Using minimalism to declutter your mind

At the risk of repeating myself – I hate clutter and mess! 

As I’ve mentioned, I believe clutter and mess can have a significantly negative impact on someone’s wellbeing and mental state. Some of the impacts I’ve noticed on my cognitive functioning are; reduced concentration, increased agitation, reduced clarity of thinking, increased mistakes or misunderstanding and a reduced ability to make decisions or come up with new ideas by thinking creatively. These are all pretty major things and elements that impact all aspects of my life, not just work but that is a big thing for me as a homeworker.

I believe for a lot of people a cluttered environment means a clutter mind. So it can be really helpful to just reduce the number of stimuli in your home, too much “stuff” leads to your mind having too many things to process. If you own less “stuff” it can lead to greater value for the things that you do have and can clear your mind to allow more space to really fully experience the few things that you do own.

So what design style can help with this, hmmmm, well if you’ve read the title of this post that’s a pretty easy question to answer – minimalism! Minimalism is a perfect example of where function meets style – every piece of furniture has a purpose but it’s also simply yet beautifully designed. The use of colour in minimalism is very simple; few colours are used and it’s most common to see whites, blacks and greys with maybe one pop of colour used as an accent colour but often it’s a muted tone rather than a bright neon colour. The minimalist style loves clean geometric shapes and patterns to add simple style and interest. Fussy or busy patterns, for instance spiral or floral patterns are avoided. Light is also a huge factor of minimalism which is probably why white is so often used as the primary colour for a minimalist space.

One of the biggest challenges when designing a minimalist home, especially if you’re not a hugely confident stylist, is avoiding making a home which rather than feeling serene actually just feels cold. This is such a common pitfall and can be frustrating, so unless minimalism is executed correctly it’s very unlikely you’ll get that sense of calm. One of the ways to try and tackle this is in the use of soft furnishings and natural wood to add a sense of warmth. Using fabrics and faux fur as cushions, pillows, rugs or throws can really help to soften the feel of your minimalist room. 

Another element that can add that sense of warmth is by adding some greenery. Now, if you go too heavy on the greenery your style might edge more towards Scandinavian/bohemian which is not an issue at all but just possibly not what you had intended. Therefore, the way I find it useful to think about placing greenery in a minimalist room is to consider where your focal point is and if you were to take a picture with the focal point in the middle of your image, you could safely have one green plant of any size in that picture frame. You may also be able to put additional green plants in other parts of the room outside of that picture frame but try to avoid too much crowding of greenery in one area to maintain your minimalist feel.

The reason minimalism is such a great way to reduce chatter in your mind is because, done properly, it’s a lifestyle not just an interior style. The act of clearing out things and not having lots of possessions you don’t need can be very freeing! To fully commit to this lifestyle you commit to living a simpler life and are likely to be successful if you’re mantra is to want for less and to cherish the things you do have rather than accumulate more and more things. The end result can be that you have less decisions to make, given you own less, and this can have hugely beneficial impacts on your wellbeing and bring about a constant state of acceptance and serenity.

Now, I’m definitely not saying that I live a minimalist lifestyle! However, I do love the mindfulness element of minimalism and the mantra of not always wanting for more but rather living in a world of abundance where you cherish the things you already have. I also love the indirect result of reducing my possessions, which is that I can give good quality items, which I have looked after and enjoyed, to charity so that not only can the charity make money from the item but the item can also give joy to whoever goes on to purchase it.

My home will never be totally minimalist I don’t think but I will endeavour to work more towards that style by giving items to charity that I don’t need or use enough to warrant owning or even just things which I have grown out of and need to give away to make room for new items more in keeping with my new interior style. And one of my great motivations for doing this is to use minimalism to clear my headspace a bit, at the moment it’s not significantly cluttered but it’s more cluttered than I’d like so a little injection of the minimalist design and lifestyle could go a long way in helping me add some more serenity to my mind.

How minimalist is your home? Do you live a minimalist lifestyle? Would you like help creating a more minimalist style in your home? Let me know in the comments!

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