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Minimalism is different for everyone. There is no one box fits all. For me, it’s about creating space in our lives for the things that really matter.
When I think of minimalism I focus on the following…
- Creating a stress-free living space
- Reducing our waste & personal footprint
- Freeing ourselves from the shackles of stuff
- Having more time for experiences
There have been numerous studies into the connection between too many possession and stress. Today the average person consumes twice as much as they did 50 years ago and **99% of what we buy is thrown away within 6 months! In relation to that our happiness levels have also decreased over those 50 years. Personally, I don’t believe that is a coincidence. **Source The Story of Stuff
Watch: The Story of Stuff
The way I see it the more you have the more you have to lose!
Where did it all go wrong for us?
The point for us when our possessions got out of control was when we moved into a big 4 bedroom detached house in the country. That is when we started to accumulate stuff at a rate of knots. We had all this new space to fill and fill it we did. We bought extra sofas for the playroom. A new double bed and furniture for the spare room. The list went on.
Over 2 years we managed to fill the house. Don’t get me wrong I loved that house. We made some fantastic memories. It was old and beautiful but it was costing us a fortune. In the end, we decided to downsize.
Related Posts: Downsizing! Taking Budgeting to the Extreme
We downsized to a brand new 3-bed detached house on the outskirts of town. We managed to get rid of a lot of our stuff before the move but in my opinion, we still had too much. One of the major upsides of that move is that we managed to cut our household by over half.
Related Post: How We Cut Our Household Bills By Over Half
Since we moved into our new home over 3 years I have been on a mammoth decluttering mission. Every week at least one bag has gone out of the house to either be donated to charity or sold. I kept up this style of decluttering for over 2 years and although I was making progress it was very slow!
In desperation, I started to binge read anything I could on home organisation and minimalism. That was until I came across one book that changed it all for me.
Related Post: How I Finally Got My Home in Order Once and For All
It was at that point that I realised I had gone about it all wrong. The idea wasn’t to organise our stuff it was to get rid of the stuff so we didn’t have anything to organise. So that’s what I did. Using the methods in the book I got rid of our stuff in batches.
When I say batches I mean carloads full every day. I’d focus on one category until I was completely satisfied with it and then moved onto the next. I’m not finished, it’s certainly an ongoing project but I’m starting to feel like I’m getting to the point of ‘our enough’.
Everyones ‘enough’ is different. Your minimalism probably doesn’t look like my minimalism but that’s okay. It’s about finding your happy balance between stuff and space.
The Benefits of Minimalism in the Home
Minimalism has had a huge impact on our lives. We now think twice before every purchase. Do we really need this? Will it bring value to our lives? Does this offer us an experience? If the answer to those questions is no then we don’t get it.
One major impact minimalism has had for us it that it now takes a quarter of the time that it used to clean our home. When everything has a place it’s easy to return those items to their designated area. It’s also easier to clean surfaces as we have fewer items on them.
We have become a household that lives for experiences. Rather than wasting our money on things we don’t really need we now spend our cash on doing things. Days out, eating in restaurants, meeting friends etc.
One unexpected benefit I’ve found with minimalism is that I have so much more free time. This is due to spending less time cleaning and organising our home. At the moment I’m struggling a bit with this new found ‘free time’. I should be using it to read, meet up with friends, walking the dog but instead I have just started working more.
I know that isn’t sustainable so I’m going to have to work on that but as I said minimalism for us is a journey, not a destination.
Think minimalism could work for you but not sure where to start? Download my free 5 steps towards minimalism checklist.
About Gina Caro
Gina is a content creator and award-winning blogger. Her aim is to help you live a more sustainable & simple life. Her blog covers zero waste, minimalism, wellbeing & thrift. She currently lives in Cornwall with her partner, two kids and Charles the dog.