“Your home is living space, not storage space”
Have you ever considered minimalism? Living a simpler, minimal life can have so many positive benefits to our wellbeing (and our bank balance). “A tidy house, a tidy mind”, so they say – there’s something about a tidy room with minimal clutter that just makes your heart sing.
My Pinterest passion includes pinning inspirational words, affirmations if you like, of minimalistic living ideas. I’m seeing these words often, every day in fact, and actually, the message is beginning to get through.
Living in a converted barn we don’t have the luxury of loft space, and whilst our home is spacious, storage can be a problem. When Dan and I decided to move in together, I had seven years worth of clutter in my own loft, including every out-grown outfit, pair of shoes, toy and crayon drawing my daughter Lily had ever worn, used or produced. Mainly, because as a parent, it can be difficult to let go of the memories and sentiment such items hold and so it builds and builds each year. I emptied my loft and without a word of a lie, my downstairs living space was filled with my clutter. I couldn’t believe how much “stuff” Lily and I had accumulated, but the reality was staring me in the face.
I remember looking at it all, tears rolling down my cheeks. How was I ever going to get through it all?
Not wanting to part with any of it, but knowing I had to get rid of the majority was heart-wrenching. Let’s just say, 2013 was a very good year for my local Barnado’s. I took another bag full in at a later date and could’ve been revisiting my loft, everything in the shop literally once belonged to me, or Lily. I left feeling both mortified and humbled as I imagined who might be tottering around in a pair of my discarded stilettos somewhere.
Dan often complains about the shed filling up, but I ask him “what’s the use in an empty shed?”
I’m going to try and buy less clothing, I have enough to last me. (Although, “I could do with a new pair of boots and a couple of chunky knits” – says my inner shopaholic voice. Or, can I just manage with what I already have? – my reasoning voice.
My growing interest in minimalism means I yearn for a pristine living space, perfectly preened paintwork that feng shui master Choi Pak-Lai himself would be proud of, but, thinning it all down is something I regularly put off. A combination of “I can’t be bothered”, “I can’t face it’ and “I don’t have time” seems to work for me…
Minimalism is about taking small, (but simple) steps to simplify your life…
- Firstly, stop Buying “things,” Ask yourself – do I really NEED it?
- Start with your wardrobe – this one’s a no-brainer. Thin it right down, get everything out and go through it properly, get rid of anything which has been unworn for a while, or you don’t get excited about. Aim for a capsule wardrobe.
- Next, tackle your drawers, and do the same.
- Continue to de-clutter your living space, understair and kitchen cupboards. (You don’t need 15 frying pans and 3 sets of cutlery).
- Get rid of your credit cards. Yes, It is possible – I cut mine up in 2009 and haven’t owned one since.
“If you can’t afford to buy it with cash… you can’t afford it to buy it”
I refer to myself as a recovering shopaholic (loosely, of course) – hence cutting up my cards and resisting the temptation to buy, buy, buy. My inner voice still tells me I need this and that (on repeat), but I now try a process of “thought stopping” whenever the urge strikes. I get excited about a new coat but then I’ll rationalise it – do I actually need a new coat? How often would I wear it? And I imagine my money staying in my bank account, instead of constantly going overdrawn in the name of fashion. I’m coming around to this way of thinking more and more and it seems to be working…
“Forget the sale price, it’s 100% off if you don’t buy it”.
Of course, I’m not suggesting we shouldn’t live the lifestyle we all crave or have nice/expensive items around our home but keep it to what you NEED not just what you WANT and consider that people, not possessions are important.
Spend your money wisely. An old saying “buy cheap, buy twice” stays true and with that said, sometimes spending well on an item you need or a piece of clothing far outweighs the benefits of saving a few pounds and have the item last little more than a year or so.
If you have a night out planned, do you need to buy a new outfit? If you feel you do, that’s perfectly fine, we all deserve a treat occasionally – life is for living after all. For me, minimalism isn’t something I’ll get completely hung up on, however, I quite like having more money in my bank account, I must admit.
Finally, a little tip to improve the chi in your home. Clap your hands in the four corners of your room/s to liven stagnant energy. Try it, there’s definitely something in it.
What’s your take on minimalism? Do you hang on to things you should let go of? I’d love to know what you think of living minimally in the face of consumerism.
This is such a great post! You have shared some amazing tips! I don’t own a credit card either and I don’t want one, it’s not something for me. I’ve started contemplating my wish list and cut down so many products. Don’t get me wrong I still love splurging on makeup and clothing but I understand the importance of money now. I’d rather have £500 in my bag than own a £500 bag with nothing in it x
I agree, living without access to credit cards is definitely the best way. Really helps you think about what you’re actually buying. Splurging on makeup is allowed! I mean, that’s one thing I can’t stop doing. I know I’ll get the use out of it, plus, it gives the feel-good factor which we all could do with! x
I love this! This is a big reason why I’ve struggled with my blog lately, as I can’t afford to keep buying the latest release and it’s a struggle to know where to put it when I get it. Cutting down is definitely worth it, as like you say it’s a living space not a storage space. Great post, with fab advice xx
Hannah | luxuryblush
Thank you! I’m so glad you can relate. It’s definitely a change in mindset. I keep seeing things I’ve purchased and can’t help thinking why?!! Whereas before, I just wanted to keep buying silly bits and bobs. I hope you manage to cut down – It’s great for your bank balance too! Thanks for reading x
Since I moved and my budget is limited I decided to live with less. So far so good but there are days when I want to go out and just splurge. 🙂
Brilliant! That’s so good to hear. I totally get what you mean, I still plan on the occasional splurge. We still need to live our lives! x
Ooh these are brilliant tips! I’ve definitely got a wanty attitude especially when it comes to our home but I’m trying to be a bit more strict with myself and only buy things we genuinely need now. Your home is supposed to be lived in so I don’t want it just full of things that I’ve bought for no reason that aren’t going to have any significance next month. I need to have a good clear out soon actually, this has inspired me! xx
Tiffany x http://www.foodandotherloves.co.uk
So true! It’s hard not to keep buying isn’t it. I used to spend hours in homesense and come home with an avocado scoop which I literally never use. It’s less hassle to just use a spoon!! I think a way forward is to just buy what we need (I don’t need an avocado scoop). Think of all the wasted money which could gone to something more purposeful! x
Gorgeous post and well said. My husband is a chronic hoarder and even keeps cardboard boxes. We have computers from the 90s, old TVs, cement bags that are out of date. Sigh! We really need to move forward to we can live better. Wish us luck! ?
Oh gosh, I don’t envy you! I hope you can find a way to deal with it. I’m terrible for hanging on to Lily’s things. Every time I try and tackle the shed I end up in floods of tears. I find it impossible to let go of memories and her old out-grown belongings. Last time Dan said “just put it back in the tubs!!” Haha he can’t believe the state I get myself into. It’s not easy being a mum x
This is such a fantastic post, Samantha! I love the tips you suggested, especially cleaning out your closet and drawers. I definitely need to get around to doing both. I know I have stuff that I don’t need and/or use just lying around!
Thank you. Glad you found it useful. We are all a little guilty of needless buying! x
I love minimalism especially in my work spaces and bedroom! Loved this post so much girl x
Morgan // ww.justmorgs.com
Thank you so much. A minimalist work space sounds like a productive place to be! x
I have so much clutter and went through a huge clear out but only really touched the surface! A capsule wardrobe is something i would like – some key investment pieces that will see you through seasons to come is the way to go x
It’s just such hard work isn’t it? So easy to procrastinate. Yes, key pieces for the wardrobe is a good idea! x
I love the tips you shared! <3
Thank you so much! x
I’m not a hoarder at all but I could definitely do better! I go through my makeup twice or three times a year and do a clear out & am so much better with regards clothes shopping but I could definitely still live with less. The problem is ‘I like all the things’ xx
Makeup is something that really builds up isn’t it? I plan on having a good sort out of mine too! I like things too so it’s never easy! x
This is such an amazing post!
I am not a minimalist but I live by many of the things you said – I don’t own a credit card and I don’t want to, I only purchase what I can pay in cash and 85% of my purchases are well planned ones. Nowadays I also implemented the system that if something new gets in, something old gets out. I’ve learned to declutter a lot and sometimes I have to do it without anyone noticing it because I can become quite ruthless.
wishing you all the best,
I completely agree, planning a purchase is a far better way than just buying without much thought, I’ve realised it makes so much more sense. Credit cards are the devil aren’t they! Go you!! You sound like you’re doing everything right. x
I’ve definitely been focusing on changing my spending habits and decluttering what I don’t use. I’ll always love having a large makeup collection but I’m trying to keep myself from buying things I simply won’t use!
That’s great! I also have a large makeup collection, I don’t mind it so much as I know I’ll get use out of it. I’m trying to make considered purchases instead of just buying all kinds of bits I don’t really need. Thanks for reading! x
these are brilliant tips!
Thank you! x
Great blog post! I’m not a fan of credit cards. I have one, but it’s for emergency purposes only. I love the “It’s 100% off if you don’t buy it” line … I’m a nightmare for buying stuff I don’t need just because it’s on sale.
I’m about to go hunting, but do you have any other blog posts about your home? I’m so jealous that you live in a converted barn! I want to see more 🙂
Thank you so much. Good to hear you’re not a fan of credit cards either! I don’t have so many posts about my home, but I wrote a post on Spring home trends and also, getting cosy for autumn (last year). I do feel lucky to live here. There’s even have a stream which runs around our barn which is so lovely x
How spooky I read this tonight after being in my garage earlier attempting to tackle my collection of Lucy’s (my 12 year old daughter) memorabilia! Every card she’s been given, every text book she’s wrote in at school, and all the other stuff to fill so many boxes!!!! It’s lovely to keep some stuff but trying to tell her we don’t need every text book is another job! I would love to live in a minimalistic house but I am too a shopaholic! I am trying to change but I find it so hard when there is so many beautiful things around us! Another lovely blog though Sam and I can’t wait to read the one about Pinterest! Keep up the good work xx
Thank you Lisa. Glad I’m not the only one struggling to get rid our children’s stuff. What I’ll probably do is hang on to it until she has her own home and then pass it on to get to go through! That might be an easier way to deal with it. Don’t know where the time goes – Lily will be learning to drive in three years time!! Thanks for reading and have a lovely weekend! xx
These are great tips! Decluttering our lives is one of the best things we can do for ourselves and our home is the perfect place to start.
So true. It’s such a great feeling to get rid of clutter. We can be ruthless if we try hard enough! x
Yes! When I moved out of my apartment with my ex I had so much crap and I realized I filled my life with knick knacks to stiffle my unhappiness. Getting rid of it all has been very freeing. Since then, I’ve a few times allowing a few purges. By boyfriend now and I do our best to declutter – we just did another closet empty. We do still have a few things, but we’ve stopped buying them and started appreciating what we have. Recognizing need vs want. Great post!
Rachel | http://www.myspottedblog.com
That’s what I was doing too, filling the gaps with “stuff” hoping it would make me happy.
I’m so glad you’re settled now, definitely makes such a difference. Sounds like you and your bf are doing a fab job of living minimally. It’s the way forward for sure! Thanks for your lovely comment. x
My personality is the actual worst- half of me wants to be a minimalist and the other half wants to have a ‘lived in’ home and to not get rid of any of my stuff! This is such a helpful post and I love your stance that we deserve to treat ourselves but that we should be making changes to be more minimalist. I really want to turn my wardrobe into a capsule but I feel like I need someone to come over and help me be ruthless haha!
Soph – https://sophhearts.com x
It’s quite hard to find that balance isn’t it? I’ve really turned against consumerism and buying for the sake of it. I actually bought myself a new coat in the Black Friday sales, it wasn’t mega expensive and I’ve put some of my other costs out for charity. I hope you manage to figure out your wardrobe! I’ve still lots of reducing to do. It’s much easier to be ruthless once you change your mindset. Start pinning minimalism quotes! The affirmation has really helped me! Thanks for reading lovely x
great blog post, great jobs.
Thank you so much! x