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Do you feel overwhelmed by the number of items in your home and are you ready to create a simple home for your family? ( I know I am!) Simplifying your home can not only bring you mental peace of mind but can also help to eliminate everyday disorganization and added daily stress.
In a world that is driven by consumerism, so often we tend to lead a life that is distracted and in a constant state of overwhelm. By removing distractions, and unnecessary possessions and stripping back the build-up of items we have, you can spend more time enjoying the ones that truly make you happy and are meaningful.
Simple Home Style
Simplicity is not for everyone. However, for our family, it’s a style that suits our lifestyle well! A clutter-free home is a key component to keeping a peaceful home and living a happy but simple life. Some people don’t even realize that the clutter in their home is a source of stress until they are free from it.
Although simplifying your home can be a daunting task, (believe me…. it does get easier after the first big PURGE) in the long run, it will allow you to have less stress in your life. But please remember that simplicity does not happen overnight! Trying to take on your entire home at once can be way too overwhelming! You will inevitably wear yourself out and the end result may be you cramming things back in closets because you are tired of going through them!
Instead, it is a good rule of thumb to try taking on one space at a time. Over time, you will complete your whole entire house. I am a strong believer in creating the habit or daily task of continual decluttering that will then become a lifestyle, rather than an annual process.
The Best Time To Simplify Your Home
Although there is no rule on when to start simplifying your home, the New Year signifies new beginnings and is a great time of year to begin.
Christmas is the time of year when we fill our homes with the most décor and a lot of clutter … from ornaments to twinkle lights to Christmas trees. It’s hard not to love the cozy vibes that we create in our homes this time of year and it’s okay to go a bit overboard if it makes you happy!
Just as much as we love the cozy vibes of Christmas, the time that comes after Christmas can be just as good! Think of it as the annual time of the year to purge, declutter and simplify your home.
Creating a Simplified Home
It IS a great way to start the New Year, with a major declutter. Deep clean your home by going through pantries, closets and other clutter hotspots. Check the expiration date on consumables and get rid of old and unused items. Donate anything that is in good condition, but remember THIS IS a marathon NOT a sprint!
My tiny shed cabin is off the grid and very small. I have a rule to not bring any item into the space that is not used regularly. This prevents an over-accumulation of items there. Take a look at a few other storage solutions I recommend as well.
The best way to avoid or eliminate overconsumption or having too much stuff is to not bring it into your home in the first place. A few questions to ask yourself before you bring anything into your home are:
- Do you NEED it?
- Do you ALREADY have something like it?
- Can you REPURPOSE something similar?
- Can I purchase one SECOND HAND?
Criteria a possession must meet before you bring it home:
- Can it be used in multiple spaces in your home? Items like vintage containers and vessels are quickly becoming a favorite!
These items look beautiful on their own but also look good in any season filled with flowers or as a Christmas tree base.
- Was it something you were looking for or need? Resist the urge to impulse buy. Sometimes you see an item that looks cute in the store, but were you looking for it to begin with?
- Does it have a story? Purchase items that have a story. I love true antiques because of the history and story behind that items.
- Is it both stylish and functional? It’s even better when an item can actually be functional and looks stylish!
For example, vintage-inspired forged scissors hanging in the kitchen or an office will get used all the time! French market baskets look beautiful but are also great for grabbing and heading to the grocery store!
Forge Scissors, 9″
French Market Basket, Double Strap
If an item doesn’t fall into any of these categories then you must undeniably LOVE it! Some objects just bring us happiness and it’s perfectly fine to have some items like that too!
Be sure to also read my 14 ways to enjoy the little things that make a happier home and check out these 9 simple storage solutions.
The Art of Decluttering
Have you ever noticed how light you feel after cleaning? Our homes are a mirror of our thoughts and feelings. When we live in an organized, clean space, we will automatically feel lighter, and vice versa.
As we begin to detach from possessions, we realize that a lot of them were just being kept for a long time for no purpose whatsoever. Some may have simply been dust collectors, and others we may keep because they are sentimental items or we have an emotional attachment to them. Perhaps some just because we simply didn’t know how to get rid of them or we may have held on to some with the hopes we can use them again down the road. Sound familiar?
The easiest way to stay on top of the clutter in your home is to develop a daily cleaning routine or regular habit that continues to remove clutter on a daily basis all year long.
Steps to Decluttering And Simplifying Your Home
No matter the reason you keep unnecessary items in your home, there are practical systems that work when you are trying to downsize or declutter. When you are ready to simplify areas of your home or even start a major reorganization, follow this step-by-step guide to declutter your home.
Clear Out The Space
The first step to the simplification process is to pull everything out of the space!
Sort and Discard
Sort all items into five different piles. Decide which items will be donated, repurposed, recycled, replaced, or removed and place them each in a separate storage bin, basket or trash bag. Go through and dispose of items that are expired. What do you think is the oldest item in your pantry? I bet some of you have canned goods over 10 years old! (I know I sure have before)
Reorganize Your Space
Now that all of your old outdated items are removed, it is a good idea to reorganize. Place similar items together and set up a system that works for you. Not only does an organized space make you feel better, but the whole process will also make you more efficient. You will be able to shop for groceries easier if you know exactly what you have in your kitchen cupboards, you will be able to pick an outfit faster, knowing what options you have in your closet. Try to get in the habit of putting things away when you pull items out.
Resist The Urge to Replace
Resist the urge to replace the items you have purged or removed. At first, seeing an empty space can be disconcerting but remind yourself that you don’t require more. It can be so satisfying to live with less and love the items you do have.
The biggest tip is to be REALISTIC! Try to be realistic about what will work and be maintainable for your family. Don’t buy fancy bins if you aren’t going to use them. However, if having nice containers encourages you to stay more organized, then splurge on those. Usually, spaces that you use more often, like a pantry, make more sense to splurge on storage bins or baskets. However, somewhere like the bathroom medicine cabinet, the containers don’t matter as much.
Organizing a Simplified Home
When you are organizing spaces for your family, think about the day-to-day routines and activities of your family. Don’t let your organization systems be the reason you can’t maintain a simple, organized home! Here are a few simple ways to keep your simplified home organized:
- Using various-sized bins, containers and baskets for storage allow for more versatility. An oversized market basket that can hold an instant pot or other odd objects allows for more flexibility.
- Clear glass or plastic jars or containers for everyday items and consumables. For example, Cereal boxes can constantly be left on the counter, leaving a mess and clutter. Putting these items in clear visible containers allows you to see how much cereal is left without opening the boxes.
Large Storage Basket, 17″ H x 16″ W x 14″ D
Looking for more pantry inspiration? Check out Hannah’s from We Lived Happily Ever After beautiful open-concept pantry!
Simple Organization Tips and Tricks
A couple of things that can prevent people from being able to maintain organization in a home are:
1. Making organizing unmaintainable or harder than it needs to be.
2. Not allowing for changes or flexibility.
If you limit yourself to only using specific bins and containers that are labelled a certain way, ie: using a label maker or printer to print labels, you are setting yourself up for something that is hard to maintain. When organizing is time-consuming and requires a very specific action, you will be unlikely to follow through on a regular basis.
I have an entire cabinet in the kitchen full of mix-matched vintage jars that are full of items like flour, sugar, nuts, popcorn, spices and more!
Weck Jars, 1.5L
Set of 2/$29.99
Machine and 3 Tapes, $52.99
For items that need to be labelled in a specific way, ie: something that has an expiry date, try adding labels to the top of the jars instead of the front! This way no one can see the labels when looking at the space so it doesn’t need to be pretty and uniform.
Looking for more organizational ideas?? Head over to the amazing TIDBITS blog to see 25 beautifully organized spaces!
Simplifying Your Home Decor Style
Creating a decluttered or simplified home can be hard, especially if you are used to spaces filled with multiple home décor items. Now I am no professional organizer and I realize there are many different methods you can use when you take on a physical space but here are the best tips I have for redecorating and simplifying a space:
- Remove all of the items from the space and give it a good clean.
- Don’t put anything back and simply enjoy the clean blank slate for a few days or a week! Somewhat of a visual clutter detox, if you will!
- Begin by adding a couple of items that you love back into the space, then leave the space again for a few more days!
- If you find the space needs a couple more items then you can add a few more, but remember less is usually more!
Learning to Love Your Home
Usually, we stare at spaces in our own homes so much that we think each corner needs to be filled with tons of objects. You can often stop seeing the beauty in the “bones” of your own home and thus start filling every corner with “objects.” Instead, try adding one piece of decor that you love to the space, rather than many items you just have to fill spaces.
The next time you go to spend $20 or $50 on random home decor pieces, maybe put the money in a jar and save up for a bigger more impactful piece. Save up for items like a new light fixture, a fresh coat of paint, wallpaper or some shiplap. These items will in the end make a bigger statement for a longer period of time.
When you start to let the walls of your home “breathe” and become part of your home décor, this is when you start to achieve a more simplistic style. Take the home decor style quiz to find out what types of decor you should be decorating with.
It’s Your Home…Choose To Love It!
In the end, it really is about choosing to create spaces that you love! There really is something special that happens when a space is created with your family in mind!
I would love to hear how your home decor style impacts your family or how you are minimizing and decluttering… leave a comment below! You can also grab my free eBook and Guide to Simple Living for more simplified living inspiration. Make sure you add this post to Pinterest so that you can come back to it again each year.
Frequently Asked Questions
Decluttering is hard because it is a mindset change. Most people get so comfortable with what they have and where they live that they don’t realize how much “stuff” they have begun to accumulate. The constant routine of bringing more and more into a home without ever removing items can be unintentional but will eventually become overwhelming.
Unless you make the effort or mindset change to simplify or declutter on a regular basis, it will clutter will continue until it is out of control.
The 80/20 rule of decluttering is simple. Studies have shown that people use 20% of the items they own 80% of the time. The other 80% will probably not affect your quality of life if you were to go without them. Begin to pay attention, track or record which items you use on a regular basis, and slowly start to remove a large amount of the other items in your home.