Monday, 2 February 2015

Less But Better: Our Minimalist Adventure

I'm currently on a journey that I never thought i'd see myself take. It's exciting and i'm not quite sure where it is leading but I sure am having fun along the way! 


Roughly two years ago I decided that things needed to change. I was permanently exhausted. I was tired of clutter, tired of mess, completely overwhelmed and shocked that after just a couple of years of buying our first home (a 3 double bedroom property) the two of us had completely filled it with STUFF. A combination of a love of shopping and being depressed by my job situation meant that I found myself buying more and more stuff to keep me happy. 

I'll save you the full story but I'll admit it was so bad that sometimes i'd sit at home in tears because there was always so much to do around the home. Bigger jobs and our to-do list always were constantly left 'on hold' because we weren't saving anything, spending almost every last penny from two great monthly wages on STUFF, meals out, holidays and takeaways. Our new bathroom? Nope, never got it done. Damp proofing and repairing that massive hole in the wall behind the fridge? Pfft.
By the time we acknowledged that things had to change, I was a few months pregnant and wasn't in a suitable position to pursue a huge lifestyle change just yet. Besides, we didn't know where to start!

So as 2014 began and as things started to settle down with Miss E, I began a little mission to remove some of the clutter from our lives. 

We decided to tackle the house from top to bottom, mainly because our attic room is currently unused and is the 'dumping ground' in our home. From there, we removed bags and bags of items. We filled the car repeatedly and dropped everything off at various donation centres and charity shops across Sheffield. I took up selling on eBay again and delighted in seeing our savings slowly starting to grow again.

In April 2014, we took a holiday and it was then that I realised that the things we packed for our trip were pretty much the 'essentials' in our life. That feeling of 'freedom' when you're away from home? Yeah, maybe that wasn't entirely down to being on holiday. Maybe it's also because we left the stress at home, enjoying a calmer and more peaceful way of life without all the extra STUFF
This really inspired me and with every item that went from our house, I genuinely felt bit more freedom.

Over the next few months we'll be tackling every last item in our house, from removing multiples of things (bedding, kitchenware, etc), to dealing with those huge boxes of paperwork and letters. I'm really quite keen on sharing the process on this blog, if only for the sake of documenting it so I never let it get like this again! 

Slowly but surely, i'm starting to appreciate and look after everything that remains..... and it's really quite lovely.  

I'm really not sure where this is all heading. It's a new chapter for us and a new way of life. I really quite love it. I'll not deny that we are at the very start of this adventure and taking it slowly is the only way we can feasibly do it. We still have a lot to clear, it's going to take a long, long time.

Slowly but surely though, things are changing for us as a family. One thing i'm sure of is I don't want Miss E growing up thinking that possessions matter. They don't. I want her to grow up valuing people and experiences, not things. What a better way to do it than to lead by example, yep?

If you're in a similar position and want to know where to start then I can't recommend the following blogs highly enough....

4 comments:

  1. What a great topic. I myself come from a family of hoarding! But, like you I didn't want my life to be overtaken by clutter, things - sadly are just that, things.
    I can relate to how you felt whilst on holiday, when mid way through our honeymoon, I looked at our suitcases and thought you know, everything back home doesn't really matter, I could quite happily live with just these essentials.
    Of course, there are home comforts that make a difference - like fresh bedding, framed photographs etc. But sometimes junk (the second hand variety) and books (my main culprit) are simply just belongings, that are borrowed. Just think one day somebody else will probably own them.
    If you don't need something, then get rid! I'm glad you've found a new way of life :)
    x x x

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  2. I really needed to read this because I'm in a similar state. I often look at the things around me and get irritated by the clutter and have just started to read more about simplifying my life and being more zen and practising living a simpler life, so the links you provided are brilliant. Thank you for this and I hope you're starting to feel better too! - Tasha

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  3. I'm going to take a leaf from your book and start de-cluttering. You have inspired me
    Julie xxxxxxxx

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  4. Very excited to follow this journey! In the last few weeks I have been writing lists of things to get done before the new baby arrives and remember how much fun I had nesting before. Each room got cleared out twice at least! However we knew we were about to have a house move then, so it was a lot easier. I know there is SO MUCH STUFF in our home that we don't need, and a lot of room to be made to make sure we can fit the new baby and all the paraphernalia in. I am going to go and read more about minimalism and see if I really can persuade myself (& Sam!) to start being really brutal...
    I wish you luck!

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