The Art of Living Simply
Since we recently passed the Spring Equinox, I felt that this is the perfect time to touch on spring cleaning of your home and mind. I’ve been kind of obsessed with the minimalist movement recently. When I first heard of the Tiny House movement a couple of years ago, I binged on documentaries and shows highlighting this lifestyle.
I dreamt of living smaller--until the day we built our chicken coop. Our coop is more like a chicken palace, comfortably fitting up to 10 birds. Once completed, Adam and I sat inside the coop and admired our handy work. It suddenly hit us that this would be the size of a tiny house (on the smaller end). It made us realize that tiny house living wasn’t the life for us!
Our current house is the perfect size for us. It's a cozy 1,200 sq ft home built in the 1840s with all of the character and charm of that time period. I now know what happiness is. It's having a house to come home to on a parcel of land that we tend, where our gardens grow and our animals always welcome us back. I need to have roots.
I’ve come to realize that we don’t need to live in a tiny box on wheels to live more simply. This is much too extreme for my taste. I recently stumbled across the book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo (I’m not getting paid by Amazon to link this, by the way!) and couldn’t put it down.
I absolutely love her intuitive method of tidying. What she calls tidying, I define as a means to live simply and obtaining a more minimalist lifestyle. Adam and I immediately donated 10 trash bags full of clothes after reading the first chapter. That was only the first of many steps! It felt liberating, satisfying, and brought this deep sense of calm.
You will feel lighter and generate freedom with every item that you shed that doesn’t bring you joy. By decluttering your home, you declutter your mind. By altering your space in a positive way, its benefits expand into other areas of your life.
I’m a huge fan of Marie Kondo’s methods of tidying, though I’ll admit that she tends to get pretty intense in the final chapters. So I took what works for me and left the rest.
Here are a few principles to live a simple, minimalist life:
Discard everything that isn’t essential and you don’t absolutely love. The reverse: only keep the essentials and what you truly love!
Only have decorations that are functional and/or beautiful (bye-bye trinkets covering all shelf surfaces!).
Aim for a clean, open space.
Allow more time to tidy up on a daily basis. Clean up after yourself (e.g. after eating, put your dishes in the dishwasher; straighten up your workspace before calling it quits for the evening).
Less is more. The less stuff you have, the less you need to clean.
The attic and basement can’t be hoarding dens. Act as if you lived in there.
No junk drawers!
Get rid of anything that doesn’t spark joy.
It’s all about quality over quantity.
I was guilty of ALL of this. When you decide to discard and really clean up your home (i.e. life), don’t be shocked when strong emotions arise. I severely struggled with throwing away pants from 10 years ago?!! Why was I so attached to such things?
You’ll have to face and deal with the emotional attachments to unnecessary objects. These attachments are real! By overcoming these barriers of letting go of things that no longer serve us, it empowers us to live our best life---free of clutter! The stuff in your house is holding you back from being your highest self.
Fun fact: you’re really dealing with the clutter in your mind and mental blocks when this stuff pops up! It’s just as much mental garbage as physical garbage! Your outer world is a projection of in your inner state of being. Your house might be in chaos because you feel chaotic.
Your home is a sacred place, let’s treat it as such. After dealing with the clutter, you’ll become a better version of yourself--new and improved. It’ll open up space for more abundance in your life and might even help to clarify your true passions and dreams. You may have an aha moment that reveals what you really want in life. Maybe this leads to releasing a job or relationships that aren’t in line with your true self.
I always love a good self-improving challenge! Now, let’s get your house in order!
What’s one thing that you’ve done to simplify your life? Comment below to keep the conversation going!