Friday, January 19, 2018

Home Style || Are You A Cluttered Minimalist?

Do you live in a hectic home packed to the rafters with clutter? Do you dream of clean lines, calm tidy rooms? If so, you may just be a 'cluttered minimalist' just like me. 

As I flip through home magazines or read home blogs online, I'm usually drawn to soft uncluttered minimalist rooms. The calmness of that emptiness looks so appealing to me and without realising it I have developed a pretty minimalist taste, with a kind of ditsy, shabby chic, scandi clad finish. 

When it comes to our own home though, those loves, those heart eye pictures I scroll across couldn't be further from the cluttered busyness of our home. We have one room, our living room that is closer to what I have in mind. This is our quiet space, our evening retreat from toys and mayhem, this is the least cluttered part of our home and I can't wait for the rest to follow. The effect of a less cluttered home on your mental health is huge and something we really need to work on for a calmer happier life.

Tidying up the rest of the house with kids in tow is like sweeping up in a sandstorm. It's like those birthday candles that re-light as soon as they're blown out. It's clearing up and having the house un-tidied in a trial of destruction behind you, it's very unforgiving living in a family home at times and it's become more and more obvious that if we simply had less, there would be less to clutter, get left around or fill drawers.

Simple right? Wrong.

In theory it's oh so simple, clear out, don't replace, one in one out, replace old with new, don't hoard, don't collect needlessly or buy crap we don't need. In theory yes it's so easy, but in reality it's just not. Not for me anyway.

So I'd describe myself as a 'cluttered minimalist'. In my heart I love the soft empty rooms with simple decorations, clutter free shelves, mantles and tables, with sensible storage containing things we need. In reality I am a bit of a hoarder, I hate throwing stuff away and I think a large part of not wanting to part with things comes down to money. I don't want to give something away that we could sell, when we so badly need the money. I get fed up of selling online and car boots just aren't practical with kids there, so we just end up stuffing cupboards and rooms with things we could potentially sell, because of my own worry about money, all the time.

Occasionally I'll bite the bullet, like last year when we donated 22 bin bags of clothes toys and other bits to charity in just three weekends! I was completely ruthless, I got rid of 'fat clothes', 'thin clothes', I kept what would fit that I would also actually wear and got rid of those painful reminders of weight gain and the tent like trousers I have no intention of ever fitting into again. I started to see the wood for the trees as we began a big declutter.

As the year went on though, the clearing out slowed and the buying continued. The thought of Christmas and MORE stuff coming into our home terrified me, I didn't even want to buy presents simply because I didn't have anywhere to keep them that wasn't in the way. This resulted in a pretty big pre-Christmas declutter, a tidy up and finding it a little easier to breathe, with room for our tree, room to keep bits and room to swing a cat (though we don't swing our cats btw).

As I find myself this week, quite literally wading through the play room, I find once again the craving to declutter - but properly this time. I'm never going to be a true minimalist, I love stuff, I love shopping and this is our family home and I'm happy for it to look lived in. I do find though the kids play better and us grown ups are happier and less stressed when the house is clearer, so there we have my motivation. I can live with a bit of clutter, but it's the excess clutter and mayhem I need to be rid of.

As a family with small children, I don't think it's fair or practical to try and live an entirely minimalist lifestyle any time soon, but there has to be a middle ground to suit us all. I like a home to be a home, I like it to reflect us all and not hide everything away behind whiteness, but the current status is just not the one.

Right now I'm 100% a cluttered minimalist, thinking one way, living another. How would you describe your home?