Interiors My Home Self-Care Simple Living

10 Things I Gained When I Decluttered My Home

30th October 2015

Decluttered

There have been many exciting changes to my life since purging my belongings and so I thought I would share them. Removing my life laundry gave me a whole new outlook and for the first time in years everything became clear. I apologise if that sounds a little cheesy but it really has been a moment of clarity.

‘Welcome back life, I lost you under all my stuff.’

Simple living and minimalism are not about living uncomfortably for the sake of it, nor are they about a white minimalist homes, although that’s my preference! They’re about being grounded and grateful, and breaking the habit of constantly wanting more. Minimalism is prioritising the good stuff and discarding the things that don’t bring happiness and joy.

So here are a few of the things I gained when I decluttered my home.

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1. Feeling lighter

I thought I’d start with a totally abstract benefit which I’m already struggling to put into words. I guess what I’m trying to convey is I feel lighter and freer. Cupboards of clutter can weigh us down and excess baggage connects us to the past and can prevent us from moving forward. With the majority of my stuff gone I feel clear about how I want to live. Every item in my home is something I use or love, they all facilitate my life and there’s nothing getting in the way. It’s a lovely uplifting and energising feeling.

2. Less housework and maintenance

Less stuff means less housework, less time organising and tidying, less time looking for things and less time getting things repaired or replaced.

My man and I live in a small apartment which is inexpensive to heat and involves little maintenance. It’s cosy and we enjoy every inch of the space, not to mention the smaller mortgage!

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3. More time for family and friends

The increased time from owning and pursuing less means more time for family and friends.

4. Less focus on consumerism and a greater enjoyment of the things I own

I’ll always love nice things, however, I no longer have the desire to collect stuff. The old me was a hoarder and I purchased far more than I ever needed or used. Since letting go, I really appreciate and enjoy the things I have left and I feel content and grateful.

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5. More freedom

Owning less has given me more time for day trips and holidays, it has also redefined my life values. I guess I’m now a collector of memories rather than things.

This year I’ve spent time in Cambridge, York, Vienna, Brighton, Exeter and Plymouth, as well as Herefordshire and Cornwall. I must also add that minimalist packing and unpacking make life easier!

6. Healthier living and less stress

Having more time has encouraged me to improve my diet and enjoy regular exercise. I’ve always been someone who struggles to relax, so living in a low maintenance home has forced me to put my feet up.

I also have time to read and at the end of 2014 I started mindfulness which I do using the Headspace app each morning. It’s wonderful to engage in a positive lifestyle and to learn a little more about myself.

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7. More space

My apartment is bigger now the shelves, stuff and excess furniture have been removed. Perfect for those Kate Bush arm waving dance moments!

8. Less comparison

Simple living has helped me to think about the way I’d like to live, without the trappings of consumerism. I can make choices without worrying as much about money or what the Jones’s are up to. It’s a liberating feeling.

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9. Less work

After buying very little, I soon realised I no longer needed to work as much and so at the beginning of 2015 I began working part-time after twenty years of full-time work. The extra time to indulge in creative projects resulted in an increase in work offers. And so, after much consideration and planning, I decided to take a career break from the University of Oxford to work freelance.

Looking back I definitely felt my job title and salary defined me. But by abandoning the pursuit of material possessions my view of what was important shifted and the pressure I put on myself seemed to fall away. Life’s far too short to do what’s expected of you and I regret not realising it sooner!

10. Doing some good

I decided to donate the majority of my stuff to Cancer Research. This enabled me to quickly remove it and start enjoying my new clutter-free life. It also lifted some of the guilt I had from buying things I hadn’t used.

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So there you have it, the 10 benefits I’ve found from clearing the clutter. I fully understand that simple and minimalist living are not for everyone, but for me this is the best lifestyle choice I’ve ever made. After all, who can argue with less work and more fun?

I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Further reading: My decluttering tips / 10 ways I simplified my life / How Marie Kondo helped me let go of my past

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34 Comments

  • Reply Eva 30th October 2015 at 10:02 am

    I like your credo ” less is more” and I think your new way of live is just great! more time to have fun and less to work at home, it’s a very clever choice! Have a simple and nice weekend! xoxo

    • Candy Pop
      Reply Candy Pop 30th October 2015 at 10:05 am

      Thank you Eva, you too – have a great weekend!

  • Reply Victoria 30th October 2015 at 10:10 am

    It’s amazing to see what a positive impact decluttering has had on you.

    Wishing you a wonderful weekend,

    Victoria x
    FlorenceandMary.com

    • Candy Pop
      Reply Candy Pop 30th October 2015 at 10:38 am

      Thanks Victoria.. Enjoy your weekend!

  • Reply Keri-Anne 30th October 2015 at 11:30 am

    Another fellow headspacer”er””. I love that app too!

    Last year, i tried to declutter. In the summer i just filled up so many bags of “stuff” and i did have this overwhelming feeling so peace and calm but then my love for vintage shops and charity shops caught up with me. I feel it is something i always do at the end of spring to make my whole house light and free and fresh. x

    • Candy Pop
      Reply Candy Pop 30th October 2015 at 3:54 pm

      Thanks Keri-Anne. I never thought I could stop collecting but the harsh decluttering process has made me never want to go back! You must do what you love and vintage / charity shopping is a lot of fun! See you soon.

  • Reply Fritha Strickland 30th October 2015 at 2:57 pm

    love this! I desperately want to do this to our home and break the habit of finding vintage and unusual pieces in charity shops and taking them home to live with us. I also find it a loosing battle when it comes to having a kiddo (or two!) so I’m not sure now is the time for us to do it but I am slowly getting rid and getting better and it’s really helped me feel calmer! x

    • Candy Pop
      Reply Candy Pop 30th October 2015 at 3:58 pm

      Thank you Fritha for stopping by. I can imagine it’s a much harder task with children! Have a great weekend.

  • Reply Alice 30th October 2015 at 5:20 pm

    I love reading your experiences of living clutter-free. It’s something I’m working on myself in a BIG way (do I really need that notebook from my old job that I left in 2009? er, no) and working through the emotional attachments I have to ‘things’ has been enlightening. I still have a way to go (your space looks dreamy) but it’s encouraging to see how this has all made you feel!

    • Candy Pop
      Reply Candy Pop 30th October 2015 at 5:40 pm

      Thank you Alice for your kind comment. For me it was a long journey but well worth the effort. I still have sentimental items and I’ll always love and buy stuff. It’s just the sheer volume has been reduced considerably!

  • Reply Lucy 30th October 2015 at 8:30 pm

    Great post. Love that you do mindfulness too! Your home looks really lovely and very un-cluttered! Inspired! 🙂

    • Candy Pop
      Reply Candy Pop 31st October 2015 at 9:32 am

      Thank you Lucy!

  • Reply Janet Foot 30th October 2015 at 11:11 pm

    Am donating a coat to my sister and am not buying (much) at the moment. Like the idea of living with less and enjoying what I have. Shopping for more can become a bad habit. Self-discipline is much more satisfying.

    • Candy Pop
      Reply Candy Pop 31st October 2015 at 9:33 am

      Thanks Janet. That sounds good to me, let’s grab a cuppa soon!

  • Reply daisy jones 31st October 2015 at 1:05 pm

    Hi Natasha

    I can perfectly understand and relate to every point you have mentioned. I am longing to be able to write the same things by the end of next year!
    Books are my problem I love them too much, how did you cope with not buying so many books (our library is dreadful and very small)
    best Ashley (aka daisy j 0 xx

    • Candy Pop
      Reply Candy Pop 31st October 2015 at 1:14 pm

      Thank you Ashley. To be honest I’ve never had many books, my problem was my vintage collection and all the ‘what if I need it one day’ items. You should keep your books if you love and use them. 🙂

      Good luck with the declutter!

  • Reply CraveCute 31st October 2015 at 7:49 pm

    I think we all go through this a bit… starting with nothing and building up ‘things’ until we are overwhelmed! … And then starting to clear away the clutter to make life easier. Sharing your journey is a perfect reminder of how ‘things’ can weigh us down literally and figuratively! I’m so glad you’re feeling light and lively now that you’ve donated most of your ‘things’! You’ve set a great example for all of us.

    • Candy Pop
      Reply Candy Pop 31st October 2015 at 8:04 pm

      Thank you so much for your kind comment. My journey began in 2011 when I moved from a 3 bed house to a 2 bed apartment. I don’t think I’ll ever collect again, downsizing was too much like hard work – haha!

  • Reply Alison 1st November 2015 at 2:29 pm

    Do you ever hire yourself out to de-clutter other people’s lives?! I am a massive hoarder and my to-do list always contains at least one room that needs to be de-cluttered. I can feel the clutter affected my mood, almost like it’s my brain that’s cluttered. I aspire to live like this!

    • Candy Pop
      Reply Candy Pop 1st November 2015 at 2:58 pm

      Thanks Alison… I’ve been asked a few times so many be should!

  • Reply Polly 1st November 2015 at 2:53 pm

    Love this! I had a HUGE declutter when we were moving house and it felt so good to get rid of stuff I don’t need/want. I’m much stricter now on what I have in my house – I’ve managed to stop buying all the quirky, vintage finds in the charity shops! Tricky to have a minimalist house with four kids… but I’m trying!

    • Candy Pop
      Reply Candy Pop 1st November 2015 at 9:15 pm

      Thanks Polly.. ‘Minimalism with Four Kids’ – that would be a great name for a blog!

  • Reply Kathryn 1st November 2015 at 6:42 pm

    I find your journey to minimalism so inspiring and I am definitely heading that way myself. The standout line for me was ‘I’ll always like nice things but I don’t feel the desire to collect things’ and I think that’s a big difference! Thanks for the tips xx

    • Candy Pop
      Reply Candy Pop 1st November 2015 at 9:18 pm

      Thank you Kat.. Good luck with your minimalist journey and see you on Tuesday! 🙂

  • Reply Lori 1st November 2015 at 7:38 pm

    Ok I’m loving the whole of this post as it’s exactly what i’m ebarking on and I’ve really been feeling the need to simplify everything. The headspace app sounds good and also I think clearing out the things that don’t give me joy is certainly my next step. x

    • Candy Pop
      Reply Candy Pop 1st November 2015 at 9:19 pm

      Thanks Lori, I can thoroughly recommend reading the Marie Kondo book. Good luck!

  • Reply Sue 2nd November 2015 at 1:26 pm

    Oh my goodness I need to see these Kate Bush moves!!
    On a more serious note though I really must read this book- I wouldn’t say I have a problem but I think I do attach a sentimentality to some things which stops me from getting rid.

    Lovely to see (find!) you on Wed night xxx

    • Candy Pop
      Reply Candy Pop 2nd November 2015 at 1:44 pm

      Thanks Susie.. We’ll have to plan a night out and I’ll show you my Kate Bush moves! Great to see you on Wednesday and I look forward to catching up again soon. 🙂

  • Reply Kate Davis 3rd November 2015 at 8:14 am

    This is a motivating post. I’ve started on a major declutter although I’ve lost momentum recently having been on holiday. I need to remember how much I’ve already cleared out because I no longer liked it or it was broken (2 bin bags of clothes and 2 boxes of books) and think how wonderful it would feel to have that replicated across the rest of the house.

    • Candy Pop
      Reply Candy Pop 4th November 2015 at 11:45 am

      Thanks so much Kate. It sounds like you’ve done really well already. It’s not an easy task, but it’s well worth the effort. Good luck!

  • Reply Lia 3rd November 2015 at 11:47 am

    Lovely pictures, just stunning! I really need to de-clutter, but mainly the kids rooms. From out of nowhere they have become hoarders – totally unlike me or my husband! Some really good points here that i’ll be referencing back to & keeping in mind.

    • Candy Pop
      Reply Candy Pop 4th November 2015 at 11:46 am

      Thanks for stopping by. Bless your children becoming hoarders – I was one too! 😉

  • Reply Jane Battey 10th February 2016 at 12:06 pm

    I have only just found you and I owe you a HUGE thanks! I was made redundant recently and have been living under a storm cloud, unable to decide what I want to do in life and gradually hating myself more and more. On a particularly bad day I found your blog and read about de-cluttering. This immediately struck a cord with me and the next morning (yesterday) i de-cluttered my wardrobe and linen closet. 3 bin bags to charity and 4 to the tip! WOW what a feeling of enlightenment!!! I am carrying on today and plan to have my whole house done over the next week. I feel so much better thanks to your easy wisdom. xx

    • Candy Pop
      Reply Candy Pop 11th February 2016 at 1:35 pm

      Thank you Jane for your kind comment. I am sorry to hear about your redundancy but so pleased to hear a declutter is helping. Some of us need to shift the excess baggage to move forward. I wish you the very best of luck – it’s certainly worth the hard work! x

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