June 14, 2018

A place for everything

Moving into a new home naturally has its challenges, but it is certainly an opportunity to arrange your furnishings and possessions in the best place possible. Over the past few years I not only have become a little addicted to decluttering, but also to the appeal of minimalism. It is one thing to have a good purge, but in a new abode, it is certainly a reason to only possess what you really need.

As I have been unpacking the boxes and trying to get each room as straight and liveable as I can muster when juggling two small children, it has given me great satisfaction to store and arrange items in a far more logical, practical and even pleasing manner. Our first eight months in New Jersey were spent living in a two bedroom apartment; now we are settling into a four bedroom house it is incredibly refreshing to have some space to breathe, but also to have a place for everything.

Whether it is seeing my beloved collection of cookery books and novels arranged on shelves by the fireplace, or the children’s toys all organised in the playroom, or even having winter coats and sweaters stored snuggly away in boxes in the closet, this sense of order and place keeps me sane.  

What struck me the most about the Minimalism documentary on Netflix was Joshua Fields Millburn’s quote “there is nothing wrong with consumption, the problem is compulsory consumption.” Just like chasing after fast fashion like a kid in a candy store, we can so easily succumb to the next interior decor trend, to keeping up with the Jones’ and desiring that sense of newness. And of course it is not necessary, but it can certainly feel that way sometimes. But if we really care about home ownership, we need to own our space and make that space personal and relevant to just us.

In the summer of 2016 whilst staying in North Wales with a large group of friends and their children, I sat and read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. It definitely inspired me to declutter when I returned home from vacation, but it also made me far more conscious of what I then brought back into my home. How do you survive post-purge? How do you keep everything tidy and ordered in the way you want? It is so easy to fill our homes with many things, that we can end up spending more time maintaining, tidying, fixing and cleaning than actually just relaxing in our space.

Minimalism is more than just a clean, uncluttered space, it is about having a home that gives you a tidy mind and ultimately should give you real time. Less really is more. And this summer like many of us I want time: time to unplug, relax, unwind; time to get outside, time with my family and friends, time for vacations and staycations and spontaneity. So as I open the last few moving boxes and fill up baskets and cupboards and shelves, I hope that I will find a place for everything, a home for the things that are useful or bring me joy.


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