Do you ever go into a room in your home and fail to relax? Take a moment to imagine that room in a different way. Imagine natural light flooding in, simple yet statement furniture pieces with few accessories dotted about. Do you feel better? Do you feel almost . . . calm?
It’s incredibly easy to for us to accumulate a lot of things. I grow irritable when I spend time in rooms with a lot of clutter. As soon as I put things away and clear the space, my mind just feels better. And that is how adopting minimalist living could work to maximize your happiness. When you create a space of things you need versus things you desire, you’ll find you create a haven in which you feel calm and relaxed.
That being said, I know how hard it can be to let go and change your surroundings, and how hard it can be to change your spending habits. But I’ve compiled an easy to follow list on how you can start to make those changes today, and venture on the path towards a minimalist home:
1. Take a look at your furniture; do you need it all?
Have you ever tried to copy a look on Pinterest and found that in reality, it just doesn’t work? I found this out myself when I tried to fit an oversized armchair into my tiny bedroom. It engulfed the space and I grew more and more irritated; I even hated sleeping in there. Go through each and every room in your home and decide which pieces of furniture truly serve a purpose, and which are simply taking up needed space. For example, do you need a coffee table if you have a bigger table, too? Do you need six chairs at the kitchen table if you only ever use two or three?
2. FIND A HOME FOR EVERYTHING
Confession time: I’m the world’s worst at letting my countertops grow cluttered. There’s always something on them, be it a pile of mail or some random collection of things. It looks messy, it feels messy and yet, it’s easy to keep tidy. Find places to put your keys; why not upcycle an old shelf into a key rack so you’ll always know where they are? Use a dish to throw loose change into, or any other items that you tend to find littered about your home. Why not use baskets to collect things you need to find a home for? You’ll be more inclined to put things away instead of leaving them to grow messier.
3. Purge your utensils
For many of us our kitchen area will be a place that needs a bit of a clear out in order to adopt a more minimalist approach. We tend to collect gadgets and utensils, and before we know it, our kitchen has three wooden spoons and a selection of rolling pins to rival Ikea. First, sort through it all and donate or throw away duplicates. You’ll de-clutter easily and quickly when you only have one of each item.
4. Swap harsh colors for soft, subtle shades
I learned firsthand how the color you choose to paint a room will either make you relaxed or agitated. I went for lime green walls, and sure, it felt fun and daring. I love the color green, so why the heck not? After a week I regretted it, and those green walls started to close in on me, and I couldn’t stand to be in that room any longer. If your own home is full of brightly painted walls, you may struggle to relax. Paint over your walls using neutral tones; not only do they have a calming effect, but they can help to open up a room, making it look bigger than it actually is, giving you a sense of more space.
5. Simplify your accessories
We tend to look to fill spaces within our home but this usually just ends up taking up space and leaving the room feeling cluttered. From vases to books to ornaments, sometimes there is beauty in simplicity. Instead of buying lots of little space fillers, invest in one or two really nice pieces that you’ll enjoy looking at. Also, use plants instead of random furnishings; not only do they add a pop of color against neutral walls, but they’re great for your health (when you choose the right kind) and you’ll have fun nurturing your plants.
6. Say BUH-bye to duplicates
Now is the time to go through your home and be ruthless. I guarantee that as soon as you start sifting through drawers and cupboards you’re going to find items that you have two of, if not more. I bought a cookbook the other day. I went to put it on the shelf and found I’d already bought it . . .
Donate or discard items that you have more than one of, and get savvy with the ones you do. For instance, if you read a lot but don’t want books pouring out of your bookcase, why not invest in an electronic reader such as a Kindle? The same for DVDs; if you’re sick of tripping over a stack of films, why not subscribe to either a TV service such as Netflix, or simply put your films using on an Amazon fire stick; you’ll always have them on hand this way, and it’s great if you travel a lot.
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