Does anyone else find themselves craving calmness and simplicity in January? As soon as the madness of Christmas is over, I can’t wait to tear down the decorations, clear out the clutter and focus on what really matters.
I’ve always been drawn towards minimalism and pared-back design, but this year I want to streamline my life as well as my home. My aim is to get rid of anything that I no longer need or love, and make more room – and time – for the things I’m passionate about. For everyone with a similar goal, here’s my plan – illustrated with a bit of minimalist eye candy for inspiration…
January is the perfect opportunity to get rid of clutter and create a serene, organised home. My house looks neat and tidy, but the cupboards and drawers hide piles of junk that often make finding the things I actually need near impossible. To change that, I’m going to follow the 30-day minimalism challenge recommended by fellow blogger Hannah in the House. It pushes you to get rid of a few items each day – something which doesn’t take up much time, but which amounts to a major difference at the end of the month.
But I’m not just talking about physical stuff; I want to banish mental clutter, too. By that, I mean spending less time regretting past mistakes and fretting about things I can’t control (exhausting and pointless!), and focusing instead on future plans.
The start of a new year is also a great time to rejig your home’s layout to create a more liveable environment. Rooms always seem so much bigger once the Christmas decorations have gone, and you can evaluate the space with fresh eyes. I’m going to play around with furniture to see what works and what doesn’t – I might decide not to change anything, or I might find a new layout that gives the house a better flow and makes my everyday life that little bit easier.
Like most people, I find myself being pulled in all sorts of directions at once. I have a full-time job, a blog, freelance deadlines and voluntary-work commitments – and, at the moment, a wedding to plan! It often leaves me feeling frazzled, so it’s time for me to prioritise the things which make me feel happiest and most fulfilled. I’m not yet in a position to make major changes, but I’m going to start with a few small steps – not least leaving the office at 6pm sharp so that I have more time for writing, styling and photography.
The same thing applies to goals for the house. I have a huge long list of DIY projects that I’d love to do, but I know I won’t have enough time to tackle all of them. So, I’m going to choose two or three things to prioritise in 2017 and put my energy into those, rather than trying to tick off lots of jobs at once and failing to finish any of them.
Doing all of the above will free up physical and mental space for new things. At home, I’m hoping to make room for a desk so that I don’t have to waste time setting up my laptop on the dining table. Another small change, but one that will make sitting down to write blog posts so much easier.
On a wider level, I want to carve out more time to unwind. I can’t pretend that my workload is magically going to shrink, but I can resolve to set aside 15 or 20 minutes each day to do something relaxing and re-energising – to read, sit down with a coffee, call a friend for a chat, or go out for a lunchtime walk. It sounds like an indulgence, but I know my motivation levels and productivity will be all the better for it.
If you need any more encouragement to try a minimalist approach, I’ve put together a Pinterest board devoted to examples of minimalist living and design – just click on any of the images below. And if you do give it a go, please let me know how you get on!