By: Teisha Lowry Cox
1. Identify the essential. 2. Eliminate the rest.
Two little steps for all you need when creating a minimalist home. And, you can use this in every day life - particularly with work.
If you knew me 8-10 years ago, you would have stepped into a vintage hoard-house. I love vintage, and I use to collect a lot of second hand furniture and decor. I mainly loved the 60-70s retro stuff and I still have bits and pieces that are worth it (so I can flog off later) but now I like to think they're with somebody else who can appreciate it. I donated a lot of it to high-end second hand stores and it was such good stuff, that when my husband dropped it off they thought he was getting a divorce! HA! You may think it was silly of me to get rid it, but it wasn't important to me anymore, we don't need stuff and by stuff I mean clutter and things that are not important or relevant. I now prefer things that mean something to me, so I just don't buy things for the sake of it, I actually just have what I need and that's it.
When we moved house three years ago, I had recently gone through a lot crazy stuff with my business, and I had eliminated every little bit of negative energy in my life - including people and the stuff that reminded me of them. I don't know why but anything that was cream, brown, red and orange or anything that reminded me of these evil people, so I turfed it all, including my clothes. I promised myself from that day forward, I would only have the things in my life that contributed to my life in a positive and helpful way, and anything that was remote to that, I got rid of, including people. I had to let go of a lot of stuff and the people who dragged me down, at the time it was really hard to let it go, but now I have a clear path and I am the one that creates my environment. I prefer life to be simple, even though life gives me challenges at least I can have clarity because things and people aren't getting in the way. I have the choice and so do you, it's up to you how you want to live your life - and for me that's uncomplicated.
You come to my house, and I have the bare necessities. I don't have a lot of furniture or things, and I rarely go shopping for clothes anymore. I pretty much live in gym gear, jeans and t-shirts. I went minimalist because:
- I just want the positive
- Easy, clean and simple
- Less but more beautiful and important
- More space and creative energy
Kitchen: We have really nice plates, cutlery, utensils and small-goods, because we use them all the time so why no invest in good quality and that way you won't have to throw stuff away in 12 months. Things like a Vitamix come with 10 year warranties, so it's worth it. Anything that doesn't get used a lot is put away under the benches to keep positive flow in a cluttered area like this. Little things like tea towels and cook books are all in the similar tones, because too much colour stresses me out, I swear I think in black and white, but with these things you might want to be more creative than I.
If you want to start living a more minimalist life, I suggest you do it slowly and room by room or cupboard by cupboard, because some things I regret giving away. Think about it, what do I really need?
Lounge room: One sofa, one coffee table, one recliner, one floor lamp and maybe a large rug. I love black, white and grey (if you haven't noticed) so these large pieces of furniture are the big things that can take up a lot of space, especially if you live in an apartment, so I reckon you'd want to stick to one kind of tone. And then, home decor such as artwork, clock, vase, books can be in colour.
Bathroom: This is one area that I think people get carried away with. I used to be a personal product fiend, and I loved having all of my perfume bottles on display to show myself how luxurious my purchases were. But now, because we don't wear colognes, perfumes and the hottest skincare products - we only have the basics out, coconut oil, sponge, face oil and toothpaste. And makeup stuff, ladies - put it away in hygienic containers, having your brushes and makeup out can absorb nasty stuff and you don't want that on your skin.
Bedroom: I can't stand dust, so anything that collects it just annoys me. Store jewellery away, not only does it keep it safe and in better condition, it doesn't oxidise. We literally have our bed and two night stands, I think ones bedroom should be very clean and clutter free. It should be treated like a temple, because this is where we rest and repair. Any kind of electronics are kept off and lighting below eye line after sunset, so we can start to unwind for the day. We have a no laptop and iPhone (except airport mode) policy - I know boring right? But I promise you'll have a better night's sleep.
Ok so I may be bit extreme, but it has seriously helped with my stress levels. As soon as I get home it's like a huge sigh of relief, we treat our home like a sanctuary and with respect. We don't need a lot of "stuff" it just adds to the clutter and confusion. I hope you've enjoyed my little tips on how to create a minimalist home, and if you haven't noticed I've transferred this theory into my business.