Quality over quantity and all that…
I’m a big fan of the ‘less is more’ movement. Clutter grosses me out and to me there is nothing quite like the feeling of offloading unwanted junk; it literally feels like a weight off my shoulders. It goes without saying that I’m a Class A Monica who would happily purchase a mini hoover to hoover my big hoover with. That’s not to say that I’m a perfect clean-living minimalist who never gets sucked in to consumerism however. Sometimes I want all the things and to eat a Domino’s pizza in bed whilst making a mega ASOS order. It happens. So when I feel myself getting sucked in I like to remind myself of the ‘quality over quantity’ mantra and reel it back with some gentle reading, listening and viewing to give me a point back in the right direction. Here’s my ‘No you don’t need to order five swimming costumes off ASOS – you’re not even going on holiday soon‘ sway-list…
I’m still pretty new to the world of minimalism podcasts, but the obvious choice here is the one from ‘The Minimalists‘ – no surprises there! It was recommended to me by my mate Matt, and as I listened to one episode I managed to rid our kitchen of one rubbish full of crap and one for the food bank. It has magical powers! The episodes are often long and there’s a lot of them, so it’s not something that I listen to religiously, but is good for a little ‘top-up’ every now and again when I feel like there’s a clear-out on the horizon. If anyone else has any other recommendations then I’m all ears.
YouTube is a tough one when it comes to this kind of thing, because aside from the message that you want to resonate with, there’s also the person, the way they film, sound, lighting, the whole shebang – so I’m a little light on suggestions for you here, but again my finger is ready to click the subscribe button if you have any others to put forward. I really loved Light By Coco, but unfortunately she’s terminated her channel – it’s worth keeping an eye out if she ever decides to return, because her videos were fab.
Lavendaire’s videos are beautifully shot and offer life advice in general that focuses around living with less, journaling and just generally getting your creative juices flowing. Although I do also love Use Less for sustainable and capsule lifestyle and style ideas.
It goes without saying that a read of Marie Kondo’s ‘The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying‘ is mandatory. There’s some brow-raising points in there, but for the most part is simple to get your head around and many of the tips and tricks from there are still things that I do two years after first reading it.
‘The Joy of Less’ by Francine Jay is another good book that follows a similar theme of giving you the mantras and the background in the introduction and then giving a step-by-step guide of how to apply it to each room in your home. Sheila Chandra’s ‘Banish Clutter Forever: How The Toothbrush Principle Will Change Your Life’ is again very similar, but extremely practical. Don’t read these when you’re on holiday because all you will want to do is return to have the most epic clear-out of your life. You also don’t need to read all three of these because they’ll get a bit samey. Have a read of the Amazon reviews and see from those which one sounds like it will float your boat the most.
My blog reading when it comes to the subject tends to focus on capsule wardrobe content, so I’m always down for a scroll of Caroline Joy’s blog – Un-Fancy. It’s awesome and is the place that I credit for getting me into the whole capsule wardrobe thing and sparking my interest in living with less and getting rid of a tonne of complete crud from our flat. If you have a bit of time on your hands (and I’m sure you do because it’s Monday and we all have nothing to do on our to-do lists I’m sure – LOLZ! Good luck – I hope this week is good to you all), then have a read through the archives to see how her outlook on the topic has changed. It’s really interesting to see how she started off with quite a rigid format and has since moved into something a bit more fluid and flexible. A good learning tool for sure.
FIVE THINGS YOU CAN DO TODAY
Clear out your bags. I always used to keep my handbag packed and then do a little switch-a-roo whenever I wanted to move the contents to another bag. However these days I unpack whatever bag I’ve taken out for the day straight when I get home into a drawer, along with where I store the rest of them. This way means that I only ever end up carrying around what I need and stops me getting lazy with removing receipts, old train tickets and Curly Whirly wrappers.
Sort the under crackers drawer. Does anyone else’s underwear drawer very quickly become one big mush of black underwear making it hard to decipher Bridget Jones-esque pants from trainer socks? Having a sort though immediately makes you feel like you’ve got your shit together and makes getting ready in the morning about 15 minutes quicker. Plus it won’t take you that long.
The nightstand of Pinterest dreams. For some reason in our household, our nightstands are always the one place where receipts, Amazon parcels, magazines, retainers and dust love to come and have a party. Sorting it all out and finding a home for these odds and sods will not only make your nightstand look positively Pinterest-worthy, but also create a clear place for you to glance at as you nod off.
Repurpose your Tupperware. Just like my mother I am a huge fan of the humble Tupperware box. Not only do they come in handy in the kitchen for leftovers or for grouping together smaller food items in your cupboards like nuts or spices, they also pop up in other parts of our home. I store jewellery in them, hair accessories and they pop up a lot in my beauty storage as they’re a good way of keeping things that are harder to store like liners, lipsticks and mascaras, all together.
Organise your linens. If there’s one area that we all tend to get a little hoard-y with it’s linens. Realistically all we ever need are three sets of bed linens (two so you can have one on as you wash the other and one spare for guests or emergencies) and two sets of towels, plus a set for the beach (again so you have one to use whilst the other is being washed and the beach towels can be used as back-ups too). The only other exception is an extra towel for dying your hair because that is the ultimate towel ruiner – been there, done that, had the freakishly green dyed towel.
Photos by Lauren Shipley