce anxiety. Since then I try my best to keep things as minimal as possible. I notice that when my house start getting cluttered, especially with my daughters toys or artwork I start feeling fidgety.
I teach her to tidy up and keep things as much organized as possible but I can expect much from a very active 4 year old. This realisation helped me see that I need to pick my battles. She is little and needs to explore and have fun and sometimes that does not involve minimalism. So I keep this idea to myself and I can notice a huge difference in the energy of the house when things are decluttered.
I will share with you some of the things that worked for me when I chose a more minimalist life style.
1 – What room do you spend time the most?
Once you decide try and focus on that room and commit to keeping it as minimal as possible. This will give you some inspiration to tackle the less used rooms.
2 – Declutter by category not room
If you are going to get rid of some items do not do it by room. This is by far the best tip I could give and it works wonders. For example, you want to sort out your clothes. Bring all your clothes, and by all I mean ALL: whatever you have in the laundry, drying, in bags, in different rooms, under the bed. Collect ALL your clothes and bring them into a big pile. I know it sounds slightly ovewhelming but it is the most effective way.
3 – Be ruthless
We are trying to minimize clutter so put your feelings aside and get to work. This method works for me because I have no attachment to objects but I know it isn’t realistic for some people. Try to be focused and even if you do use some emotion remember the main goal is to minimize. If something doesn’t fit you and has been sitting there for 6 months get rid of it. Yes you may fit eventually but the idea that some beloved piece of clothing no longer fit you not only make you feel bad and is taking up space. Throw it and buy a new one later. If it brings bad or sad memories, get rid of it. This rule goes for everything, toys, photographs, furniture, clothing, etc. No cheating!
4 – Be patient
It can be daunting to face a huge pile of objects so take a deep breath. It may sound very stressful but the benefits are many. At the end of this ordeal you will feel like a weight was lifted of your shoulders. You can also take breaks for a cup of tea and some extra motivation. Keep going
5 – Make it your own
Create a space that brings you peace and happiness. Decide the items that you would love to look at on a daily basis. I have some key items that instantly bring me joy. My go to are plants. I love looking at them grow and bring that natural pop of colour. I also believe that plants cleanse the space so I try to have one in each room.
Whatever you do make sure that your home brings you peace. We know sometimes is not easy to keep our houses decluttered and organized especially with kids so be realistic and do not be so harsh on yourself. Start small but keep steady and you will find what works for you. The main focus is to let go of things that no longer serve you or align with your current state of mind.