Small things towards a minimalist life

January 20th 2017
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TTT blog - minimalism fireplace

Starting a new journey into minimalism

So, minimalism? What’s all the fuss and nonsense about? Well it’s about freeing yourself of the fuss and the nonsense. With today’s social media and being able to look into other people lives via instagram and blogs etc we seem to all want to have a consumer led lifestyle. Don’t get me wrong I like pretty and lovely things as much as the next person but I’m starting to question more whether it brings me any happiness to have these things. I can desperately want something for months and then as soon as I have it I move on to the next thing pretty quickly.

TTT blog - minimalism cupboards

The joy in empty spaces
TTT blog - minimalism vetibule Keeping only what gives you absolute pleasure

TTT blog - minimalism vwxy

Letting go and being free

Now only just really getting to grips with the idea of minimalism, instead of decluttering, I started by doing the simple things first. I have a lot of online shops emailing me and sending me newsletters, half of which I don’t actually recall subscribing to. As each one comes through I’m slowly unsubscribing and deleting them without clicking through to see what goodies they have to offer. This has done two things. First up I get less junk to scroll through in my inbox and can see clearly all the important emails and work stuff I need to do. Secondly I don’t waste valuable time clicking through to images of stuff I don’t really ‘need’ to buy. Once upon a time we had to make the effort to go shopping when we needed something now it’s right in front of us all day every day and we can buy something just because we’ve seen it. I used to feel like I needed to sign up to certain newsletters so that I didn’t miss out on anything.

Already I’m quickly gaining some important quality me time… the time I would take to look at the pretty products on offer I’m able to write this blog post. I literally wasted far too much of my life already and I will now only subscribe to those things that give me happiness and not bother with the rest. I have a couple of email addresses that I use and I now keep my work email address for a ll work related and other important emails. My secondary email, which is for this blog are now used to subscribe only to things that are of interest to me but that I don’t desperately need to see in my main email. I have both accessible on my computers at work and at home and via my phone. However I have to physically select my second email inbox to see what is there. I choose to only do this once a day usually in the morning, sometimes I’m forgetting to do it until lunch time!

The other thing I’ve done as of the beginning of this week is to turn off my social media notifications. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how attached to our mobile devices we are and I’m trying to find ways to reduce this. How many of us post to instagram and then spend the next 10, 20, 60 minutes constantly seeing all the notifications pop up on our phones? It’s stopped me from being in the here and now and I’m too distracted when my beautiful boy tries to talk to me or asks me a question. What I’ve noticed, even in the few days since I’ve turned them off is that I post and I put my phone away. It may take me 30 minutes or a couple of hours to remember to have a look and see if anyone has left me a comment. I’m trying to check my emails less on my phone and pinpoint pockets of time that I can concentrate on responding to messages so that I can then spend quality time being in the present moment with my son. I’ve even started to say to him, if he’s constantly chattering to me whilst I have a moment, to give me 1, 5, 10 minutes to complete my task and then I’m all his. I’ve noticed a change in how we interact and it feels better for us that we have those pockets of checking mail, social media etc and then those pockets of just chatting and me putting my phone out of sight and usually reach. Lucas will be 10 this year and he’s very savvy to our using our phones and he makes comments. Those comments really make me realise that our phones have become glued to our palms. Social media is great for meeting like minded people across the globe but it needs it’s own time and place. We need to spend more time focusing on the people right in front of us who can talk and laugh with and tickle and touch and kiss. Isn’t that what’s important?

TTT blog - minimalism Lucas

my little milk guzzler and the most important person in my life

I will continue to share my journey as when I feel it’s important or if someone asks me a question that I feel is relevant and worthy of a reply through a blog post. I don’t have all the answers but I’m going to enjoy learning and sharing my journey along the way.

If you have any fab tips to share or questions to ask please leave a comment below and I’ll reply as soon as I can.

Big Love, Cat x

5 comments

  1. i dont understand this need for minimalism. homes these days look like a shop display, what happened to shelves full of books and beautiful things…a white vase does nothing for me. we should all travel to places like India and morocco and discover the beauty of this kind of decor…

    • Thank you for taking the time to comment as I know time is a very precious commodity these days. I’ll try to explain a little if I can, although I think I expressed my thoughts in the post. I think you’ll find the meaning of minimalism is very different to each individual. For some living a minimalistic lifestyle will be living with very little, the basics so to speak and for others, like me, I’m doing it because I don’t want to be a mass consumer of goods and have a house full of stuff that I get no pleasure from and that I have to spend time cleaning around or looking after. Minimalism for me is not about having a clean and clinical space, it’s about getting rid of all the trinkets and ridding myself and my family of the burden of inherited stuff and items given to us that we feel we should keep hold of even though it’s not to our taste. My home definitely doesn’t resemble a shop display unless the shop consists of very little in which case I’d be happy with that. Health reasons have made me pursue a simpler life and for me that means only having the necessary items I need in my home as well as a few things I love to look at… that may well be a white vase for me or a whole host of colourful pottery. As long as I get joy from it it could be absolutely anything.

      There is a reason for the colourfulness of Morocco and India. They are beautiful places filled with warmth and sunshine and consumption of goods isn’t high. Britain is grey and wet, for a relatively large portion of the year, and I find it lowers my mood and then I want to shop… shop for what? What I need? No what I want, or rather don’t want. I shop through boredom or feeling low because I think it will perk me up. I started this little journey in January and it’s been a pretty miserable month but I haven’t made any unnecessary purchases and I’ve donated so much stuff and made money by selling some stuff that I can now afford to look at booking a special holiday for us as a family. I want to save for our future and live in a home where I use that home to give us warmth and happy memories… not one that I’m constantly dusting unnecessary stuff and sorting the unnecessary stuff.

      To each his own I say and if you choose a colourful and consumer led lifestyle then that is your choice, as minimalism is mine and other peoples choice. If we were all the same then life would be pretty damn boring wouldn’t it?

  2. Catherine

    There is so much of this that resonates with me. Especially some of the health issues. I am currently having an IBS flare up and it has really effected my mood. I know that it is due to the food I am putting into my body.

    I am trying to make small changes, I’ve just order method (more natural) cleaning products and have been looking for a natural deodorant and toothpaste and bamboo toothbrush.

    I have read about your experience at the time and remember thinking wow, that sounds so similar. I really think I need to look into it more. I may try and see if I can get a hold of the book you mention.

    I too am trying to go down the whole minimalism route but am struggling with my mood fluctuations, I will get there and am trying to do as much as I can when it’s possible.

    Thank you for sharing your story. It’s very inspiring. I love your writing both here and in your instagram. I can’t wait to hear more from you.

    Cherie || MY MAMA MUSINGS || x

    • Beautiful Cherie mama, thank you so much for your lovely comment. It’s taken me years to get some order in my chaotic life to be able to tackle my health and food issues so I applaud you that you’re able to do it with more than one small child around. I was incapable when my son was small and it’s only now that I’m really learning what I need to do. I also use Method and Ecover to minimise the chemicals in my home and I choose natural, no fluoride toothpaste and coconut oil deodorant (when I remember to use it as I no longer get smelly now that I’ve stopped using traditional, metal and chemical laden versions!). I eventually, before the end of this year, want to be making all my own natural home cleaning and beauty products… fingers crossed.

      I think it’s important to make small changes before jumping in feet first as it can seem so daunting and time consuming. Don’t be too hard on yourself as you are doing what you’re able to do with your hands full looking after and nurturing your beautiful boys. In terms of food I haven’t quit anything 100% but I ‘avoid’, as much as possible, sugar, dairy, wheat, grains, chemicals etc. I try my best to eat fresh, home cooked food at least 90% of the week but it isn’t stopping me from eating out. What I have learnt though is that people judge you whether they meen to or not. Because I share my thoughts on how bad sugar is whenever someone sees me eat a bit they say ‘well you now you can’t tell us not to eat it!’. I don’t tell people not to eat it more that I share what it does to me and how I feel about it. I share my opinion of it but I’m still a sugar addict deep down. My son was looking at a very delicious looking fudge cake with chocolate sauce topping from a supermarket the other day and for 1/6 of a slice it contained 20g sugar, 5 teaspoons. He then suggested the apple crumble instead… apples equal healthy right? 28g per 1/4 slice, 7 teaspoons! And to that he would add ice cream! It’s shocking how people can’t see what they choose to eat. I was guilty of that too. I feel I’m totally digressing now :)

      Anyway in terms of your ‘IBS’ (I was diagnosed with that at age 22). IBS, in my humble opinion, is just a label the doctors have come up with because they don’t know what’s wrong with you. I got told to avoid stress! Yeah right! Our doctors need to understand the cause and effect of food and so many illnesses would be avoided if we just changed the food we eat. I look for things with very little ingredients in them if I buy pre prepared foods and I ALWAYS look at the ingredients list and if I can’t pronounce or spell half the words then I don’t buy it. Simple thing such as buying frozen chips. Just potatoes right? Wrong! I have to search for french fries, my son won’t eat any other potato product :(, that lists only potatoes and sunflower oil. I’m teaching my son to read the lists too. Better armed with the knowledge so he can make his own mind up. Don’t get me wrong though, I still allow him and us the odd thing as a ‘treat’. I use that word loosely as filling your body with chemicals and toxins isn’t exactly a treat. I’m just on one now but I was trying to say well done for starting the journey and stop giving yourself a hard time for not being where you think you should/need/want to be on this journey. You’ve started it and that’s what matters. If I can help you in any way you know you only need to holler. I can share some small tips with you I’ve learnt along the way. One step at a time hun. xxxx

  3. So nice article, glad to read this post, thanks so much!

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Photographer :: designer :: blogger :: vintage hunter :: wife to @stecaton :: mama to a funny boy ::

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