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8 steps to minimal living

Updated: May 26, 2020

Minimal living is a lifestyle, however, anyone who likes things simple stuff can be called a minimalist. I am in the process of moving home so this blog is a perfect opportunity to practise what I preach as I am working towards living with less. I admire anyone who lives a minimal lifestyle because I cannot fully commit.

Sure, I avoid clutter at home, however, I enjoy buying interiors which inject life in my home. Every time I travel, I travel light by packing a capsule wardrobe. Over the last six years, during an earlier chapter in my life, I have moved house many times, forcing me to analysis what I own and cull what can only be described as a revolting amount of clothes. There is something rather liberating about having a clear-out, giving unwanted clothing to charity or passing them onto friends and family and remind ourselves to buy quality, not quantity. A few years ago, my husband surprised me with a trip to Edinburgh Fringe. I was running an hour behind at work, or rather my boss was, which meant I would not get home in time to pack before the trip, so over the phone I instructed him to pack my backpack with a handful of clothes and cosmetics and told him to pick me up on time to travel to Edinburgh as planned. He later told me, how he thought this was the coolest way to pack because our precious free time together is more valuable than the things I can live without on a weekend break. I have done a fair bit of travelling and shopped for countless clients who ask for a capsule wardrobe so it goes without saying, but I will anyway, that packing minimally comes naturally as it is practical and makes commonsense. To keep our closets at bay, my top tip is when you buy something new, get rid of something you have not worn for two years. Give it to a friend or family member. Here are 8 top tips to live a more meaningful minimal life; 1. Clothes: One in, one out, give to charity, upcycle and invest in quality pieces, not quantity. 2. Interiors: Avoid clutter, if it doesn't please your eye or doesn't serve a purpose get rid of it. 3. Hobbies and sporting equipment: Bikes, helmets, snowboarding gear, ski boots, running gear, kayaks, gym gear, fishing gear, golfing gear...most lists vary and go on and on! Depending on your hobbies, sporting gear can take up a lot of space so this area is one of the hardest to cull. Use seasonal zipper bags and store ski wear out of the way. If you can cross over sports gear then try to. Every couple of years, bin anything that is worn or faded. You cannot usually give worn-out sports clothes to charity, as it does not sell so think of other ways of reusing the fabric, even if you make tea towels of dishcloths. Reuse and recycle if you can. Clear your shed or garage every 6-12 months, it can become a dumping ground. Utilise the space effectively. 4. Furniture: If you don't have much space get rid of furniture that doesn't serve a purpose. Review each room and only keep stuff that pleases your eye or that belongs in that particular room. 5. Books and literature: It is difficult with books as they decorate a room and make it homely and it is rewarding to build a library at home. If you do have too many hardcopy books at home, download books onto your iPad and join a local library. You may not have space to keep every edition of Vogue magazine so consider how often you refer back to old additions before you throw copies away, rethink and reuse for something else. 6. Artefacts: Invest wisely, buy well occasionally. Funds pending, I try to buy art and interiors when I travel. Keep a careful eye on what you buy and before you buy ask yourself where will it go at home? 7. Television: If you have a television in every room ask yourself why? A lounge is probably the only room which warrants a TV. A bedroom is for sleeping and sex, a kitchen is for cooking, a bathroom is for bathing. Couples with a TV in the bedroom have less sex, are less active and they argue more and they generally have more stress in their lives. It is much more liberating to live with less so have a think and review your TV situation and lifestyle. 8. Bedroom: A bedroom should be a peaceful, calming room with little furniture and a pleasing view from the bed. Review the position of your bed, make sure you don't have shelves above your head or mirrors, remove any clutter, think calm, think peaceful, think relaxation. While our wardrobe probably does not resemble the photograph above, I know mine doesn', I would encourage everyone including myself to continue to cull what we own every year. Up-cycle to reduce global waste, give unwanted clothing and furniture to charity to expand the lifespan of the product and live a more liberating life with less.

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