After I became a “grown-up”, with a proper job and a house, and especially after having kids, life got more busy and I felt that we never had enough time or space. We have moved a couple of times, and each time I thought that we would finally have enough room for all our things, but I’ve always ended up feeling like we didn’t.
I read loads of articles on organisation, decluttering and “hacks” to get more stuff stored in less space. I bought containers, boxes and started to organise clothes, toys, paper, pens etc. However, the last 4 years, I have been writing a thesis in English didactics which took most of my spare time, so I never managed to get “properly organised”. At times, I felt as if I was drowning in clothes, toys and other things, which I constantly was picking up and moving around the house (or had to ignore because I had to focus on my thesis). Once I handed in my thesis, I thought I would take a weekend to sort my house. A weekend…that was optimistic😜. Needless to say I realised this would take longer.
With kids came clothes and lots of equipment. We got rid of quite a lot, but the accumulation of toys and clothes was constant. I realised that organisation was not the solution, and that it was not necessarily lack of organisation that was our problem, rather an abundance of things.
We started the process of decluttering, first I started with my things before I started to involve other family members as well. I started with my clothes and our bedroom and moved on to other rooms in our house. As we’ve been doing this, we’ve all noticed it has become increasingly easier to put away things for the evening, as there are not so many of these things. My kids seem more drawn to their rooms now that it is easier to find toys, as there are not too many to choose from.
Perhaps the most valuable lesson I’ve learnt from this process so far is that striving to be more minimalist has changed me much more than I originally thought it would, especially my ways of thinking about things and possessions. In addition, I want to emphasise that it is a process. My husband and I both work full time jobs, so decluttering comes on top of the normal chores and family time we have in our everyday lives. However, we have started this process and take one step at the time, and only thinking about that we are in this process makes me feel happy and more at ease.
If you want to get more organised and live a more minimalist life, here are some tips from me:
- Start today – just do it! Even though you only have 10 minutes, find a drawer or some other small area and set your timer on your phone and get started. You’ll feel so good about yourself afterwards!
- Make a plan! Everything is much easier to do, when you’ve made a plan (or a list). I love crossing of lists, so this is a great motivation for me to get things done.
- Make it a habit. I have put in my calendar on my phone, declutter 10 minutes, three days a week. Though I can’t get through huge closets in ten minutes, at least I get something done, every week. It is important that this time is not used to picking up toys from the floor, as I see this as part of the “normal” housework which we have to do anyway 😉
- Be patient! If you have a lot of things, it will take time, especially if you have a job or a family which occupies you time as well. Take one step at the time. You’ll get there!!
- Read books or articles on minimalism or decluttering. There are lots of people sharing their experiences on the topic. I’ve found this essential and motivational in our work to become more minimalist.
- Reward yourself and do something nice for yourself or you and your family, when you’ve started the process. This is a nice reminder of why you are doing this! I see that I can spend more time with my loved ones, and less time on stressing over things, which to me has been really deliberating.
How did you start your minimalist journey? Do you have any tips to new beginners in search of minimalism? I’d love to hear from you as this is a continuing process, where I feel I learn something new, every step of the road.
Lots of love,