Readers, please note: This is a guest blog. The blog and images were submitted by Sarah Jayne Olan.
More and more homeowners are searching for a simpler lifestyle. Simple living is about living with less and putting quality over quantity. But living simply can be difficult with so much available to buy for your home. It’s easy to fall into a cycle of endless consumption, but with too much clutter around your home, your life might feel chaotic and unorganized.
Enter decluttering. At its core, decluttering is all about reducing unnecessary items and leaving behind those that serve a purpose. Decluttering opens up your home, creating more space and a sense of calm. With decluttering directly intertwined with a simpler lifestyle, it is perfect to begin your simple lifestyle within the walls of your home.
1. Organize your kitchen
The kitchen is the central hub of a home, so it is definitely where you should begin your simple living adventure. Cabinets can easily become overwhelmed with expired food, half-eaten bags of crackers, and forgotten spices. But leading a simple life means only keeping what you are going to use. So if you bought a two-pound bag of almond flour when you tried to go keto six months ago and never opened it, it might be time to get rid of it. Remove every item from your cabinets and determine whether you will likely ever use it. If you won’t and the food is unopened and not expired, donate it to a local food pantry. When you have removed all of the unneeded items, you can organize them in your cabinets so that everything is easy to find.
2. Declutter your closets
Your closets are easily overwhelmed by years of clothing and shoes. But living a simple life means ridding yourself of items that you will never wear or items that are old. While you may be tempted to hold onto items that you think you might wear one day, remember that storage is so important to your life that it is one of the most sought-after items of homebuyers. That’s why when you prepare to sell your home, decluttering storage spaces is one of the most common tasks that real estate agents suggest homeowners undertake. Simplify your closet by starting a keep, throw away, and donate boxes. Then go through each item of clothing and either get rid of it or keep it. You can go one step further and simplify your closets by dividing your clothes by warm and cold seasons. Keep your warm clothes stored away in covered bins during the cold weather and your cold weather clothes stored away during the spring and summer. This will give you more space in your closet and simply your overall lifestyle.
3. Get rid of knick-knacks
Hanging wall décor and family photos makes a house a home. But excess items on shelves, on the walls, and on the furniture will create unnecessary clutter. Too much clutter and your home feel stressful and uninviting. Simplify your life by removing excess from the main rooms, especially the living room. This room is supposed to be a calm place to rest alone or with family and friends. So make it calm and make your life simpler, by removing unnecessary items. Start with wall art. If you are preparing to sell your home, it’s best to remove overly personal items from rooms, such as family pictures. Limit wall art to just one large piece or a couple of medium-sized pieces. Excess small art pieces will make the walls feel too busy. So will extra knick-knacks on shelves. Remove these and either donate or store them if they are important to you. The same is true of furniture. If your living room is overly cluttered with small furniture pieces like poufs, ottomans, and accent tables, it will be difficult to relax and live a stress-free life. Keep only a few pieces of furniture, those that are needed to accommodate yourself and your family. Pay special attention to the furniture that solves multiple purposes, such as a couch with storage or a coffee table with storage space. These items will give you more space for storage and reduce overall clutter on surfaces.
By decluttering within the walls of your home, you are creating simplicity that you can apply to the rest of your life. Simplify your schedule, diet, digital life, and goals using the same decluttering method of removing the unnecessary and keeping only things that bring quality to your life.
Blog and Images provided by:
Sarah Jayne Olan, Senior Coordinator, Outreach