There's no doubt about it. Surrounding yourself with less stuff makes for a less stressful, easier life. Having too many things in your home means more to tidy away, more to clean, more to choose from, and more to find when lost.
After a challenging couple of years, in which a huge proportion of the population have said their mental health has suffered, our homes have become more important than ever in terms of how they impact our mental wellbeing.
The IKEA Life at Home report 2021 reveals that:
- 60% of people say they’ve had to change the way their home is organised to do the activities they want or need to do at home.
- More than one in four - 27% - say that being ‘easy to clean’ and ‘keep clutter-free’ is more important to them than it was 12 months ago.
- And many of those interviewed associated clean, decluttered spaces with a greater sense of calm. Clutter-free equals being in control, which is important for our mental wellbeing.
Living with less and buying with more intention is an ethos I’m really passionate about and one that runs through Lisa Valentine Home. We focus strongly on buying quality that will last years and buying sustainably so we’re kinder to the planet. But where do you start on the journey to living with less?
The first - and often the hardest - task is to de-clutter all the existing stuff in your home
. Having one big clear-out is pretty daunting and time consuming, so I recommend breaking it up to make it fit more into your regular routine. Check out my recent blog post on 10 tips to de-cluttering your home
Next up, question everything you buy. Ask yourself: "Do I need this? Does it serve a purpose and add something of value to my life?” If you really love something, if will make your life easier, or replace something with an upgraded version then it will add value, but it won’t serve a purpose if it just adds more clutter to your life.
Finally, don’t double up. Give it up. If you're replacing something you already have, it needs to be an upgraded, better quality version of that item or you need to love it more. When the new item comes in, don’t store the old one away. Chances are, you’ll never use it again. Instead, recycle the old item or give it to someone else to enjoy.
Getting into the habit of living with less doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a gradual process that you’ll find gets easier the more you do it. Start now and you’ll be surprised at how far you’ve come in six months time. Your living space will feel all the better for it, as will your head space.