Hello, and welcome to my first blog post of 2017. There’s something about the beginning of a new year, that blank canvas of opportunity, that gets me excited. Energy levels are high from all the rest over the Christmas break and I feel focused and motivated for the year ahead.
Since my previous post, TIME, I’ve been thinking a great deal about the things that use up my time and hold me back from spending more time with the people I love and doing the things I love. Aside from work and study, both things I enjoy and value in my life, a massive amount of my day is spent on household chores – mostly laundry to be fair. In a busy household, the amount of dirty clothing, towels and bedding that has to be processed each week is staggering, and a little depressing at times.
I started wondering how I could make my life a little easier and reduce the amount of time spent on domestic duties and with a little bit of research and reading I decided that the only way to alleviate some of the daily pressures of washing, lifting, putting stuff away and cleaning was by simplifying my home. Now, this is nothing new, lots of people have taken a minimal approach to life over the years, choosing only to keep things that they need or that spark joy. The idea of having less stuff really appealed to me and the more I read the more I realised that it was something I wanted to try.
When I sat and talked it through with my husband it occurred to me that I didn’t actually know how to declutter properly. I clear out wardrobes at least twice a year, I put stuff away, but still it always feels like there’s ‘too much’. I needed a new method that would enable me to ‘clear out’ once and for all. I needed my eyes opened…and that’s when I stumbled across Marie Kondo’s book The Life Changing Magic of Tidying. Kondo’s decluttering techniques are useful if you want to rid your home of anything that is surplus to requirements or doesn’t make you happy. It’s a quirky read, with some extreme anecdotes, but at its core there is a very simple methodology for clearing your home thoroughly once and for all. Since picking it up, I would say I am about halfway through the process of decluttering my own home and already the house feels airier and I am less burdened by ‘stuff’. My laundry basket has decreased dramatically because clothing is the first thing Marie Kondo suggests tackling. I have donated hundreds, and I mean hundreds of books to charity, my paperwork is in order (mostly shredded) and I am feeling good about the next step in the process. Marie Kondo’s message may seem ruthless on first encounter, but actually, I personally have found the technique and philosophy behind it very gentle and encouraging.
I don’t want to be surrounded by stuff I don’t need. I don’t want to keep buying stuff that I don’t need. I crave a simpler life, a purer mode of existence, and I think a lot of people do. As 2017 unfolds I hope that I can enjoy more of the things that make me smile because I have fewer chores to do. When my kids ask ‘Mum, will you come play football with us?’ I hope that my response will be ‘Yes’ because I have lifted off some of the pressures in my daily routine and have the time and energy to go kick a ball around.
I am slowly learning that Less is More and I hope that as I continue on my journey of simplifying my life that you will join me. Here’s to a clutter-free, joy-filled 2017!