While spring cleaning this is the perfect time to sort out belongings and decide what you really need to keep. Getting rid of clutter and creating a more minimalist home does not mean that it will lose comfort or character.
Technically at this time of year it is spring in the UK but right now we have the strange combination of blossom on the trees and snow on the ground, but that’s the UK weather for you. Nevertheless, this is typically the time of year when we are thinking of spring cleaning our homes and getting it all in order to enjoy it once the weather is warmer. It may not be a very exciting task but if we do it now we can them relax in the sunshine (or that’s the theory anyway).
While we are emptying cupboards and moving furniture to have a really good clean is also the perfect time to sort out our belongings and decide what we really need to keep, because, let’s face it, we all have far too much clutter in our homes. The only time this isn’t true is possibly when you move into your first home. Then you probably don’t have enough stuff but, trust me, it won’t take long to start filling up those empty spaces. But what if this year instead of just spring cleaning and throwing out or giving away to charity the odd item, we were to really think about a more radical approach and try to take a more minimalist view of our living spaces. Would it improve our living environment and would it make us happier?
It is a bit of a strange word – minimalism – it conjures up an image of doing without or somehow depriving ourselves of comfort but minimalist homes don’t lack comfort they simply lack clutter so perhaps the word is mis-leading. A real, comfortable living space can still be “minimalist”; it will simply contain only those possessions you know to be useful or beautiful (to paraphrase William Morris). And if items are useful but not beautiful then there will be plenty of storage space to hide them away. Better still, the items you choose to have on display, whether they are works of art, ornaments or family photos can be better appreciated because they are not hidden by a jumble of other items. For this reason it is, in fact, easier for a minimalist home to reflect your character and personality because it is allowed to shine through.
And for those of you living in period or character houses, these are just as well suited to a minimalist lifestyle as a contemporary space. In fact, the architectural details of many period homes are hidden by the sheer amount of clutter many people have so these beautiful details can be highlighted by a minimalist approach to living.
And back to that chore of spring-cleaning, it is actually much easier to keep your home clean when the surfaces are clear and uncluttered with possessions and where there is plenty of storage space for everything. But if you really can’t bear to part with all of your belongings in one go try this test: put the bulk of your possessions in a self-storage container for 6 months and you will probably find that you don’t actually need them in your home!