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Living a Minimalist Life*

minimalism how to lifestyle wardrobe

My Mum always used to tell me when I was young that a tidy bedroom equaled a tidy mind. I will admit to rolling my eyes at this in the past, because what 13 year old really wants to clear up after herself? Better to be ankle-deep in your floordrobe every time you open the bedroom door, right? WRONG. Now I’ve got my own place, I finally understand my Mother’s wisdom (sorry for the years of messiness, Mother dear). Fewer possessions equal far less stress in my book. Having mountains of stuff spread across the entire room makes me feel so unfocussed and overwhelmed, whilst de-cluttering leaves me feeling more organized and a lot calmer. As I’ve discovered, however, minimalism is not something that you achieve in one fell swoop. It’s a constant process of evaluating the possessions that you amalgamate and working towards the home you want to live in. Today I thought I’d share my four top tips for embracing minimalism in the hope that they can bring as much calm to your life as they’ve brought to mine!

how to live minimalist life clothes konmari

Making your Wardrobe Work

Adopting the KonMari philosophy for minimizing my wardrobe has worked absolute wonders for me. The idea behind it is that you go through your closet, only retaining the items that “spark joy” for you. If it’s not adding anything to your life, then throw it away. Applying this mentality to wardrobe clear-outs really helps to focus my mind and has enabled me to build a wardrobe full of items that I genuinely love. Another tactic I’ve introduced is a one-in-one-out policy for buying new clothes. If I buy one new thing, another has to go. If there’s nothing in my wardrobe that I can bear to part with, this means that the new item can’t be purchased. It’s really simple but it definitely helps you think critically about potential new purchases. Ditching the duplicates has been another important step. Did I really need four identical black strappy tops? Nope! Now I have a sensible number that doesn’t clutter up my wardrobe. When it comes to ditching items from your closet, there is one thing that I cannot stress enough: donate, donate, DONATE! If you’ve got a hoard of clothing items still in great condition, consider giving them to a charity shop rather than chucking them in the bin. Someone else out there may really benefit from them!

Borrow, Don’t Buy

Now I don’t know about you, but I could easily drop hundreds of pounds at a time on books. I just love reading, it’s a wonderful escape from mundane everyday life and there’s no better feeling than getting lost in another world for a few hours. My reading obsession can lead to my living space looking super busy and cluttered, so lately I’ve taken on a few new tactics to minimize this while still indulging my love of the written word. Book swaps with friends have been an amazing way of introducing me to new books whilst not overwhelming my shelves – adopting the same mentality of one-in-one-out as I’m using for my wardrobe has been a godsend! Plus I get the satisfaction of sharing my favourite reads with friends too. Joining the local library has been another fantastic way of picking up new titles, it’s free and you can borrow more books than you could ever wish for! Win win scenario!

minimalism konmari how to life 

Travel Light

Reading the wonderful Steph’s posts about the mental space and freedom that her travelling light has afforded her really struck a chord with me. I may not go jetting off to amazing places quite as frequently as Steph but I do travel by train quite often as part of my PhD studies. London and Oxford are frequent destinations for me, involving overnight stays each time. In the beginning, I’d always take a hand-luggage sized wheely-suitcase with me, alongside a rucksack which contained my laptop and necessary books / stationery. Recently, however, I’ve adopted a much more pared-down approach. I take the bare essentials when it comes to toiletries, decanting everything I need into smaller bottles. When it comes to outfits, I plan to wear the same jacket, trousers and shoes every day, taking only a change of top and underwear. I allow myself one “luxury” item per trip, which is usually either a book to read for fun, or a skincare product that I’ve been especially obsessed with. Carrying fewer bags on the train makes travelling so much more chilled, I’m delighted that I made this change!

Cheat!

In some cases, there are items that you simply can’t bear to throw away. This might be for practical reasons: keeping hold of that smart white shirt that you don't wear that often is necessary to avoid having to shell out for a new one every time you are in need of one. Sentimental factors also come into it; I keep so many little knic-knacks that mean a lot to me – I love putting old movie tickets, photos and letters into my scrapbook, for example. You needn’t lose the minimalist look to your living space just because you want to keep hold of a few items, however! Storage solutions go a long way to hiding away any bits and bobs that you can’t live without. I love using bags and boxes in my wardrobe to contain my extensive collection of skincare items and prevent them from looking cluttered and messy. If you want to follow my lead, LionsHome, a website I've recently discovered, stock an extensive range of storage solutions meaning that you’re guaranteed to find the perfect one for your home.

minimalist minimalism how to life

Are you a minimalist or more of a hoarder? Tell me in the comments! Let me know if you have any hacks for organizing your life as well, I’m always in need of more!

Until next time,

A x


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Lisa's Notebook // Alicia Wright // Hidden Little Gem

*This is a collaborative post with LionsHome