Simplify Your Home, Simplify Your Life
2019 is in full swing, and with all our new goals and resolutions swirling about, Netflix could not have planned a better time to launch the new show Tidying Up with Marie Kondo. It’s like they knew that we were all in reset mode and had that “I can take on anything the day sends my way!” type of attitude. Which explains why you probably saw half of your friends on social media try to tackle their closets and fold the “Marie Kondo” way.
Now that the dust has settled a bit, we took a bit of time to reflect on why the show became an instant sensation and why people were quickly jumping at the chance to clean out all their stuff and reinvent the way they organize. Here’s what we summed up: As humans, with all the noise going on in the world, from the overstimulation of never being able to turn off in this digital age, to always comparing our lives to someone else’s highlight reel, to all the horrible things going on in the news, we are craving the need to S I M P L I F Y. We are realizing that the more stuff we have, the more cluttered our houses, the more chaotic our lives feel and the more stressed out we become. Which is why we are looking inwards, specifically where we habitate, to search for that relief.
Your home is the root of your happiness. It’s where you unwind after a long day, cook most of your meals, and spend time with the ones you love. It should be your oasis, not the reason you feel crazy! But at this season of your life it probably sounds next to impossible to have it ALL together - clean house, laundry done, fridge stocked, kids fed, and the list goes on…. Sound familiar? Yeah, us too.
BUT, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. We all deserve need to set aside some time to simplify. This is for the people who don’t have time to go full Marie Kondo right now, for the people who need to start small but don’t know how. Here’s a few tips we’ve implemented in our own homes to get us towards living a less cluttered, more simplified life.
Live with less - It’s easier said than done in an age where anything we want is at a click of a button. But trust me, you’ll be so much happier when you don’t have as much stuff taking up room in your house. Evaluate what you really need/like out of what you currently have. For instance, do a purge of your kitchen utensil drawer. Do you have multiple bottle openers, wooden skewers, pizza cutters, etc? Maybe your utensil drawer is so cluttered you can’t even see the things you already have or easily find what you use most. By eliminating excess and the things you never use, you are automatically creating a better functioning kitchen, and in turn saving you time and frustration from digging around in your drawers.
Now that you’ve simplified a bit, ask yourself if the items you have left really spark joy? (Thank you Marie Kondo). If they don’t, make a list of items you want to upgrade. For example, say you have plastic measuring cups you got years ago. They are tired and worn and not even a complete set anymore. And you saw the cutest gold set that you’d much rather have instead. Replace the old ones with the cute ones! Having a goal to live with less, but really loving the things you have is important.
Which is why you should invest in nicer things - since your goal should be to live with less, you probably don’t want to have to replace things often. Buying things that are good quality that will last may come with a higher price tag, but in retrospect, the cheaper item you buy now will probably have to be replaced a couple times within the lifespan of that one nicer item you bought. Ultimately leading you to pay just as much money, if not more, over time than buying the more expensive, quality item once.
This is also a plus because it means you are sending less to the landfill every year. Also a little side note here on quality. We would say the one caveat to buying quality without breaking the bank is buying vintage furniture. While all vintage furniture is not created equal, there are some really great solid pieces at a fraction of the price that are ready to find a new forever home. Checkout estate sales or local consignment and antique stores.
Have systems and rhythms in place that allow your space to serve you, not stress you - What we mean by this is, create tasks that eventually become habits so you can free up some mental energy in what feels like a very cluttered headspace sometimes. There are a MILLION things that go through your head in any given day and 95% of them are most likely things you need to do.
As an example, implement the task of having someone (whether it’s you, your partner, or your kids) clear the table post dinner, load the dishes and run the dishwasher every night before bed. That way when you wake up with a set of clean dishes you don’t have to stare at a sink full of dirty dishes and think ‘that’s one more thing you have to do today’. Clearing your physical space allows you to simultaneously clear your mental space. Which means you can give your mental energy to the tasks that you really want or need to devote time to. We’d call that a win-win!
If you work to implement these three little steps throughout your home over time you’ll wake up one day with a clear mind and a clean house, we promise! Like anything in life, things that are worth it take time - just breathe, be patient, and focus on simplicity!
If you have an other tips that have worked for you, please feel free to share in the comments below!