Thirty Things You Can Easily Throw Away Today To Make You Feel Happier.

If my home is getting a little cluttered and busy, I can guarantee that it will start to have an effect on my mind and wellbeing.

We all know the feeling. Stressed about rummaging through drawers to find something. Fed up of moving everything aside to put something back. Struggling to find room to sit down and work when your desk has become the new temporary storage shelf.

There’s a simple fix, and I assure you it won’t take long at all.

Grab yourself three big bags, boxes or containers, and look around the house (or take it one room, one day at a time if you’ve got a lot to sort) and choose if you should trash, recycle or donate the below items.

30 Things You Can Instantly Declutter

Old Magazines / Newspapers
Letters you don’t need to file
Old batteries
Old electrical wires and cables
Takeaway Menus (all online now)
Socks with holes in
Clothes that don’t fit
Clothes with stains
Tights with holes
Old towels or bedding
Expired makeup / old samples
Old toiletries
Old Groceries
Expired condiments / spices
Non-recyclable bags
Excess coffee mugs

Excess glassware
Excess utensils
Books you’ve read
DVD’s you don’t need anymore
Old cards, decorations
Excess Tupperware
Unused kids / pets toys
Excess decor
Old recipe books
Old calendars, diaries and notebooks
Clutter in work or handbags

When you have worked through it all, you should find your drawers are clearer, you living space is less ‘busy’ and you feel a lot more zen. A happy home leads to a happy mind.

When I first started to live minimally, I found I had to repeat this exercise almost bi-monthly. Now however, I am a lot more conscious around what I consume in the first place, which helps with living with less on a permanent basis.

Repeat as often as you need to, and think first before buying something you know you recently rehomed before you need to repeat it all over again in a few months time.

Save the below to your phone for a quick reference guide, or Pin it to complete later.

8 (8)

Invest in quality, over quantity.

Buy well, not often.

Choose need, not want.

These Three Questions Will Help You Know If Your Home Is Too Cluttered

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:

Grey Living Room Sofa

Sofa

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?

Grey and White Living Room

Fireplace accessories

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.

img_5711

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.

 

Insider: A Look Inside My ‘Minimalist’ Home

Often when people visit my home, they are a little taken aback by the décor and detail in each room. If you haven’t met anyone who has subscribed to a minimalist lifestyle before, you’d probably think that they live with the bare necessities and not much more.

For me, living minimally isn’t about ruthlessly counting the number of items I have in my home. I don’t subscribe to living with three t-shirts, one plate and one cup like a lot of people do. It might work well for them and if it does that’s great, but it wouldn’t work for me.

Instead, I live with what I see as necessary. In order for an item to remain in my house it has to be either:

  • Functional
  • Something that enriches my life
  • Sentimental (to a point)

I could easily move about my home and explain why I have each and every item. So yes, you can expect to find candles around the rooms. Not for decorative clutter, but because candles help me to unwind after a long hard day. I like to light them all, put on classical music and unwind with a book.

I have photos on the walls and in frames, because I love seeing friends and family members across my home. Making memories and spending time with loved ones is one of my top priorities in life, and seeing these reminders of good times each day makes me realise what I need to focus my time on.

If something isn’t useful, or if I feel a room is getting a little too busy, I do reassess my situation.

Around three times a year I take a box and put everything in one room into it (aside from the big pieces of furniture) and if I think about it within a month, I take it out and put it back.

If I don’t think of it, I donate it to charity or sell it online.

Additionally, my home has a colour theme, so this helps ensure everything within it can move from one room to another. Great for reducing waste.

Pink and Grey Minimal Bedroom

Does your home need decluttering? Are you accumulating so many things which just line your shelves collecting dust?

Perhaps you could firstly choose one room and box every non-functional item up. Hide it away for a month, and only take out things you miss or need.

Everything else, donate to charity or sell.

Then start theming your home using this post here.

Lastly, going forward, only buy with purpose. Do you really need that 10th scatter cushion? Think of how that £25 could be spent instead. On a meal out, on a day trip with friends.

Make more memories, invest in less stuff, and see if you become happier and live a more meaningful life.

Inside my Minimalist Home:

IMG_9502-1 IMG_9582-1

IMG_9507-1 IMG_9504-1

IMG_9506-1 IMG_9509-1

Minimalism: Living life with your favourite things

Minimalism is often perceived as people living with the bare necessities. Two jumpers, one pair of jeans and a house with functional furniture but nothing more. A lot of people tend to see it as a challenge or game.

‘You own 3 plates, and yet I own one and therefore I am clearly more minimalist than you’

For many people, this might be their vision of minimalism.

I personally see minimalism as living my life without the clutter. Removing the stuff which drains my energy, dominates my time and does not contribute to my overall happiness. In a nutshell minimalism is about identifying the people, experiences, material possessions and goals that add value to your life, and the ones that don’t.

Too often we get caught up doing what we think we should be doing, such as working 60 hour weeks because society tells us that’s important if we want to be successful, when really we should be using those hours to do the things we love. Even if that is just curling up to read a book and let your mind escape for a while.

For me, living minimally means living with a life filled with my favourite things, people and experiences. In order to assess that I am doing it correctly and consciously living a happier life, I have asked myself a series of important questions.

If you are considering how your way of life currently reflects on your favourite things, perhaps you could benefit from answering the questions below as well:

What are my top priorities in life? What matters to me most?

 My top priorities, as listed on previous posts are:

Spending quality time and sharing memories with my husband, family and friends.

  • Buying less, experiencing more.
  • Putting my health first.
  • Seeing more of the world.

And a couple of new ones:

  • Reading as much as I possibly can
  • Eating clean

Where is my favourite place to spend time at home?

I love my living room. Within it I feel calm thanks to the cool grey décor, surrounded by items which are important and useful to me, and comfortable. It is where I write the majority of my blog posts, read my books and cuddle with my cats.

The reason the room resonates so much with me is that it is the one room in my house that I have completely overhauled since buying, and everything in there has been chosen for a functional purpose.

Where is my favourite place to spend time outside of the home?

When I lived in Manchester, my favourite ever place to explore was Lyme Park. I could have done the same walk around the grounds every day and not got bored.

Now I live in York, I love going to what my husband and I have aptly named ‘secret bay’. This hidden cove is a quiet place where we like to retreat to, relax and enjoying ourselves away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

I think I love both the above places as they allow for solitude, time to think, and time to adventure.

Who do I love to surround myself with?

My small but incredible group of friends and my family.

What activity that I currently do on a weekly basis do I dislike?

At the moment, a big stress of mine is trying to find something to watch on the television when unwinding with my husband.

I often spend 30 minutes just deciding on something I can pretty much deal with watching and personally I see this as time wasted.

I love series such as Parks and Recreation, The Office (US) and I pretty much gobble up any documentary.

Perhaps I need to spend some time finding another way to unwind, or creating a to-watch list rather than fretting in the moment.

How do I relax?

I relax by taking a long soak in the bath listening to my calming Spotify playlist, and then tend to read a book surrounded by vanilla and white musk candles.

If this isn’t possible, I go for a long walk.

What are my favourite possessions? Do they matter more than anything else?

IMG_7246

  • My books (cheating a little here) but honestly I love them because I get so much joy from reading them, but also from sharing them with others to read. I see our home and bookshelves as a mini library. So many books have left my shelves to go to others, and so many books have come from others and been enjoyed. This is why I keep so many books in an otherwise minimal home, to me they are a chance to encourage others to experience the incredible stories within their pages.

photo-1423666639041-f56000c27a9a

  • My phone is my connection to friends, family and the greater world. I use it to Instagram, blog and to take thousands of photos (one of my passions). However as previously described, I need to perhaps use it less.

IMG_1801

  • Our secret bay painting lovingly created for us by my mother-in-law. I love the painting as it was a truly perfect housewarming gift, but also because it hangs in my favourite room, reminding me constantly to focus on what makes me happy. If things are getting stressful, my favourite place is just an hours drive away.
  • My Hard Drive because on it is all my photos, pieces of writing and music. Things I wouldn’t be able to replace if they were lost.

 

As for the rest of the things that I own, although I love them find them practical and use them regularly, I don’t need any of them to be happy.

I instead see my favourite things as travelling, adventures and places rather than material possessions, and I couldn’t be happier.

 

 

Minimise Your Media: Take Back Your Shelves

How are your spare surfaces and shelves occupied in your home? Are they filled with things you treasure, things with a purpose, and things that enrich your life?

Or are they filled with old books you won’t read again, DVD’s you’ve seen twice but also have saved on your hard-drive, and CD’s when you no longer have a machine to play them?

Too often we collect what is familiar, and what we once treasured, because we associate warm nostalgic feelings with it.

I have three shelving units in my house, and I would say that over 90% of the space on them is used to store books. However the books on there are books that I or my husband place great value in. Perhaps we will read them again, maybe they are books waiting to be lent to friends and family because we enjoyed them so much, or they could be ones we are keeping for our children to read one day.

We used to have so many more. I mean hundreds.

Now I see nothing wrong with this if you have the same and you value each and every one. If each book on your shelf adds warmth, meaning and experiences to your life.

For me however, I often kept books simply because I had bought them, read them, and needed a place to store them.

My husband was the same with his DVD collection, even though we currently have a Netflix and Amazon Prime subscription, as well as a hard-drive with over 100 of our favourite films on. Over a period of a year in our flat in Scarborough, we agreed that if we got a DVD out to watch, we would put it in a box and store it. If the TV cabinet was clear of DVD’s by the end of the year, we would keep them all.

We didn’t remove a single one.

IMG_7248-1

Again, if your collection is something you value than of course, keep it. However for us, it was just yet another form of clutter taking up valuable space in our home.

Now, I get more value in giving someone an amazing book I have just read to also enjoy themselves.

I love that I no longer need to spend time sorting, dusting and finding space to store a huge CD and DVD collection.

And I appreciate my smaller media collection much more, as now it is made up of a smaller but wholly more significant collection of key books which I really truly love.

Today, make a deal that if you play a DVD, read or think about a book or listen to a CD, you turn it backwards on the shelf.

In four months, look at those that remain front facing. Do you feel sentimental about them? Keep them.

Are they significant and you can’t part with them just yet? Keep them.

If not. Give them a new home.

Let someone else enjoy that book you devoured in two sittings. Allow a friend to watch that film that made you cry with laughter, and share that CD with your family to introduce them to that new band you love so much.

 Because talking about your experiences with these pieces of media often are more enjoyable than seeing them sit on a shelf collecting dust.

IMG_7247-2

Minimise Your Possessions: Clear your walls and surfaces.

It’s more unusual to find a house without decorative items accessorising the walls, window sills, mantelpiece and shelves, than to find one with.

We have become naturally accustomed to furnishing our habitats with personalised items that make us feel more ‘at home’ within our surroundings.

Photographs of special moments, art we are particularly fond of, and small pieces of memorabilia fill our surfaces of each of our rooms.

This is all okay, as long as you are not furnishing for the sake of furnishing. There are several reasons why I try to limit what is on my sides and surfaces at home:

Time It takes longer to clean a room if you have to dust under and around various ornaments, frames, decorative bowls and mirrors. I only have a few key pieces which I really value in each room, making it much easier to clean my house and spend my time doing something far more enjoyable such as curling up with a good book.

Money I could spend £10 on that new candle, £20 on that vase, and £50 on that frame however I could also spend all of that on two flights to Italy. I certainly know what I would remember when I looked back on life. Eating spaghetti in San Marcos Square beats having yet another glass holder for flowers.

Gifts Quite often, decorative items are bestowed upon us as gifts. Therefore why do we find the need to add to this collection ourselves? I personally  have been lucky enough to receive a gorgeous print for our study as a wedding present, an incredible painting for the living room as a housewarming present from our mother in law, and a beautiful vase as a gift from a very special aunt for my birthday last year. These all mean way more than something I might have discovered in TK Maxx. I keep these items as they add value to my life, without detracting from my experiences.

IMG_1799
Boxing up my possessions – with the help of my biggest and furriest possession.

Your Turn – Minimise Your Rooms

  • I challenge you today to box up all the decorative items from one room. Put them all away (carefully if delicate!) and hide this box under a bed or in a cupboard for 30 days.
  • If you feel like you are missing an item, take it out of the box and put it back.
  • After 30 days, see what is left in the box.
  • If you haven’t missed it in this time, does it need to stay, or can you donate it to a new home?
  • Honestly, you come to love the less is more decorative feeling very quickly.

Theming Your Home: Minimising Your House For Clutter Free Living

I have moved house six times in the last five years. From Nottingham to Scotland, Belgium to Scarborough, and then finally settling in York.

One of the most valuable things that I have learned which has made each of these moves as painless and fuss free as possible is that if you theme your whole house, organising, unpacking and arranging your new home comes naturally.

If you choose to centre your home on a few key elements and colours that you love, it becomes incredibly easy to rearrange rooms, move furnishings between spaces and easily adapt to the new spaces which you are given.

Even if you don’t move regularly, a themed home allows you to move items as needed from room to room, thus minimising the need for waste. You don’t need to buy new cushions for the spare room, as you can easily borrow from another space. You don’t need to worry about lampshades suddenly not matching when you redecorate, or the need for new curtains.

By theming your home, you reduce the need to buy, therefore saving you time and money to spend on experiences and moments which you will remember. New curtains as the room has been decorated, or a weekend camping with the family?

Now I am not saying you need to live in a house without character, without colour and without personality. You can theme your home using any palette you like, as long as you can move items between spaces easily. Think complementing colours, timeless rather than trend setting furniture, and neutrals for accessories which can live anywhere.

As you theme your home, you also tend to have less clutter. You don’t need to buy bedding in every shade to match each room and end up with enough to service a small hotel. As your rooms also look more ‘matching and together’, you also notice the noise from the excess much more.

One of the biggest misconceptions people have when it comes to minimising your home is that you need to remove everything from your surfaces and walls. They see it as having no photos on the fireplace, no books on the shelves. This isn’t the case.

A home which has been minimised can contain any number of items. They just need to be either:

  • Functional
  • Sentimental
  • Has a purpose

So you certainly don’t need 12 towels in a household of two. But you might want the vase full of flowers on the coffee table, because for you, it has a purpose. It brightens up that room.

My home is themed with a simple colour palette. And my rooms are filled with the things that matter to me.

lyndsayweir.com

It makes moving things between spaces so easy. It also means I have less waste from things in the home as anything can go anywhere.

How to start theming your home

  • Start simple, find three things you love in each room, and use these as the basis for your theme.

Take the living room for example. It might be a painting, the sofa and your vintage footstool. What do they have in common, can you begin to start theming everything you purchase for that room around these items?

  • It takes time to properly theme your home, so don’t worry about doing it overnight. It’s taken me five years and I am almost there.
  • Choose a colour palette, and try to keep major items within this so that they have flexibility around the home.
  • Take an hour to reduce the clutter which is already taking up some of your space.

Then when you’re done, sit back and relax and enjoy your new fuss-free, limited waste environment.

Tomorrow – Tackle Your Junk Drawer

30 days minimalism

How Cluttered Is Your Kitchen? Top Tips For Minimising Your Home

10 ladels / stirring spoons

15 teacups and saucers

2 cheese graters

A couple of out of date ingredients

1 chaotic food cupboard

These are just a few of the findings from my kitchen decluttering exercise this afternoon. Personally I found this interesting as I only moved into my house four months ago, and prior to settling in we did a massive kitchen minimizing exercise.

Far too often, we collect and acquire too much of everything around the home. The average household now has around 200,000 items in it. Does that surprise you?

Too many possessions can lead to never having enough room to store anything, hours wasted cleaning up before guests and visitors arrive, and a lot of wasted money. The fewer items owned, the easier it is to keep your house clean and clutter free.

The kitchen is one of the hardest places to keep clutter free and to minimise. Why? Because it is quite often the heart of the home. The place where families gather for meals, where you prepare food, iron clothes and make a cup of coffee whilst you catch up on the day that just passed.

What to minimise?

So how do you decide what to remove or what is adding to your home having that ‘busy and disorganised’ feeling about it?

  1. If you have multiple items which do the same thing, you probably don’t need all of them.
  2. If you think an area looks way too cluttered, it probably is, so see what you can remove.
  3. Things that you’re keeping ‘just in case’.

So today I tackled the kitchen and I removed the duplicates (goodbye second cheese grater) and boxed them up to donate them to a local charity store.

IMG_6718.JPG

 I also rearranged the food cupboard and fridge making sure that everything in there was in date, and had an allocated place to make putting items away in future much easier. This also highlighted two things to me:

  1. Food has an unnecessary amount of packaging. I need to try and find a way to buy with less waste. This will be one of my new aims for the year.
  2. I buy way too much for the food cupboard. I mean I have seven different jars / cans of tomatoes in one form or another. If I hadn’t cleared out my cupboard I might have gone and bought another two in this weeks shop. From now on, I am going to continue meal planning but then only buy those ingredients and no extras.

 Your Space

Think about your kitchen right now. Do you have more cookbooks than you might ever use and actually, you find most recipes online these days so you could probably free up a shelf or two?

It’s time to address your kitchen counters, and put away anything that isn’t necessary to have out.

Give everything a home, and put it away after use. If you clean up straight away it’s easier to keep a kitchen clutter free, and makes it easier to start cooking when you’re next in there.

IMG_6715.JPG

Ten Things You Can Minimise Today

Below are ten common items that you can minimise today in your kitchen to really get you started in your quest for living life with less:

minimise your kitchen.png