A Minimalist in Training

Home: your very own space to fill with shiny, flashy thingy-ma-bobs that you never/can't/forget to use.

Well, that's certainly what it's feeling like today. I am not one to describe myself as particularly tidy, and frankly, my trinket obsession has truly got out of hand, so the combined result feels like a lot of clutter without a home of its own! In planning the decor for our new place at Vela I'm trying to hold back my trinket, hoarder instinct, to focus on style and function. In renovating our current home over 3 years ago, we had to furnish the home in an instant (on a standard Caribbean-style Miami shopping binge) and it meant we were buying soft furnishings and home accessories in bulk. Whilst it meant the home was "finished" (if that can ever be said) in quicker time, we didn't have the joy and tales to match items that we'd curated and collated over many years. And that means we have accumulated a lot of meaningless, but beautiful, crap! 

With a growing interest in simplifying our lives, and with some recent Netflix "research" undertaken (watch The Minimalists and The Abundance Factor ), I have a burning desire to pare back our home in a big way.  With this new found enthusiasm, we've spent the morning decluttering our bedroom (baby steps, right) and it has felt both liberating and overwhelming in equal parts.

You know the scene...

You triumphantly unload drawer after drawer of bedside (not so) essentials and before you know it you can't see the bed for piles of organised chaos.

There are old Batabano costumes leaving trails of tropical Swanky feathers everywhere and our beloved cat, Earl, is testing out the hide-and-seek factor of every box. You regret starting.

"Do we really have to do this today?" you quietly think to yourself and hope the husband you've convinced to help doesn't catch on to your flailing interest. You keep going, discovering too many half used notebooks, an incredible amount of pineapple paraphernalia and 4 pairs of airport sunglasses (one pair shamefully still in its box) You tell yourself you will be using all this new found crap so much more as you neatly display it on the top of the dresser. (Yeah right is that going to stay like that!)

You want to give up but now you physically can't get out of the room for the crap.

It feels like the dust is multiplying as you go. Where does this even come from? Then you glance at the cat, gleefully licking its rear in a cardboard box of saved items on your bed that you can no longer see. Oh yes, now I remember why we only got one of you. Crap.

You then hear your husband, who has always ignored the "THIS HOUSE IS SUCH A MESS" complaints and who is miraculously still enthusiastically cleaning, exclaim in dramatic annoyance: "Haven't we been paying a cleaner?  What the hell has she been doing?"

"Ironing your shirts", you quietly retort just out of earshot. 

Silence. 

We. Must. Keep. Going. 

You begin to calm down.

We only have to clear the crap from the bed. You fight the urge to put the newly reorganised piles back where you found them and you end up with an enormous bin bag of trash and two bags for charity (I'm sure they need a bag full of old magazines, 5 half used freebie pens and some mini face cream sachets - some of the more desirable items!). You're left with a clean drawer that now houses all the things that you no longer have the brain power to home. 

Ah, victory.

What a spectacularly beautiful new mix of reorganised......crap!

*Sigh* 

Have nothing in your home that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.
— William Morris

I'm yet to get my hands on the coveted book The Life Changing Magic to Tidying Up by Marie Kondo but it's firmly on the list. However after today, I might need some time out before the next big decluttering project begins. It's a good job we're not moving house this month....! *Gulp*

Besides the simplicity of having less stuff, I've recently realised there's another piece to the interior design puzzle and that is how easy it is to keep your home clean. Perhaps I'm getting older, but for me, having something that is stylish, functional and not a complete pain in the derriere to keep clean has become the new dream.  That is a little sad I'll admit. My current design read "Keeping House - hints and tips for a clean, tidy and well-organized home" by Cindy Harris  is certainly helping this dream come alive and I thought I'd share some ideas that really resonated with me to inspire you to get tidy this new year.

"Establishing priorities and setting realistic goals in your daily schedule is essential. Clean the rooms in which you spend the most time and those where cleanliness if a priority. You can let everything else go, at least for a while," Cindy explains.

The book breaks down what daily, weekly and monthly cleaning tasks to do and although these are a little ambitious for anyone with a job besides cleaning (!) there are some really helpful tips for each room and I've shared some ideas from the Bathroom and Bedroom section to get you started: 

BEAUTIFUL BATHROOMS

1. Ventilate your bathroom as much as possible - although air fresheners are nice, nothing beats fresh air

2. Have a separate cleaning caddy of cloths,  disinfectant sprays and chrome polish upstairs so bathrooms can be cleaned more often.

3. Keep a plastic squeegee in the shower to wipe off the glass and tiles immediately after showering to prevent water spots. If the squeegee is on hand, you won't have to search for it. 

 

BEDROOM BASICS

1. Peel the bedclothes back each morning to air out your bedsheets.

2. Toss pillows in a hot dryer for 15 mins once a month to kill dust mites and freshen them up.

3.  Get some fresh air into your bedroom.  Open the windows, air it out and let nature get to work. 

With the Christmas breeze still lingering, this is a perfect time of year for it!

Good luck and stay strong.