DO YOU THINK YOU COULD BE A MINIMALIST?

Hello friends,

It’s another day, another week, and my list of things to do is a mile long.  One of which is considering if think I could be a minimalist.

Do you think you could be a minimalist

What about you?  Could you be a minimalist?

But wait, you might already be living the minimalist life already and not know it.

I know that sounds weird, but minimalism for one person could be cluttered for another.

Are you this?

Do you think you could be a minimalist

Or this?

Do you think you could be a minimalist

Neither image is correct, because what is minimal to one is not to another.

So what is Minimalism?  With reference to our environment the dictionary explains it as –

noun: minimalism

deliberate lack of decoration or adornment in style or design.

“his living room was a testament to minimalism”

 

For example, let’s look at these pictures of flowers.

Do you think you could be a minimalist   Do you think you could be a minimalist

Do you think you could be a minimalist

Do you think you could be a minimalist

 

They’re all beautiful in their own way. Colorful, simple, rich in design.  But is one more beautiful than the other to you?  Why is that?  How does it appeal to your soul, your imagery, and what about it brings you joy?

It could be that it’s a simple style – all one type of bloom, or simply one bloom.  It could be that it’s a riot of color and creativity, a wild scattering of nature, or that it simply appeals to you, deep down.

So look at them, which one tugs at your heart strings the most?  And why?

Because of that simplicity. Because of that riot of color, or because it’s a vibrant mass and you could imagine having vases just like this all around your house, not just in one place. The analogy of ‘how much’ one vase of flower/s appeals to you than another, is the key to what your ‘level’ of minimalism is.  And hey presto, you’re already a minimalist.

Perhaps you decide you like a one color effect, not necessarily a single bloom, but all the same color – monochromatic.

In design that could look like this.

Do you think you could be a minimalist

It’s not bland, not merely black and white, it’s vibrant, but it’s still minimal in that it’s based on one color – blue.  So that’s your vase of tulips above.

Then you might prefer a more boho or eclectic look

Do you think you could be a minimalist

With the orange and blues, and the wood tones, this room is more vital. It’s still minimal, but has that cozy feeling and not bland or sterile that often is associated with minimalism.  This is your posy of lillies, roses and gerberas.

So what does minimalism mean to you, and how does it look and feel?

First, let’s work out your reasons – your want and why?

Why is the need to minimalize suddenly rearing its head in your life?

There could be a multitude of reasons such as – Life is busy and you just want to calm it down visually

You can’t find stuff – you simply have TOO MUCH STUFF

You can make money from selling your stuff.  Not a bad way to downsize and minimalize

You can’t stop buying STUFF. How much stuff do you actually need?  If you love decorating your home, it’s hard not to buy the next best thing in décor, a tray, an orb, faux plants.  But at worst they are dust collectors and gobble your money up because let’s face it there’s always the next best thing around the corner.  Besides if you’re always buying stuff, how do you really get to know what your décor style really is.  This of course could attest to the clothes in our wardrobes too.

Surrounding ourselves with STUFF is often overwhelming.  Now I’m not necessarily talking about hoarder type accumulation, but if you can’t see a clear surface anywhere how can your brain/your visual sight ever get a chance to rest. There’s no visual blank space, (that’s not to say my brain doesn’t have blank spaces at times LOL)

Or at different seasons in our lives we inherit ‘stuff’ from family members, sometimes we can’t say no without offending them and so hold on to that ugly hutch we really have no place for, or it really is an inheritance when a family member passes away and you just don’t know where to put everything…until finally IT ALL GETS TOOOOOO MUCH.

So…okay, you want to get rid of stuff.  You want to try that minimalism thing.

 

But how do I know what my minimal level is?  How much is too much?  How much is too little?

Here are some ways to find out.

  • You could remove everything from the room, only putting back in things you love – slowly – a sofa/chair, a cabinet, a piece of art work. If you don’t love it, don’t keep it.

Do you think you could be a minimalist

  • Remove all the accessories and let the room breathe for a while. See if you like the ‘empty’ space, and only bring back a few things.
  • Rotate your accessories either seasonally or on a whim.

By removing everything and only putting in what you love, this process allows you time to appreciate what you have, and need, ONLY!

Another simple way of working out what you want to keep is to ask yourself some questions.

Do I like it?  

         Does it work?

Does it fit my style?

Does it fit my bank account?

Does it fit the life season I’m at right now?

 

If you like it, then it’s an obvious keeper

If it works and is necessary, again a keeper, but if it doesn’t fit your style – then donate/toss/give away/sell.

But wait, what if I don’t know my style!  Then I say refer back to the above, and empty that room and try and see if it goes with how you want your room to look.

And again if you have no idea about what you want a room/your home too look like, then hit Pinterest and start saving anything that appeals to you, that makes you say WOW. Slowly, over time you’ll get a clearer picture of what appeals to you.  It may be color, form, function, wood, metals, or a particular décor style, shabby chic, farmhouse, modern.  This knowledge will assist you in deciding what stays and what doesn’t.

Then there are the seasons of life.

At different stages in our lives, we have different needs.  20s/30s/ or so we have need for children’s toys, paraphernalia, which take up lots of room in the house.

As we age and our children too, it may be more like sports gear, camping equipment etc. and the soft toys are side-lined.

Do you think you could be a minimalist

Do you have to keep them all?  I say no!

But they’re my children’s precious things, my memories are tied up with that cute rabbit with one ear, so you keep the rabbit and everything else because they remind you of those wonderful days.  Those days, however, are stored in your memory, you don’t need the stuff to make you remember those precious moments.  How about you put half a dozen away in labelled storage and the rest you donate to a family refuge or other charity.  Or perhaps you keep a few for future grandchildren, but that’s all.  A few, not the mound that’s taking over the spare room right now.  You know it does.  You can’t ignore it, the room is bursting, and shutting the door on it doesn’t make it go away –  even though you wish it would.  Who hasn’t thought that a time or too (I see you nod your head) and I agree, been there, done that!

In our later years (okay so I’m saying kinda 60 upwards) you find that all of a sudden you want to get rid of the very things that ten years ago you thought you had to have.  Those cooking books you never look at, instead you go online, the boxes and boxes of crafts you don’t have time for, or all the books you’ve read, but kept, thinking you might read them again, but never have.

Time to get real with yourself.  Do you really want all this clutter?

You have to be honest with yourself, and unfortunately sometimes being honest like this is a tad painful and scary.  But this is how you get to decide what your ‘minimalism’ looks like.  It’s your choice.

You may decide to keep all those cushions whereas someone else can’t stand having anything on the sofa.  I’m a cushion gal, but Hubby just tosses them on the floor.  Sacrilege, I know.

You may get rid of all the vases or other ornaments in the china cabinet, and just use it to display a few artful pieces that speak joy to you.

So…what is your level of minimalism? Do you think you could be a minimalist?

Give it some time to percolate, and if uncertain, store an item, for a few weeks or months.  Do let me know in the comments below what your level of minimalism.  What can you toss, what can’t you give away ever?

Happy days

Jane

Subscribe to My Home My Sanctuary

HOW TO CREATE YOUR OWN MINI-SANCTUARY

Hello everyone,

I’m so glad you’re joining me on this journey.  How has your week been?  I bet, like most of us, you find yourselves rushing from chore to chore, job, to school, to work, to the gym (okay so maybe I don’t rush to the gym!!), but you get the idea.  We’re busy. We don’t have time for EVERYTHING. And most of all we often find we DON’T have time for ourselves.

 

Busy Moms

 

If this sounds like your life, then it’s time to create your own mini-sanctuary.

THE WHY WHAT AND WHERE

But first you need to determine the why, the what, the how and the when, so read on and let me help you work that exactly out.

 

The Why

Why do u need a mini-sanctuary?  And what does the word sanctuary mean to you?

Is it a place of respite, a place to recharge and regenerate body and soul? Quiet time.   A time that is just for you.

Solitude and Sanctuary

It is important to have a place that gives you a moment to be inspired, that gives you sustenance physically and mentally amidst the chaos of life. You, me and every other woman has commitments.  Family, children, parents who may be ageing, demands from work or even if you are retired, there are new questions.  What now? Sometimes no matter what stage of a life season we are at, we need a place of quiet from the ever present noise of life and our and our electronic world to have time to simply BE.

 

Have you ever noticed that during the day you have the tv sound up higher than at night?  At night everything seems quieter, no electrical noise, the clatter and chatter of disruptions and interruptions. And yet, by the end of the day, of doing our tasks for everyone around us, we often don’t have time to just sit and think, or what I call JUST BEING.  A quiet time to contemplate.

If you live with any of these happenings and let’s be real here, we all do in some way or another, then having a place of sanctuary and a special moment in time just for you alone, is a good enough reason in the first place.

 

The What?

First you need to evaluate what a mini-sanctuary mean to you? Not simply the idea of what it is, but what the actual physical-ness (if that is a word) does a mini-sanctuary look like to you?  This can only be answered by you.  But first you have to ask yourself a few questions.

What is it I need my sanctuary to give me?

Is it quiet time?

Is it a place to read?

A place to commune with nature? To be able to go for a walk, or exercise.

A place to just be, to luxuriate in quiet time?  Does silence equal bliss to you?

quiet time, a sanctuary

 

Many years ago I was asked the question what did I really want to do that was just for ME?  The question actually took me by surprise, I’d never thought about me time, something just for me, and didn’t really even know what I would want.  For a few moments I simply sat and thought about it.  What did I really want, what would recharge me and I would bring me joy?  Just for me.  Alone.  With no one else to consider.  Now I’m not saying we ignore our family/friends/demands on us as mothers/wives/partners, but maybe just for 15 minutes a day we can do something just for US.  A rather liberating thought, isn’t it?  Does thinking it make you feel guilty?

 

Time to get over that.  In the scheme of things, really, you know that 15 minutes a day isn’t much.  A few moments. That’s all.

Finally, after deliberation, I spoke up.  A bath I said, I want a bubble bath.

relaxing time, a bubble bath, a sanctuary

Well as soon as I was out of that appointment I got myself to the supermarket to buy some bubbles.  No expensive bubble bath, but it did smell good.  The cost of what I purchased wasn’t important.  What the deal was that I was doing something just for me…. And boy did I Iove that bubble bath, in fact I had one every night, a couple of tea light candles, bubbles, the door shut to household noise with the instructions that no one was to enter unless they were bleeding to death.

 

The morale here is that sometimes you have to think hard about what you want just for you.  It’s not easy. We’re used to putting ourselves last on the list of importance, because often as women we get out of practice of thinking about US.  It’s something I wonder is actually inbuilt in us.  Everyone else first. Ourselves lasts.  But don’t give up and think you don’t matter because you do, you are the glue to those around you.

So what would you like to do?

Have a reading spot

reading time, quiet time, sanctuary

Sit in the sun /shade outside and just listen to the birds

relaxing, sanctuary

Have that bubble bath like me.  Make it a spa time. Relax in luxurious fragrance and bubbles.

bubble bath, sanctuary, quiet time

Go a walk along the beach/Forrest path.

walking, beaches, quiet time, sanctuary

It may take you a few days to come up with some ideas.  We’re not used to thinking about alone time.  So every time you think of something you may like to do, don’t ignore it, write it down, no matter how silly it might sound. Put pen to paper.  Then, when you can get that first 15 minutes alone, re-read your list of ideas.  Evaluate them, maybe giving them a score of 1-10 – ten being the most important to you.

Silence.   Sun     Relaxing      Reading

Having a home made facial, giving yourself a manicure/pedicure.

Sewing even, or a craft piece you can pick up and put down easily.

Give every idea a value, and slowly you will see which type of ‘relaxing time’ is important to you.

 

Now we get to the next step.

 

The Where?

Once you have chosen what you want to do, the next is to decide where.

 

A reading spot

Create a little corner that’s just for you.  A comfy chair, a good reading light, maybe a cushion and pretty throw just for you.   In your bedroom, a sunroom, a corner of the home office, out on the deck/patio in this chair. A place that brings you serenity and is relaxing.  Tell the family this is your special place and when they see you in this chair then it’s your quiet time.  It may take them a little to figure this one out – you know the repeat, repeat process until they get it.  It doesn’t mean you’re not available, just not right this minute.  It’s like the Mum I need you.  Mum. Mum, they say whenever you’re on the phone.  My practice with that was to hold up my hand to them, they knew then I was aware they needed me, and if they waited a few moments I would give them all the attention in the world.  I wasn’t ignoring them, but was not available right at that minute.

 

A Bubble Bath

relax, bubble bath, sanctuary

Create a spa-like sanctuary in your bathroom.  Beautiful candles, dim the bathroom light or turn it off, add those sweet smelling bubbles to the bath. A little hint here.  You may not want to leave out all your beauties for the entire family. This is your treat, so store it in a decorative box that you bring out for your special time, as you make it your ‘event’.  Some other ideas for your spa.  A loofa, maybe even a face mask, music, and even some wine to go with those bubbles in the bath.  Then the ultimate wrap yourself up in softly luxurious bath towels as you get out, massaging fragranced bath lotion all over.

 

Nature and Quiet Time

solitude, quiet time, sanctuary, nature, walking

Actually if you really listen, nature isn’t that quiet.  It’s full of noise, animals, the wind, rain, the click click click of insects.

But if sitting or walking in nature is your idea of bliss, then create a little piece of native solitude outside.  A chair, maybe a cushion and throw (yes you can tell I’m a cushion gal), a pair of sunglasses and a coffee or cold drink, heck why not a glass of chilled wine.  Now sit and listen.  Let nature wash through you, revive you and reveal its wonder, because it is such a beautiful thing.  Can you hear the wind rustling through the leaves, the grass, the bees buzzing to garner the nectar from the flowers?  Relax and enjoy this moment because it’s just for you.

 

I’ll leave you with a few sayings about relaxation:

 

“Sometimes the most productive thing you can do is relax.”   Mark Black

 

“The time to relax is when you don’t have time for it.”    Jim Goodwin

 

“Relaxation means releasing all concern and tension and letting the natural order of life flow through one’s being.”   Donald Curtis

 

“Learn to relax. Your body is precious, as it houses your mind and spirit. Inner peace begins with a relaxed body.”   Norman Vincent Peale

 

“Put duties aside at least an hour before bed and perform soothing, quiet activities that will help you relax.”   Dianne Hales

 

“Tension is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you are.”    Chinese Proverb

 

“Taking time out each day to relax and renew is essential to living well.”   Judith Hanson Lasater

 

And this one reiterates exactly why YOU should create that mini-sanctuary and moment each day, just for you.

 

“When was the last time you spent a quiet moment just doing nothing – just sitting and looking at the sea, or watching the wind blowing the tree limbs, or waves rippling on a pond, a flickering candle or children playing in the park?”     Ralph Marston

 

 

Remember, be kind to YOU and make time for that mini-sanctuary – but most importantly, make sure you use it because you deserve it.

I would love to hear about your sanctuary spot.  What is it? Where is it?  How did you create it?  Comment below.

 

Happy days

Jane xxx

PS: thanks to my daughter Yana for being my photo model!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WHY I WANT TO BLOG

Life Seasons, Blog Journey

Hello there,   

 

 

 

 

I’m so pleased you joined me today, a rather auspicious day as it’s my first blog post.  As a wife, mother, employee (I work night shifts), homemaker and general try-to-do-it-all gal, you’re probably wondering why I want to blog.

Life Seasons, Blog Journey

Well, I could say it’s just because… because it’s a creative outlet.  I was a fiction author for nearly 20 years, but as the years crept by and particularly as life threw hard stuff at me, the death of my mother, realizing I’m getting older (okay, so I know that’s inevitable but you get it.) it also made me think about what I wanted to achieve over the next 20-30 years or so that I have left, or how I wanted to live my life.  With fiction writing and publishing there are deadlines, stress, always the thought of the next book etc., and I decided I didn’t want that stress any more. Oh, I still plod along and write a bit, but my butt no longer sits at the computer from 9-3 daily plodding away.  I started thinking about life’s seasons and this particular season – empty nest – well for about six months only – till a daughter moved back home.  Along with my eldest moving back home, I’ve a husband who has just retired, another daughter who has made us grandparents and all that involves, plus I want to get out and about, do things, see things.  So this is my next season in life.

One of the things I absolutely love is decorating, and not with tons of dollars, but simply pottering about tweaking things, moving them around (cue family rolling their eyes at me – SHE’S AT IT AGAIN!).  I love to try and organize and always say I’m a would be perfectionist who doesn’t quite get it right.

And that of course brings me to that other realisation.  Okay, I turned 60 this year.

A rather daunting celebration as I wonder where the years have gone, but it also made me question things.  As I said to my sister ‘you’d think at this age, we’d have our stuff (or crap) together by now.

Like weight wouldn’t bother me.

Like I’d be better organized, budgeter, fitter, healthier, dress better, and all those things that go through my mind as I look at my most recent wrinkle in the mirror.

But no it seems life is playing a trick on me, it doesn’t happen like that, or please don’t tell me I’m wrong and it’s only me that feels like the roller coaster is still full throttle.

But one thing that age does give us, is the understanding that ‘’so what?”  So what if we’re a bit overweight, so what if we’re not very organized, so what if we went out with a hem held up by staples or cellotape, so darn what!  It doesn’t matter.

Life Seasons, Adventures,

What matters is that we enjoy life.  That life has seasons and we realize we can make those things better – if we want to, and only if we want to.  We should be happy being who we are, how we are.  I’m not saying there’s always room for improvement, but what I am saying is that we don’t need to be perfect, because we ARE PERFECT just the way we are.  Right now.  Not when we’ve lost 20lbs, or colored all the gray in our hair.  And speaking of which I’m letting all the color grow out, so right now I’m a motley red and gray combo.  I’ve even had a compliment on it LOL.

So whatever your season of life, whether it’s in your 20s and starting out on your career, or in your 30s and playing wife, mom, single parent, along with the hectic career, or the kids have grown a bit – more independent now and then there’s the empty nest (a whole other blog post), right now, today is perfect, you are perfect. I am perfect – well mostly LOL.  We may want change, and that’s okay, good even, but don’t think we’re any less than we are because we NEED to FIX SOMETHING.

I’ve decided to choose things that I’d like to change.  To pick one at a time, but not put extra stress on myself. And to be kind. Love myself.  You should too.  We should all give ourselves a hug every day.  Say kind words to ourselves, not belittling ones, and then embark on the journey WE want, doing the things WE WANT TO DO.

And that’s what this blog is going to be all about.

HOME, FAMILY, DECORATING, ORGANIZING, INTERESTING INTERVIEWS WITH WOMEN FROM ALL WALKS OF LIFE, AND JUST GOOD OLD LIFE STUFF.

Join me on the journey and subscribe to my email list, you’ll get a blog post twice a week, it’ll be a fun and adventurous ride .

 

Happy days

Jane

Subscribe to My Home My Sanctuary

COMING THIS WEEK

Yes, it’s finally time to go live.

Coming this week is the first posts for this blog adventure of mine.  Please join me, and let’s get adventuring and living life’s seasons together

 

 

See you Tuesday!

Jane.