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Less is more. So much more.
How do you feel when you think about your home?
Happy? Content? Overwhelmed? Or perhaps you can’t remember the last time you actually stopped to think about how it makes you feel and are now perhaps Googling late at night wondering how to fix “all of this” *waves hand in general direction of stuff*.
The same way organised homes aren’t built in a day, disorganised homes aren’t created by a single, life-shattering event.
It’s a slow burn.
A gradual build up of stuff and then a sneaking feeling that things have gone too far. Followed by a snap decision of: “ENOUGH! Time to be an adult and sort this stuff out!”
“Stuff” being the items that fill the nooks and crannies of your drawers, cupboards, under the beds, and that extra closet in the guest bedroom that you 100% forgot about 3 years ago.
Living with less isn’t about shrinking your home – or yourself – into a neat, square box that everyone expects of you.
It’s about creating a home you love to live in. One that doesn’t drag it’s feet like a 14-year-old who has discovered, if they are just slightly evil enough, they may get out of having to do chores.
Living with less is about creating a home that works for you. Not against you.
One that doesn’t suck energy out of you, but rather feeds energy to you.
Let’s dive into why decluttering and living with less is not only totally do-able for you, but also 100% worth it.
Stuff carries energy
Before your eyeballs, skip over wondering how woo-woo this is getting, hear me out.
Stuff fills up space. Physics 101 achieved – well done. However, fen-shui, or however you define it, is a real thing. A room filled cornice to skirting board will instantly make you feel like you need to catch your breath and wonder at what hazard level your local firies would rank the room.
But a hotel room with crisp, white linens (that any parent would dream of!) gives you the opposite feeling. You can breathe. Your mind switches off focusing on the stuff and more on the relaxed feeling it gives you. It can be hard to pinpoint what it is, but these types of rooms are just “awesome”.
The thing is, whether you want to believe it or not right now, you deserve to have your home feel like it’s a sanctuary. And it’s totally achievable. Regardless of whether you rent a teeny tiny studio or have bought your forever home, or if you’re living in a dumping zone and can’t see the floor.
By only having stuff in your home that you love and/or actually need, means that there isn’t stuff sucking away your energy every time you look at it, leaving you wondering “ugh, what is EVEN IN this cupboard?”
Less stuff gives you the opportunity to live in your space.
Your home is first and foremost designed for living. Not storage.
And that feeling of having a space that you LOVE to live in are the rays of sunlight you see glowing from people who have decluttered like they have found the Holy Grail. These people know that all the stuff in their home is there for a reason.
They know they didn’t need 27 pairs of socks which means they can now easily close their sock drawer. Every. Single. Time. No shoving or frustration. Or socks falling down the back meaning none of the drawers close.
It just quietly opens and closes. As it was designed to.
Aaaaand every morning, they ask ‘how many years did I put up with this?!’ Too many.
See the light. Get rid of the stuff that sucks energy away from you and simply just make your life harder than it needs to be.
Less breaks, more flow
“Where is the mini muffin tray?! I need to bake for the kid’s school fair tomorrow and I DEFINITELY put it in with all the other baking trays in the laundry!”
You holler at your partner at 9.00 pm.
Truth be told, you have no stinking idea where you left the tray. And the blank stare from your partner says they don’t either.
But you have a sneaking suspicion that you are actually thinking of your mum’s kitchen cupboard and probably have never owned a mini-muffin tray yourself…
You give that thought a decent burial and continue to glare at anything that moves. And then promptly ditch the whole idea and write a note to the teacher excusing your lack of baked goods. Solved right?
Living with less stuff and ACTUALLY knowing what you own means you aren’t left wondering what lives 3 layers deep, in the darkness of your cupboards.
“Well. What a lovely, nice thought that is” you think reading this.
Yes. I get it.
To get from frustration and late-night scowls to a home that flows does require work at your end.
And I ain’t coming over to referee either.
The work is relatively simple.
And if you’re serious about it, read this blog once you finish this one.
With less clutter filling up your home, you’ll be in flow. No stopping and wondering where this thing is or who had the audacity to steal that. Or why your friend hasn’t returned that thing to that you really could use right now!
With less stuff, you know what you have. And what you don’t have.
Keep the stuff you need and love, and say YES to more “let me fetch that for you” and goodbye to the mental gymnastics of “do we even have that anymore?”
Less stuff means less decisions (welcome to the world of organisation)
The amount of stuff in your home that makes you happy is subjective. A whole wall of tea in every flavour imaginable may make your heart sing, whereas for others, it may be proudly displaying a neatly categorised collection of CDs.
You can argue that one is more useful etc, but finding happiness is always an inside job. And no one can comment on that.
Reducing the stuff that you own will give you that initial buzz of achievement, but thanks to pesky human nature, once we reach the summit, we get bored again and start hunting for the next goal. As you should.
Stressing about, thinking lots, planning over, and doing all sorts of things in our home is awesome.
For a time.
But the research will tell you that a happy life is proportionate to the value of your relationships. With people, not stuff.
So once you have decluttered and are feeling all fabulous, the next step is to take stock of how your home runs (a.k.a getting organised)
Dig a little deeper than the stuff on the calendar and look into what causes stress and world war 3,4,5 +6’s in your home.
Are you always guessing the last time the bedsheets were washed? Wondering where all the tea towels went? Are you the one always stuck cleaning because it’s never done ‘right’?
Taking the time to think about what works for your home through the lens of using systems to take the emotion out of running the household.
Create systems that are beyond simple for the others in your household to follow.
A cute basket in the linen cupboard labelled “TEA TOWELS” is a great, super simple system.
Take the microphone away from complaints and replace them with systems.
Beds get changed every Sunday.
The bins get emptied when 98% full (and every time you put something in them you do an eyeball check of how full they are) – and leaning towers of Pisa are never allowed.
Observing where things go wrong can also help. If no one can be bothered lifting the lid on laundry baskets, just ditch the lid.
Lose the battle of 100% cuteness, win the war of clean floors.
And if you have A LOT of things to improve in your home, start small and improve over time. Tweak as you go, finding what works and what doesn’t work.
And like everything worthwhile, it will take much more work than you think. However, it will free up your time for more meaningful things in life and reduce that mental workload we sometimes hold onto so tightly. When breaking down old systems, it might get worse in order to get better. Embrace the journey.
A house full of clutter doesn’t add to happiness, but a house full of humans you love and who love to live in their home will.
Make a decision to create a living space over storage space.
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