Minimalism Misconceptions

The minimalism trend is big right now and I have to say, I am so pleased that I joined the cause. It isn’t just because it’s aesthetically pleasing, but also because by focusing less on materialism and appreciating what we have, we can feel happier. Before learning more about and falling in love with elements of minimalism, I had my own misconceptions. I was so wrong, so today I thought I would share some of those misunderstood aspects with you.

 

Minimalists never by anything new again.

OK, so the idea is that minimalists only buy something brand new if they really need it. That makes sense. However, what that actually means is that they avoid buying things on impulse and spend time carefully considering any purchase. It can also mean that they will try to buy preloved things, or recycled items before they choose a brand new item.

Does that mean that they will never buy anything new though? Well, no it doesn’t. There are some things that we need that we can only get in this way.  Instead, the minimalist approach is being mindful of not buying too much new stuff, just for the thrill of the purchase.

 

Minimalists don’t care about their stuff.

There is another school of thought and that is that minimalists don’t take care of their belongings. Perhaps we can assume that this idea is born out of the fact that minimalism encourages us to be less materialistic, less motivated and less defined by what we have.

So is it true? Of course not. In fact, it is the opposite. Typically, minimalists will often try to repair older items instead of purchasing new. Becoming more minimalist teaches you to treasure and value the things you own. Hand in hand would be a wish to protect them in ways such as insurance cover, something https://budgetboost.co/geico-insurance-review/ can help you to learn more about. After all, just because we might own fewer things it doesn’t mean that we have less to worry about.

 

Minimalists have to have light and spacious homes.

When you see minimalists online or on social media, it’s easy to get caught up in the idea that they all have sparse spacious homes, decorated in white, with lots of natural light. Of course, if this is your style (and let’s be fair, it’s particularly fashionable right now), it can be a lovely way to live, but you don’t have to have a home like this to live the minimalist way.

 

Minimalists are supremely stylish.

Finally, while I love being associated with a movement that is known for its style credentials, this isn’t really the point. Minimalism is about buying less and purchasing only in response to need rather than desire.

Therefore it does not necessarily follow that those participating in minimalism will live in the most stylishly decorated homes. As an example, Buddhist monks live in a minimalist way in shared dormitories in their monasteries, but that doesn’t mean images of these grace the type of magazine you’ll find at https://www.homesandgardens.com/ with a double page spread.

 

So what do you think? Do you have any other pre or misconceptions about the ways of minimalism?

 

 

A TIDY HOME – ORGANISATION TIPS

Every day, we have many responsibilities and worries that run through our minds. Contrary to the mind of most children (I remember it well), it’s a lot of work being a responsible adult and many of us don’t get it right all of the time. We have to juggle work, personal lives and, if you’re lucky, children, all of which are significant and come with their owns difficulties, often impacting on eachother.

Add to that, running your home. The usual hustle and alongside keeping your residence clean and tidy. It isn’t easy. I used to find that my ‘cluttered’ home assisted in my problems. Not being able to find things and cluttering my mind. There is something to be said for that tidy home, tidy mind mentality. If you’re finding yourself in an uncomfortable position with regards to your home organisation: don’t panic. It can take a bit of effort but some simple steps can really make a difference. I know, I have taken the steps and love, love, love the result!

Declutter

The first step is to declutter and if you ever take a peek at my blog or YouTube channel you will know how much I love to declutter! It hasn’t always been this way but last year the declutter bug bit me. Hard.

Before reorganising and moving everything around, take out the unnecessary items. Remove things that you don’t use or wear or items that don’t make you feel good. Find that feeling of sparking joy (Thanks Marie Kondo) and use it to streamline your possessions.  Almost everybody has clutter! When you have fewer things dotted around, it is highly likely that you will feel better and more comfortable in your surroundings. Less clutter gives me a much clearer mind, enables me to function more efficiently and paves the way for better organisation.

Plan

In my experience, routine helps. With so much to juggle, dedicating small chunks of time to declutter a pile, tidy something away or perhaps have a quick clean, assists in making task manageable and less onerous. Tackle it room by room to see progression and regularly feel the benefit of your efforts.

Don’t Leave Things Lying Around

After you’ve managed to organise things and are starting to feel better about your space, a common mistake people make is to carry on as they were before. With more space to put things it can feel like an opportunity to fill them. Make sure there’s a place for everything and that everything is in its place. As a previous boss once told me, use the one-touch approach. She was, of course, talking from a work perspective but I often try to apply the same approach at home. Whether it’s your storage solutions, specific drawers for specific tools, keeping loose jewellery in anti tarnish bags for silver that can then be stored away safely, or popping books onto their designated shelves, when everything has a home it is easier to keep things neat. The last thing you want to do is re-clutter or fall back into old habits. One of my habits is making piles and it is proving tough to break!

Be Consistent

Staying on top of things is key to a tidy home. Once you have planned your routine, be sure to undertake the work. Those smaller chunks of time soon mount up into bigger, onerous tasks, requiring heavy-duty motivation. Above all, it can be a slippery slope back to cluttered life.

Make It Less Of A Chore

Finally, it’s best to see this as less of a gruelling task and more of something to be proud of. It is so wonderful to feel happy and content with your home and another tip is to make it fun. To help things along you can check out my decluttering Playlist on YouTube where I systematically tackle areas of my home. It isn’t entirely KonMari as I do move room to room, but there are KonMari aspects and I try to think about which of my items spark joy.

A MOMENT IN TIME: KEEPSAKE IDEAS FOR YOUR LOVED ONES

I have talked before about staying grateful in life, in particular, when suffering the loss of loved ones. The people in our lives are, of course, important to us and usually, when thinking about expressing our gratitude, we often show that we care by buying a gift. But sometimes this can seem a bit on the disingenuous side. When it comes to something like keepsakes, it is more personal and there is more of an emotional attachment. When giving gifts to loved ones, keepsakes can represent more than just something for Christmas or birthdays, it could be an heirloom or something that they can take with them all through their lives. This can often be tricky so let’s take a look at some ideas…

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The Mrs Hinch Effect

THE MRS HINCH EFFECT – ARE YOU A HINCHER?

So who here has been hinched?

For those that don’t know what this means, I made a little video over on my YouTube Channel. It is called Mrs Hinch Made me do it. It is all about who Mrs Hinch (a.k.a Sophie Hinchliffe) is and what she made me do, which, in a word is clean. The video itself is all about the cleaning products I bought and was excited to use, but the context is there also. Today. however, I thought I would mull over what it is about Mrs Hinch that makes us all (well, many of us) go so wild.

Me? I’ve been hinched. I love it. I confess to being a bandwagon lover but I am still choosy as to which bandwagons I jump on. It took me a long time to convert to skinny jeans, for example, but I got there eventually.

Mrs Hinch

Mrs Hinch? She has me hooked. I check out her Instagram at least once a day to see what she is up to. My favourite part is the tips, these are what stabbed me through the lip and reeled me in.

Don’t get me wrong, I am well aware there are many other factors in play when it comes to the Instagram queen. Mrs Hinch knows how to look her best, is funny, keeps an immaculate and tastefully decorated home, and has a cute dog. Not all of this is for all of us, but there seems to be something for everyone.

I’m not really fussed as to what Mrs Hinch looks like and I’m not one for enormous fluttery lashes. They’re just not for me. Similarly, as much as I love a couple of the items she has in her home and I enjoy taking a peek at her home décor, mostly her choices aren’t matched to mine. Whilst I am a fan of grey and white, most of the additional items she buys, shows and subsequently sells out, wouldn’t find there way into my home. But that is ok. If we all liked the same then the world would be a very boring place. And anyway, with items selling out within hours of appearing on her stories, it would seem that there are many that do share her particular homeware preferences.

Me

So back to the Hinch effect. I think as I look back, cleaning was a bit of an unknown for me. By that, I mean that I didn’t really know what I was doing. I knew the basics but it was a chore. I always had better things to be doing and, as a result, I didn’t give it much time. As I got older I became a little more house proud but it wasn’t for the love of it. Not like it is now.

Way before Mrs Hinch’s Instagram rocketed to notoriety, I used to accept what I thought were inevitabilities. I assumed that my toilet would always have some limescale build up at the bottom as nothing I tried would remove it. Then, a colleague told me about some specific toilet cleaners. I tried them and was amazed at the results. But even then, whilst I had become aware products that can revolutionise the way I clean my loo, I still felt like other areas would forever be a certain way. I just wasn’t clued up on what works.

Mrs Hinch cleans for fun and loves it. That cleaning mojo is infinitely inspiring and seeing someone else so proud of their sparkling home sets off some kind of domino effect.

The Sweet Spot

As much as cleaning products can be inexpensive I was never someone who would just try a product to see if it work. I like real product recommendations, hence my love for blogs and YouTube. Mrs Hinch provides an abundance of recommendations but also shows you the before and after. For me, this is the sweet spot. Seeing it work and knowing you can do the same to your home makes you crave it. No, really.

Of course, there is much debate about the use of chemicals, how much plastic we are consuming and how much waste her 1.2 million hinchers are creating as a result, and I am certainly not trying to downplay the issue. I too share the concerns and would never condone the, in Sophie’s words, ‘completely pointless’ bedtime blast, for example. However, this post is about how Mrs Hinch has changed the way we feel about our homes and, as a result, about ourselves.

There are posts out there claiming that Sophie is dragging women back to the 1950’s but I can’t agree. Men are Hinchers too and it is the love for and sense of achievement gained that shines through. Just the other day my boyfriend proudly announced that he had used Zoflora and as a result, his home smelled fresh. Imagine my pride. I’m still grinning about it as I write this. But either way, hinchers are feeling empowered and proud, and that is what matters. As ridiculous as this could sound, hinching makes me feel like I am winning at life. I feel empowered by the accrued knowledge and capabilities. It’s funny how small things can lead to big changes in our perspective and mindset.

Community

There will, of course, always be those who have to troll and spread negativity, but those few are outweighed by the enormity of the positivity and sense of community that has been created through her influence. Instagram, and facebook users have certainly come together to embrace their shared interests and it is a joy to be part of that community, to meet others, share tips and inspire eachother. If you haven’t come across it yet, seek them out and join in.

More hinching?

So, should you be interested, I made another Hinch-related video. Fancy some hinching

So what are your thoughts on the Hinch effect?

DOES WEIGHT LOSS LEAD TO HAPPINESS?

DOES WEIGHT LOSS LEAD TO HAPPINESS?

Wow, what a question.

Do you think so? For me, weight loss does, in some way, lead to happiness. For some people it might even be the key to happiness but that isn’t the case for me. I do, however, agree that it can be key when it comes to my confidence and confidence, for me, supports a happier life.

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THE BENEFITS OF TAKING GREATER CARE OF YOUR BODY

By now, you’re probably all too aware that I am on a Slimming World journey. If you’re planning to lose weight then I would suggest giving Slimming World some serious consideration. However, even if your body shape isn’t an issue, taking greater care of your body is key to certain aspects of life improvement. I shall explain…

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SEVEN WAYS TO HELP FEEL YOUR BEST

As a reader of my blog, you may be aware that I am on a weight loss journey. As part of this, I have a weekly Food Friday series that focuses on my progress, including the ups and downs. I started this particular attempt back and March with a view to feeling better about myself by summer. Well, here we are. It is now that time of year where there is a lot more focus on body image and with there being much talk of getting “bikini ready” we can all feel a pressure to conform to what society would say is the ideal image.

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WHEN IN FRANCE… EAT LIKE THE FRENCH?

With a friend who loves France so much that she plans to move there, I recently found myself thinking about the French way of life. This is something that she and I have discussed at length and me being me, it often revolved around food. I remember smiling at the thought of our countless drool sessions over the idea of cheese, bread and red wine.  Often glamorised, the stereotypical way of life in France is certainly different from England. So, if I pop over to visit her this summer, how could I stay healthy without denying myself anything? Perhaps some tips from the French themselves…

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GAINING PERSPECTIVE – A PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS

Have you ever considered your place in the world? This might sound like a grandiose question, but sometimes we can go through life feeling somewhat aimless and even a little lost. This has certainly happened to me in the past and I explained a little bit about this in my Introduction to Happiness Is… post. I assume this is why so many people travel the world, embarking on an adventure to ‘find themselves’, to experience different walks of life and put their own existence into perspective. For me, undertaking this sort of thing and understanding more about ourselves can lead to a happier life and, if you have visited my blog before, you may know that I am all about finding ways to live my best life.

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