How we keep our home is essentially how we choose to live. I imagine the home to be a celebration of the everyday, a place that strikes the perfect balance between beautiful and practical, with each being an expression of who we are. It’s wonderful to own things you love, but by acquiring them sparingly the appreciation is so much more satisfying.Over the past ten years we have moved a number of times, and with each move it felt natural to let go of things that added clutter to our home. I realised I only needed to keep and acquire things that I found very beautiful, that bring immense joy, or that are useful on a daily basis.
Not only did I find I was able to live without a lot of things, I began to feel much happier, more fulfilled, and had a sense of calm that only simplicity can bring.
Whether items in your home are broken, carry bad memories, or serve no practical purpose, we can benefit in so many ways from simplifying and learning to let go of the things that no longer serve us. In this chapter, I share some ideas to help inspire you to live with less, and in turn, find joy in so much more.
So, where to start?
The idea of decluttering might seem daunting, and perhaps you’re asking yourself where to start. There’s no particular strategy for simplifying, although however you do it, it’s important to take your first step with excitement behind it.There’s a liberating world of freedom behind the clutter, you simply have to start.
First things first, ensure you are in a relaxed, happy mood, and have an hour or so to spare. I find it helpful to work on one small area at a time, usually in the early afternoon when my youngest is asleep. If you try to do the whole house at once it will be far too overwhelming, and you might be easily defeated or frustrated. Put some inspiring and positive music on in the background, and choose a room or area to begin with.
Start by having a rubbish bag ready, and a box for the items you wish to sell or give away to a local charity store. Pick up each item and consider whether it gets used often, whether it makes your heart sing, or brings warm, happy memories. Be ruthlessly honest with yourself. If the item isn’t useful, beautiful or meaningful, it’s time to be free of its clutter — let it go.
You might find you know exactly what you want to keep and which things belong in the rubbish or at the charity store. But then there are the items you don’t use but think you might want, or need, someday. You might like to create a ‘maybe’ box filled with these particular items. Store the box somewhere out of the way. Pull it out six months later and see if there’s anything you really needed. Usually, you can just donate the whole box, because you never really needed those items anyway.
Once you’ve finished decluttering that area, ensure you finish the job. Take the rubbish out to the bin, or drive to the local charity shop and donate the items. It’s too easy to put this off until later, when you might be tempted to return items to the house.
Now that you’ve completed that area, take a moment to enjoy its beautiful simplicity. It’s a lovely look, don’t you think?