When you are interested in moving from a messy, cluttered home to an organized minimalist one, you can find that while the spirit is willing, the flesh is weak. When you find yourself wanting to make the move to a minimalist approach to your home and your life in general, there are several ways to get inspired for large scale clean outs and for everyday habits that will help you stay tidy and organized. In this week’s blog, we’ll take a look at the Japanese inspiration that many people turn to, and we’ll go over a few of our favorite concepts and hope you find them motivational. We are Murchison-Hume, the makers of high-quality plant-based and delicious-smelling home cleaning products that work wonderfully with a minimalist, intentional household.
Japanese Organization and Intentional Living
Even before Marie Kondo took America by storm with her organizational “What sparks your joy?” purging trend, people looked to Japan for ideas for organization, minimalist style and how to live comfortably in small spaces. Marie Kondo has taught us practical ways of applying Japanese simplicity to our lives, bringing time-tested ideas to a modern world. Sorting your possessions into those that bring you joy and those that do not is a healthy way of getting rid of things that weigh you down emotionally and fill up your home with things you don’t need or want. This rejection of an all-consuming consumerism is a refreshing break from the madness of shopping and the need to have it all to be happy. By recognizing and honoring the idea that happiness does not come from a large number of things, but can be sparked by few, precious things, you can reduce your desires for things and it follows your frustration at not being able to have all you see and compulsively want. The roots of this simplicity can be found in Japanese culture and religion. Springing from Japanese cultural touchstones such as Shinto temple rituals and Buddhist concepts of non-attachment, minimalist tidying culture can have deep spiritual meaning and equal rewards. This Buddhist non-attachment is very closely related to the idea of living in the moment and with intention. By turning non-attachment into an exercise that sparks joy, this minimalist trend is a positive, warm spin on what can be seen as cold detachment. Instead of thinking you are purging your things, think that you are setting items you don’t love and use free to be used by someone else and that you are freeing yourself from possessions that don’t make you happy.
Tidy Up that Emotional Baggage
There is more to clutter than meets the eye. According to an article in The New Yorker, Jane Graves says that clutter is about memory, emotion, and sentiment. Clutter can be made up of things that remind us of our past, our loves, and our hurts. All these things reinforce who we are, or at least who we have defined ourselves to be up to this point. Clearing out your clutter can give you the chance to redefine yourself. While you are sorting through possessions, you are also sorting through your life and clearing out emotional baggage, as well as things. The KonMari method offers a way of dealing with both aspects of this cleaning by providing a touch of a ceremony. By holding every item as you go through your things, you can evaluate whether they bring you joy, and if they don’t, you get rid of them. Many of us keep things to remember the good old days and seek to hold on to that happiness by keeping piles of objects associated with that time. But it is possible to minimize the objects and keep just one or two that will do the trick. Or, you can transform the object from clutter to treasure. For instance, a drawer of concert T-shirts can be made into a quilt for a bed. You get an empty drawer and a practical item to keep and treasure. Bins of art projects by your children can be sorted and a few prize pieces pulled out and framed.
Anxiety and Clutter
Another reason people keep things is out of anxiety. If you have half a closet filled with clothes for worst case scenarios, it’s time to clean them out. This could mean clothes for a job you don’t want but might need to take, or a funeral outfit for a relative you are afraid of losing. Fear of loss and anxiety about not being able to replace certain items is a big reason people keep things they don’t need. Children or grandchildren of people who grew up during the Great Depression, or even the recession of the 1970s, will recognize the compulsive thrift that can turn your home into a museum of fear, instead of joy. Facing these ingrained, and sometimes generational, fears and habits can take time, and you may need help from a professional organizer. Clearing out your things can end up giving your not just a clean closet, but enable your to face down issues you may not have known were so powerful in your life. Embracing a minimalist house can give you the cozy home you’ve always wanted and advance your psychological growth.
When you’ve cleaned out a substantial amount of possessions, you will see that every space in your home has the potential for being beautiful and bringing you joy. From the kitchen countertops to the area under your bathroom sink, every place in your home can have an air of beauty. Our plant-based cleaning products are all-natural and free of harsh chemicals. You can get effective kitchen, bathroom, and textile cleaners in a bottle that look good even left on the counter.We design all our products to be refilled and reused and are playing our part in intentional non-accumulation. Try them today and see how great they’ll make your home look and smell and how effectively they clean!