So as some of you may already know I've set myself a Minimalist challenge for 2017, which means our family is having a major sort out in the aim of cleaning our home, minds and leave behind only what truly makes us happy and things that bring joy into our lives. A few weeks in and I am already learning a lot about myself and the reality of trying to minimise a whole home that is crammed with not only toys, books, DVD's and everything else in-between but also lots of memories and sentimental things, but what I can say is once you start to sort through things it does slowly get easier, letting go becomes easier but it's not something you can do overnight so I thought I would share my top 10 ways to simplify your home this year and make it a place that is calm away from the chaos.
1. Get rid of Stuff Daily - Okay so yes this may seem obvious but there is one thing talking about it and another thing actually putting this change to practice and and even a small declutter can have a huge impact. Focusing on not only letting go of stuff but also be more conscious of bringing less into the home in the first place. By doing a little each day over time you will really start to notice the difference and also if you choose to donate some of your goods to a charity shop you are also helping the community which is a win win all round. Apartment Therapy have a great post about 5 tricks to help get rid of stuff.
2. Re-arrange your living spaces - when was the last time you re-arranged and re-evalutated your living spaces and the furniture that take up that space? I bet it's been a while, so why not change it up a little and try out new arrangements and you might find one that works a bit better than what you already have. Also have a good look at your furniture, are there any pieces that are simply taking top space and not being used? Perhaps its time to get rid of one or two things.
3. Bring Nature indoors - houseplants can have a real calming effect on a room and your general wellbeing and can help detoxify the air inside our homes. They also provide a pop of colour in a room as well as a focal point and you can also get a great sense of wellbeing looking after a plant that thrives. You can pick up house plants at your local garden centre or Ikea have a nice range.
4. Make the most of your windows and natural light - not only is natural light very important to your health but there is something very warming and comforting about a room filled with natural light. When we moved into our current home we had awful heavy curtains in our living room which did nothing for the space, we decided we wanted something more suited to our needs and make the best use of the three windows in our main family space. We opted for twist shade blinds which allow us to control the amount of natural light we have in our room which still giving us privacy, any time of the day without having to open up the whole thing.
5. Become Storage savvy - in most homes you have some kind of built in storage and I know from experience that these spaces usually become some very disorganised and messy very quickly, especially if you have children. The main thing is to sort out these spaces and use the space in a way that maximises the amount you can store, keeping your home a little bit more clutter free. Also buying some storage boxes for files, books etc can be very handy and help keep things a little bit more organised.
6. Re-organise your wardrobe - this one will have a big impact on your daily life because a messy wardrobe most certainly means a delay in getting ready in the morning as well as the possibility of clothes being left lying around. If you reduce what you have down to what you actually wear and get rid of anything you have not put on for more than 6 months you will see a real difference.
7. Invest in better quality furniture that you actually love - we all have furniture that simply serves a purpose, that we don't particularly love or even like and in many cases we hold onto things simply because we paid money for them rather than wether they are used much. Re-evaluating the furniture in your home is very important, getting rid of some frees up space and what you leave behind should be what you love and reflects your style - when it comes to these things less is always more.
8. Make your bedroom a tech free zone - your bedroom should always be a haven away from the chaos, somewhere that is free from technology and you can truly relax. It's really important to try and keep this area free from clutter and as I stated said in number 6 keep that wardrobe clean and tidy. Have a collection of your favourite books on your bedside table and as with number 4 make the most of any natural light you have coming into your bedroom. I mean is there anything better than the morning light flowing in on a lazy Sunday afternoon? Luxaflex do Silhouette Shade that takes the harshest sunlight and smoothly transforms it into a soft diffused light which is perfect for being clam into a bedroom.
9. Detox your bathroom - we all do it, we hoard beauty products we never finish and for what? Just in case we may need them? We have to start being honest with ourselves and as we become more and more busy and have less time for things we need to streamline our lives and get rid of anything that is not being used fully or bringing joy into our homes. Creating product free surfaces in our bathrooms is really important.
10. Streamline your digital clutter - we often talk about the material things in our life getting on top of us but it can quite easily happen with our digital lives as well, hundreds of unread emails, files that need to be backed up, cluttered desktops and these things need to be address to bring calm both into your real life and digital life. If you need a little direction or inspiration there is a great article on Zen Habits all about decluttering your digital life.
You don't have to do everything at once, in fact just focus on one thing at a time Sao you don't start to feel overwhelmed by it all and end up procrastinating. Just aim to have more go out than come into your home and take time to focus on yourself as well as becoming more organised which will really aid to free up time you can use to relax and enjoy the simply pleasures in life.