Could you make an Elon Musk and get rid of most of your physical possessions? The Tesla CEO may currently be ranked by Forbes as the richest person in the world, but he’s made his home in a tiny, rented, prefabricated house in Boca Chica, Texas.
usk has promised to sell almost everything it owned last year, including six mansions in California, which is just as good as its new dig is only around 400 square feet.
As the billionaire took these dramatic steps to fund his goal of colonizing the planet Mars, more and more people are joining the minimalism movement, which began as an art movement in the 1960s.
It has now become a lifestyle focused on decluttering and buying only what you enjoy and use. This lifestyle may be unimaginable for many of us, as we are bombarded with incentives to keep buying.
That’s why those of us whose wardrobes are chock-full of mostly never-worn clothes will envy Fiona Hall’s clean-lined collection of clothing. For example, she only has two pairs of jeans, two coats and eight pairs of shoes, although this was not always the case.
“I’m 50 now, and when I was younger I would have done a lot of shopping,” she says. “I was shopping for new tops and outfits every week in my 20s, and there was a lot of big shopping. I bought clothes for the life I thought I had, as opposed to the one I was living.
Fiona converted to a psychotherapist at 39 and says it has helped her become more aware of what brings joy and makes her happy. She slowly realized that there are other ways to find happiness.
“I had to wonder if I was filling my wardrobe to make myself feel like I had enough or because I liked all of these things, or if they were a distraction when I was having a hard time,” she says. “Buying things may make you happy for a day or two, but it won’t change how you think about yourself. Once the “high of buy” wears off, you realize that nothing has really changed in your life other than having to store even more stuff. “
Like her wardrobe, Fiona’s home is very tidy and uncluttered, and she can tell you the provenance of every item in it. She now buys from charity shops and thinks a lot about what she acquires.
She’s a mom to 11-year-old twins Oscar and Martha, and says there’s a place for everything so the toys can be quickly returned there when the play is over for the day.
Fiona also encourages family and friends to give experiences to children as gifts, whenever possible. She inspires her Instagram followers with her tips on cleaning, storage and display (@conscious clearing) and now works with people to declutter their own homes.
She thinks spending money on things like meeting a friend for lunch is great because it helps bond more with others rather than filling your closets with stuff.
“You won’t remember the things you bought, but you will remember laughing with a friend,” she says. “Decluttering is the ultimate act of taking care of yourself, because being able to come home to a nice and calm environment can reduce your stress and anxiety levels. There must be some coziness in your house, sure, but I don’t believe there are things out there that you don’t like or need just because someone is you. gave them.
Melissa Hodson is also a fan of the clean, clean aesthetic and lives in Lucan with her husband Mark and their children Aodbha (20), Pearse (16) and Orlaith (12). “I hate clutter,” Melissa admits, adding that she has always been a fan of the organization.
The family recently emptied their attic to make an extra bedroom and took the opportunity to get rid of a lot of their belongings. They have taken items to landfill or recycling, donated other items to charity, and even sold some items through advertisements or on the Facebook Marketplace.
As a bonus, the children were able to keep the money they earned from the goods they sold and buy new furniture and items for their bedrooms there.
“The feeling when it was all gone was great,” says Melissa. “We do a clean up every Saturday and it’s all on deck, but it’s a lot easier to do when you have less stuff and it’s a lot better for your head too. “
While former stylist Kim Gray has always been organized, she credits her transition to a more minimalist space to her move to Ireland from South Africa and following more European instagram accounts.
Kim is a mom to Harry (7) and three-year-old triplets Ben, Oliver and Joy, and is striving to consciously and sustainably buy now compared to her 20s when she admits she liked the ‘stuff’. Followers of her Instagram account (@kimgraylifestyle) will know her home is organized in a neutral and natural palette, which even extends to her children’s clothes and bedrooms.
Most parents would struggle to keep things clutter-free with four young children at home, so how does it work when relatives and friends come with plastic gifts?
“I tend to ask people to partner up on birthdays when they ask, so the kids get a nice big gift rather than a lot of little things,” Kim explains. “Family members abroad often organize a voucher so that I can also get the things we need instead of collecting more things. It has worked well so far and I can see with my kids how “less is more” quite simply works. “
Kim says fewer toys mean an easier bedtime routine and fewer distractions, more – an added bonus – less storage. A large open space in the family living / dining area attracts children to play naturally, and less clothing for everyone helps with fatigue-making. Kim strongly believes that having a quiet space with plants and beautiful diffuses of oils helps to minimize mental clutter.
Being organized is also very important to her. “I feel all over the show when the house is a mess,” she admits. “My husband and I tend to prepare for the next day the night before by having clothes ready for the kids and the kitchen clean and ready to go. When my space is clean, so is my head, and I can roll around in my day.
Emma Gleeson became passionate about getting into a slower pace of shopping and living after writing a master’s thesis in 2011 on fast fashion and the psychology of over-shopping.
“Before that, I was definitely someone who had a lot of stuff and went shopping when she was feeling sad,” she says. “I only felt relief and lightness when I started to be more aware of my purchases. I love things but I am aware of how they come into my life and how they are cared for, and I am responsible when I pass them on.
These days Emma is helping others declutter her business, Give Up Yer Aul Tings, and says the urge to keep buying comes from all sides, including advertising, social media, pressure. of peers and the cheapness and availability of products.
“The desire to have and accumulate the ‘good’ things is a source of anxiety for a lot of people,” she says. And the “good” things, especially with clothes, are changing at lightning speed. “
Emma only buys what really adds value to her life, as opposed to acquiring a flow of meaningless items, and says less free space is taken with a constant ‘clutter administrator’ like donations and storage solutions.
“It’s not just about less waste, it’s about a better quality of life,” she stresses. “There’s a lot less time spent tidying up and your home is easier to manage when you have exactly what you need and nothing more. “