I’ve been consistently trying to find ways to cut clutter and bring simplicity at home. When I use the phrase ‘simplicity at home’, I’m not referring to a boring home that is not warm and welcoming. Neither I’m I referring to a home that has been stripped off all its necessary items that make it a home. Too many times ‘simplicity at home’ can come across as boring and having nothing. When I use this phrase, I’m simply referring to cutting out the excess. It means getting rid of the stuff that make your home a place of chaos and confusion and only keeping the things that bring you and your family joy. It means having less (stuff) so you can have more (home) and ultimately less chaos.
I am totally aware that this may not be an easy concept for some. I too have my struggles. It is not natural to always think “have less so I can have more”. My natural tendency is to want more – such is the human nature. The eye is definitely not tired of seeing… But we can be disciplined and ‘simplicity at home” can only be done through discipline. While I don’t consider myself disciplined in this area, I do love it when parts of the home feel simplified and clutter-free. It means:
- less chaos (mentally and physically)
- less organizing
- less cleaning
- more home
- more freedom
If you’ve been wanting to bring some simplicity to your home, have less (stuff) so you could have more (home), and have less chaos, here are some things to try.
5 Areas to Declutter and Bring Simplicity to Your Home
1.Declutter Your Stuff: Ever find yourself having too much stuff at home that do not make you or your family happy? Are your closets overflowing with clothes that you’ve not worn in years because you just have too much.. or outgrew them… or do not love them anymore? Do you spend too much time trying to find something to wear in the midst of the chaos? Why not do something about it to simplify your space and cut the frustration?
- Sell or donate what you do not need anymore. If decluttering is a new thing to you take it slowly and evaluate what are needs and what are excess (clutter). But try it and over time you’ll begin to embrace the freedom that comes with it.
- Cut out impulsive and excess spending: There is no need to have 5 of one item just for the sake of having it. I used to own about 4 different slow cookers, 1 large, 1 medium, 1 tiny, and one with 3 sections. I always thought I needed each one for different sizes of meals. If I was making a regular everyday dinner I used the medium (my favorite) one and if I was making a holiday meal I used the large one (once a year maybe?). That three sectional slower cooker may have only been used one or two times within a period of 2 years. But I need to have it. After all, it was a housewarming gift plus what if friends came over and I needed to make a few different side dishes? It will save time, wouldn’t it? After years of keeping all these sizes of slow cookers I realized that I did NOT need them all. They were sources of clutter. I ended up donating a couple of them. I kept the large one and eventually had no idea what happened to the medium one. I used the larger slow cooker until it stopped working and did without one for a while until Fall when the weather got cooler. Having just one frees up our physical space and works well. If you’ve got a cooking business at home then more than one may be necessary.
- Don’t make spending money a therapy. I used to do this when my hubby traveled for business. I’d take the kids and go to some of my favorite stores and buy home decor items on sale. Truth be told, we probably did not need most of them. They did not bring joy as I was constantly trying to make room and find some ways to use them. Many ended up in various donate piles. Here is the thing, I am finding that our location to stores play a big part in how I spend. Previously, we lived closer to various favorite stores so it was easy to pop in often (even just to look or so I told myself). In this area though those same stores are a tad further away so we’ve been staying home. Plus I just don’t always have the desire to load the kids and drive 10 -15 minutes (not far) to the stores. We’ve been doing without what we don’t see in the stores, bringing in less clutter, and saving money!! So cutting out excess spending will definitely help free up your home from all the un-necessaries and help you find some joy in your space again. As a bonus, if you have less stuff cleaning and taking care of your home will seem like a breeze. Less things mean less home to clean.
Note: This photo is from when I gave our bedroom a tiny makeover. It is not a fancy designed room but it’s pretty much being staying simple and clean and beautiful (at least in my mind). Not too may things in the room to complicate it and make it unwelcoming. As a bonus, cleaning is definitely a breeze with this one.
3. Declutter Your Social Media: What???? Social media is one of the things that can definitely add clutter to our minds and in return rob us from the joys of home. It becomes a time-waster if it is not balanced. We spend too much time searching and watching what others are doing all the while neglecting our own. What’s worse is that it makes us compare ourselves and our homes to what others have and what we don’t have. Too many times I hear others saying, “I wish I had a room like this” or “I wish I was relaxing in a space like that” or “that person’s home is the best”, etc. While I admire nice homes and love to see how others create their homes, I have to constantly remind myself that each home is different. How many times have you fallen into a trap of MUST having a certain decorative item because it looks awesome in someone else’s home? After all, if it’s trending and looks good in so many homes it’s got to look great in mine too! Well that is an avenue for homemaking fail. We may realize after purchasing and setting up that the stuff do not suit our homestyle after all. We don’t really love it as we thought we would and therefore, only wasted money and added to the clutter.
I’ve had to set some goals and try to cut back on the amount of time wasted on social media. Instagram for example is a favorite (gotta love Insta) but I just cannot keep up with the daily posting, keeping up with everyone else’s photos, trying to make my photos look perfect and modelling my home after everyone else’s. I feel like it has become more of a chore rather than a ‘fun thing’. Don’t get me wrong, not saying that our feed should look uncoordinated and not appealing (I love seeing great photography). All I’m saying is that on my part, it was taking a bit too much time to keep up with on a daily basis. I had to find balance and cut back some for the sake of my home (working on this).
4. Declutter Your Email Inbox(es): Too many emails in your inbox? You can definitely unsubscribe! I don’t mean to sound harsh but so many companies offer so many ‘sign-up to receive rewards and special discounts’ type of sign-up forms. I feel like some of those rewards never really work. When I go to a store and present my rewards card (which they ask for) all they do is scan and give back. Signing up for everything that’s offered will only crowd our minds and inboxes and cause us to waste time caring for home. I know there were times when I had to wade through my inboxes to find just one email. Or miss important emails because I had so many non-important ones crowding my way. Unscribing from un-necessary emails will give us more freedom, clear the clutter, and allow us to spend less time checking through emails.
5. Declutter Your Mind: Don’t try to “do it all”. If you try to do too many things at once, you may find yourself not having any direction. Your mind and space become cluttered. I found this to be true when I decided to organize some of the areas in our home. I took everything from the cupboards and closets and laid them out. This created a huge mess and clutter-filled rooms. There was clutter all around and I did not know which area to work on first. Once I put everything back and started focusing on one area at a time, I did not feel as stressed and our home was not in a state of disarray. My mind was not cluttered and the tasks were easier to handle and even more enjoyable.
6. Declutter Your Schedule: If you don’t add a few minutes to your schedule to unwind you will only be burdened with chores, tasks, with the 5 other areas mention above, etc. Block out a few minutes just to do nothing or do something that makes you feel relaxed. Here are a few ideas to try:
- flip through a magazine
- catch a favorite show
- eat a favorite snack
- drink from your favorite mug
- mini mani or pedicure
- read a good book
- bake something special
- take a nap?
The list could go on. . . The idea is to block out time from the daily mundane so you would find time to clear your mind, re-fuel, and re-energize. Like I mentioned above, these are areas that I too have been working on and have seen a bit of a difference in some areas already.
How are you simplifying and having less (stuff) so you could have more (home) and less chaos? Please share your ideas in the comments!!