A Week of Simplicity


– Note –

I am two weeks into my project to simplify my life, embrace living with less and to minimise clutter and stress. It has been challenging, but I feel as though I’ve started making some headway, and so feel ready to share my journey so far. Therefore, posts will be written two weeks retrospectively.

Week One in my project to simplify was my first week of action. I’d spent many weeks previously thinking, debating and planning how I was going to go about this challenge, but not yet taken any steps to make it a reality. Working out where to start seemed a challenge in itself, when you have a seemingly never-ending task ahead of you, picking a starter point felt practically impossible. Weirdly, I chose my underwear drawer, and weirder still, it seemed to work, but more on that later in the week.

Stuff

If we start with stuff, and the decluttering aspect of my journey towards minimalism and simplifying, this was actually a very successful week. Starting small somehow snowballed, once I’d got the hang on working out what I did and didn’t want to keep, I felt as though I was on a roll. I’m going to write more about this process and the questions I asked myself to determine what was worth keeping later on, but in summary:

This week, I removed 23 bags of stuff from my house. A few were recyclables, old magazines etc, a few were rubbish that went to the tip, but the vast majority were to donate to someone else. My mother very kindly helped with this task; she visited for a weekend and left with a car packed full of items to go to someone who would appreciate them more. Most went to charity shops, but a few were passed onto others, my favourite of which was an old fleecy blanket which was claimed by the dogs.

As well decluttering and getting rid of things, I also repaired a cardigan that’s been sitting in my wardrobe for 6 months, unworn and unloved due to a tear along the seams. 10 minutes of stitching meant that I have what feels like a brand new item, that I have since been wearing most days.

Life

Now ‘stuff’ obviously isn’t the only thing I’m trying to simplify. In a bid to reduce stress and worry, I’m hoping to live more simple, calmer days, and so thought I’d share a few ways in which that has worked for me so far:

* Close the laptop lid. Generally I would leave my laptop open on a table, and would forever find myself drawn to it and back into a repetitive cycle of scrolling through social media. In closing it, and placing it out of site, I’m less likely to use it, and spend more time in the real world.

* Go outside and breathe. I’ve added some potted plants to my patio, and spending a few minutes each morning outside to water them has set up my days with a calmer start. Also, when I sit down for a cup of tea, I’ve been making a conscious effort to take that outside. You’d be amazed by how much serenity the simple change of being outdoors can bring to your day.

* Count bees! A strange one maybe, but my Mum and I took some time to take part in the Friends of the Earth Great British Bee Count. It involves standing amongst some plant life and counting and recording the bees you see. It proved to be a lovely exercise in that it made us focus on the natural world around us, which is a great thing to do, even for a few minutes.

I felt as though my first week was a good start. It was hard work, and I’m not expecting to be able to clear car loads of stuff from my life every week, but it was a good first push. If you’re also in the pursuit of a simpler existence, I’d love to hear what’s been working for you!

  • I absolutely love this! I need to start simplifying my life – especially getting rid of all the clutter I’ve got over two houses! It sounds like you’ve made brilliant progress for your first week, and I love the idea of bee counting! I’ll have to take a walk and do something similar next time I’m in the need to clear my head!

    JosieVictoriaa // Fashion, Travel & Lifestyle

  • Emma Farley

    23 bags?! Well done! We’ve moved five times in five years and a lot of the same things have stayed in boxes. We really need a clear out but it’s so hard to get anything done with a two year old. Thanks for the inspiration/motivation! I’m on annual leave and am feeling more determined to get shit done.

  • Counting bees is one of the sweetest things I’ve ever heard! It’d be so interesting to note how many you see. When the warmer weather eventually comes back I might give it a try!

    http://www.thesmalladventurer.blogspot.com.au/

  • This is absolutely amazing. I wish you the best of luck with your challenge. Taking steps towards minimalist and mindful life is definitely something I want to do. You definitely encourage me to take actions. xx

    Antonia || Sweet Passions

  • I think this is such a wonderful idea. I’ve been thinking about the whole idea of simplifying my life. My anxiety causes me to worry and overthink too much, so I’ve been thinking about making a few changes here and there to be more mindful. I love the idea of counting bees, sounds relaxing!

    Kayleigh | http://www.anenthusiasmfor.co.uk

  • 23 bags? That’s incredible! // Closing the laptop lid. This is something I’ll need to constantly remind myself to do! -Audrey | Brunch at Audrey’s

  • That is a lot of bags! I think living my simply can bring so much more happiness to everyday life, it’s something I have considered, but then I think and I don’t own too much in that aseptic, but maybe my life could do with a little decluttering. Well I know my mind could! I’m constantly thinking about everything and anything and if I could quiet that down and minimalise that I feel that would be a good start
    http://www.pagesfrombeth.blogspot.co.uk

  • Lor

    Sounds like you’re well on your way, Carrie! 🙂 It definitely feels nice to clear things, doesn’t it?
    I’ve been trying to do something similar! Maybe some would call it spring cleaning, but I feel like it’s a process all year round. I donate clothes, get rid of old magazines. Recently, I donated my old cell phones to a shop who uses the parts, and I found out my local library also takes donated books. That’ll be my next task!
    I’ve also been limiting my social media use aka Instagram! Rather than mindlessly going on every day, I’ve been putting time aside when I feel like it, to go through my posts. It started off with once a week and now I’m at 2 days a week. But it goes up and down depending on the week, my mood, etc.
    Keep doing what you’re doing! Looking forward to hearing the progress 🙂

    -Lor // acozyspace.com

  • Such a great effort! Looking forward to following along and seeing how decluttering changes you 🙂

  • So inspiring, i’m really into a minimalistic lifestyle as well. 🙂
    x finja | http://www.effcaa.com