I’ve been trying to live as simply as possible for the last few years; from minimizing my wardrobe, using a no-fuss skin and beauty care regime to limiting my hours of technology and TV use. It’s not easy but in doing this I spend less time in front of the mirror, I spend more time with family and friends and I spend more time reading and writing which makes me evolve and that experience is much more gratifying than anything I’ve ever purchased.
Having a clear out
If you are in a head space where you want to take on a simpler way of living, here are 5 ways on how to de-clutter your space:
- Take 100 things from your home that you don’t use or don’t think you want to keep. Put everything into a pile.
- Make a list of what you value most. Be brutally honest and imagine you were going through the pile for a friend, what would you tell her/him to throw away?
- Ask yourself if you will use the item within the next month/s. Does the item make a difference to your life?
- You can put your old make-up and skincare in the pile if you are thinking of switching to organic but do this little by little until you fully introduce your new regime.
- With some items such as clothing – if they are in excellent condition, consider selling them on eBay and if they are in good condition, take them down to your local charity shop. You can also give them to stores like H&M and one bag will get you a 5 shopping voucher.
Minimize Your Purchases
To help you with new purchasing decisions, here are a few tips I found that works for me:
- If I am in a clothing store and I pick up something I’m intending to purchase I will walk around the store to allow myself time to think whether I really need it before I head to the tills. More often than not I end up leaving it.
- I always ask: how will this hold value in my life? Am I buying an outfit to impress someone (as I used to) or is this an item I will wear on a frequent basis without me hating it after a while.
- Sometimes I do cave in and make impulse purchase. But in the time they arrive, I make my mind up that I don’t need it and end up sending it back without opening the package.
- Split your wardrobe up by casual, work wear and party. Keep the essentials for the season, i.e. a few comfy woolly knits and one or two great pairs of jeans for casual weekends out. Keep one impressive LBD and 2/3 other choices for parties all year round. And one great blazer is a game- changer for work. Having key pieces will make sure you have what you need when you go out so you don’t act on too many impulse buys. And if people have seen them on you before than wear with new accessories because the people who care won’t say anything and people who spot it, well, they obviously see you as a style icon to remember what you wear. And the thing about living simply is you wear what you want, how many times you want.
- If you are starting a simpler beauty regime or thinking about switching to organic products, read a book called Skin Cleanse, this book truly changed my life.
Now that we have a established how to begin, we can move on to another important aspect of this lifestyle, which is if we are living simply we don’t want to fill other people’s houses with clutter and so with Christmas coming up, it’s the perfect example to show you how you can give presents that show you care without taking away the extravagance.
One of the best things about living simply is the fact we acknowledge what’s going on around us a lot more and that makes gift-giving a lot more satisfying.
Now when I buy gifts (for family it’s usually always flowers and organic chocolates because they love them, or I’ll cook them a meal) I always think about what the person truly needs.
- A handwritten letter can make a big difference. I love keeping letters, imagine reading them when you get old.
- If you buy a present, do you need to get a card? Think about write a sweet little note. I love writing notes inside books that I give to people.
- Is fragrance the way to go or will the person appreciate fragrant flowers or a plant?
- Are store bought chocolates the way to go or will someone appreciate your home-made baking?
With presents, it’s always helpful to think experience rather than things; this will help you identify what is right for the person and what isn’t.
The idea is to always start, then you’ll have the motivation to keep going.
Do you ever think about living simply?