Why did I start simplifying my home?
In short. I had my daughter, and she learned how to move around on her own.
However, the knock-on effect has gone a lot deeper, and it has changed my mindset in a way that I could never have imagined.
It was around September 2018 when I started to look at my home and reconsider some of the things that were in it. My daughter was 9 months old at this time, she was an avid crawler and already managing to get her hands-on things that I thought were out of reach – how do they do it?!? I could see that it wasn’t going to be long before she would be walking and then it would be game-over for the main living areas (she ended up finding her feet two months later when was 11 months old!)
My Inner Décor Junkie
We bought our current house in August 2016 and had worked hard to renovate it; we added a new kitchen and bathroom and redecorated the main areas. I had turned into a total décor junkie, most of my spare cash went on home décor and I spent a lot time styling the rooms. As well as being particularly precious about my home interior, I naturally like to feel in control, and there’s nothing like having a baby to make you feel OUT of control! I just couldn’t accept that I would have to move my decorative items higher on a shelf or hide them in a cupboard – styling should be about creative freedom, and NOT about grabby little hands dictating where stuff must go!
However, with my daughter’s safety and happiness as top priority (I’ve got to say that right?), I decided that I was going to look at minimalist interior inspiration and re-style my home with a fresh and stripped back approach. It was my way of coping with the fact that I had to get rid of my prize possessions (at least that’s what I thought they were at the time), and I wanted to brainwash myself into being a minimalist so that I felt like the grabby little hands couldn’t win (but of course they always do!).
Inspired By Minimalism
I started looking up lots of minimal home inspiration on Pinterest and seeking out relevant hashtags on Instagram. I discovered amazing simple home accounts like These Four Walls Blog and My Paradissi, I listened to the audio version of Marie Kondo’s book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, and I watched the Netflix documentary Minimalism: A Documentary About The Important Things featuring The Minimalists. From these sources, I took what I needed and applied the parts that felt good to me.
As I started to remove stuff from my home, something happened. I started to feel lighter, less stressed, and more focused. I had more money because I was getting rid of stuff rather than buying it, I was re-discovering things I forgot I had, I had more time because I had less stuff to tidy and clean, and I had more positive energy because I could spend time with my daughter without worrying about mess and what she was going to get her hands on.
After a few weeks, I started to realise that I didn’t miss the home décor pieces that I thought I would, I struggled to even recall exactly what I had got rid of. I started clearing out (recycling and donating) my clothes, my daughters’ clothes, toiletries, anything I could get my hands on – it even had a knock-on effect to my husband, and he cleared out the garage! I started to question why I had started buying so much “stuff” in the first place: Was any of it ever really my style? Did I need any of it? Did I want any of it? Or did consumerism get the better of me?
I don’t have all the answers yet, and I may never have them. There are still a few more areas in my home that I would like to tackle – it’s an on-going process. However, I have started being a lot more intentional with my choices, I’m rediscovering my own style and I’m learning what’s truly important to me.
So, thanks baby girl, your grabby little hands have freed-up space in my home and my mind!