Let’s play a quick game. I want you to scan the room you are currently reading this in, assuming you are at home, and quickly ask yourself three questions about what you see in front of you.
How long ago did you use the item in question?
If I were to give you the money you paid for it right now to trade it, would you buy it again?
How long until you think you might replace it?
Too many items in our homes are collected, cultivated and purchased without much thought. You might buy in a sale for that ‘bargain feeling’. You might splurge on the latest ‘must-have’ trend for your home, to find you actually don’t cherish it that much.
Far too often, we buy to mask other needs or emotions. That instant burst of happiness when you hand over the cash in return for a shiny new sofa/ shoes / scent, that in reality, is very short lived.
I have known people buy a trendy cookbook to show others they eat healthy, when in reality they find all their recipes online. People who have invested in a statement armchair that actually is terrible to sit in because it follows a new trend. You get my point.
It’s time to start the year right, and start buying and filling our homes mindfully and with purpose.
I am writing this post in my living room, so I have taken part in the exercise at the same time. Here’s a snapshot of my thoughts:
Last used: Right now, and yes I would totally buy again. Fingers crossed if it has lasting power, I won’t need to replace for another ten years or so.
Books on the shelf
Last used: Varies. But reading is my release. It’s my favourite hobby. I keep books to pass them on to others to enjoy so we can share memories and thoughts about a novel. However perhaps it is time to pass some more on. How long to replace? Well as soon as I am through my latest book pile, so shall we say a month?
Last used: Never used, more decorative. To be honest, I probably don’t need these, they take extra time dusting, and I would likely take my money back for them if offered today. Time to recycle, rehome or donate!
Cushions on the armchair
I am not keen on cushions for cushions sake, but these are used daily by my husband who uses this as his gaming chair. So yes, keep these. Hopefully I won’t need to replace for the next three / five years. My house is all decorated in one theme to reduce waste and allow moving of furnishings between rooms.
Coffee Table Clutter
Last used: Today, because it contains my latest read, coasters and a candle. Time to replace, well, it moves fluidly with my day to day routine.
TV and Xbox One
Last used: Today. Personally, I would take my money back for them in a heartbeat but I share my minimal home with a lovely other, so I think this one is off the cards. Time to replace, hopefully we will get another two to three years out of them.
My living room is not ‘super minimalist’ in that I live with the bare essentials. But it does contain items which I use regularly, are useful and enrich my life. No more, and no less.
I personally think I need to review the fireplace situation following this post, and I am quite settled in that I know I don’t need to purchase anything else for the room for the foreseeable future.
I am happy with my surroundings, I am not enclosed in a small space with 60 ornaments, 5 side tables with no daily use, and curtains and cushions that need changing each time I paint a room.
If you can’t say the same, see today as the first day in a journey towards de-cluttering. Take the room you are in, and only fill it with things that enrich your life.
Then make a pact with yourself to not buy anything material for the room again once you’re happy with it.
Spend the money on experiences. Spend the time saved sorting, cleaning and dusting on you.