Minimalism 

I recently watched the Minimalism documentary over on Netflix. Since watching it I’ve been following The Minimalists over on Instagram and gathering pearls of wisdom!

I don’t want to live in a blank space but I’m aware that I have a lot of superfluous “stuff”. This stuff actually adds stress and pressure to my life because it’s more stuff to clean/look after/feel guilty about getting rid of because I hate waste!

I love the idea of streamlining and only having things I get value from in my home. Things I use/wear or things that bring me happiness. The following quote pretty much sums this up for me…

“Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful”

William Morris

I’ve already made a start on minimalism. Whenever I see something I want to buy, I’m asking myself more questions. Do I “need” it/is it useful? Do I really love it? Will it last? Where will it go? Is it worth it?

It’s amazing how quickly you can put yourself off spending money!

I really want to pay the Minimalism game but life is rather busy at the moment and just the thought of it overwhelms me! So in the meantime I’ve decided to just set myself some mini challenges until I have time for full house minimalisation! (I’m just making up words now…).

So I decided to start with something simple. Mugs!

Who needs 28 mugs? Certainly not someone who doesn’t drink tea or coffee! But I do get a huge amount of pleasure from making myself a hot chocolate in one of my favourite mugs. It’s my little treat in the afternoon when I’m working from home.

I thought mugs would be easy to sort – but where do we draw the line between how many you need (probably one each realistically) and how many you love (approximately 28 apparently).

Rather than deciding which mugs to get rid of – Beardie and I decided to approach it differently and just choose five mugs each which we wanted to keep. I started by removing these three lovelies from the choice because I will use these as candle holders/small vases/plant pots (which will be minimalised another time!)

And then we chose our five each….which ended up as seven and a half each because we wanted to keep a couple of “builders” mugs that we wouldn’t be upset about if they get broken, and we couldn’t bring ourselves to break up pairs of mugs!

Despite a bit of cheating – it felt like a good first step and pretty satisfying to get rid of ten mugs we don’t use!

Is anyone interested in playing the Minimalism game with me later this year?!

Spring Cleaning (my goals!)

DaffsSpring and Autumn are definitely my favourite seasons so I’m in my element at the moment. The daffs are blooming, the cats are managing to get out and run around (Noodle is scared of weather) and Monty Don is back on the telly!

I know it’s only March, but I thought it would be a good time to look back at the goals I set myself in January. I actually think that spring is a much better time to set goals, think ahead and get focussed – so it’s a good time to re-check my list!

I only set myself a few goals for the year and they were-

  1. Allow myself more time to wind down in the evenings so I sleep better. No working after dinner (unless I have a deadline!), no looking at my phone after 10pm.
  2. Divide projects up into categories (ie – garment knitting, gift knitting, decorating & DIY, sewing, quilting) and only have one project on the go per category. Focus!
  3. Give myself a holiday allocation and try not to feel guilty about having days off.

Number one and three are going okay, but they are things that I always need to remind myself of. Getting enough sleep and taking time out is essential for all of us!

Number two is where I really need to do some spring cleaning. I have added a few categories to the list, but I think they’re all essential! What do you think?

One: Garment knitting (ie, garments for me).

I’m doing really well with this one! I’m sticking to one garment at a time, which means that I finished knitting Wave and I’m well on my way towards finishing Brona. I’m not always in the mood for knitting dark blue fluffy 4ply so Brona is going a bit slowly as I keep drifting off to other categories. But hopefully I’ll be showing you the finished jumper soon.

Two: DIY

Again I’ve been pretty focussed with this one. I’m decorating the bathroom at the moment and I just need to make some hooks and a new shelving unit then I can move onto the next project – putting up shelves for yarn storage wherever there is wall space!

Three: Sewing

This category is currently dormant! I got as far as tracing and cutting pattern pieces for my Merchant & Mills coat, but haven’t taken scissors to fabric yet.

Four: Quilting

I started a new patchwork cushion! It’s looking rather wibbly and has come to a bit of a standstill, but it’s lovely to do when I want a rest from knitting Brona. I’ll show you when it’s finished!

Five: Crochet

I didn’t put this on my original list of categories but I think it’s acceptable to have some crochet on the go alongside knitting? I crocheted and felted a bathmat for my newly decorated bathroom and I’m thinking about starting a chevron blanket.

Six: Gardening

This really needs to be separate to DIY doesn’t it? I can’t really plan that many projects for the garden because the garden dictates what needs to be done. Monty Don said something about a garden not being a place – it’s a journey. I think he means it’s not something that you can finish, it will always be travelling/changing. This is the beauty of gardening – there is always something new to enjoy! My big garden project this summer will be to build a raised seating area with steps – I’m really excited to get started!

Seven: Gifts

In theory, this could fit in with some of the categories above – but I decided it needs to be separate! I just found out that both my partner’s sister and a close friend are expecting babies in September, so baby knitting is on!

So that’s my categories spring cleaned! If you catch me working on more than one project per category at a time, or trying to add in a cheeky extra category – please feel free to reprimand me (work knitting doesn’t count by the way!).

Do your new year goals need a spring clean? x