I would like to introduce you to Sophie, who has kindly offered to share some images of her charming home with us:
Hello, I’m Sophie. I’m a jewellery designer and minimal lifestyle blogger based in Birmingham, UK where I live with my husband, Jack, a food photographer, our pets and an apartment full of plants. You can read my blog, The Private Life of a Girl about life, style, and minimalism, or say hello on Twitter and Instagram.
What square footage do you have in your home?
I’m not entirely sure but it’s around 1000 sq ft, give or take a little. We recently upsized from 500 sq ft so it feels like a palace to us – there’s so much space! Our apartment is in a Grade II listed Victorian building renovated to modern standards with wonderful original feature windows.
How many people live in your home?
Just the two of us; myself and my husband Jack, and our pet guinea pigs.
What was your motivation for embracing simplicity in your life?
I’ve always been someone who found decluttering my possessions to be therapeutic. I never had an overwhelming amount of belongings yet I noticed I was in a consumerist cycle of buying, decluttering, and then buying more. It made me want to reevaluate what was important in my life. When I moved 200-miles to live with Jack, I had no option but to drastically downsize. I realised the majority of what I owned was insignificant, I’d wasted so much money buying it all. During the moving process I realised I was much more content with owning less; I stopped buying what I didn’t need and starting asking myself questions about what I wanted from life. After the move I started to really dig into simple living and minimalism as a lifestyle. That was over three years ago and now it’s a huge part of my life.
How has minimizing your possessions made your life better?
I’m much more content and confident. I’ve identified what I want from life, what makes me happy and fulfilled. I have more time for the people and things I love, and less time is taken up with worry and anxiety. I have more space in my home because I’m not filling it with things I don’t need or won’t use.
What was your biggest challenge in the middle of decluttering?
Books. They are the only thing I am sentimentally attached to; it’s taken me years to whittle it down into a single three shelf bookcase housing the books I truly cherish. Another common sticking point in the decluttering process I experienced is other people’s reluctance to let you get rid of things. Sometimes it can be a struggle explaining to others why you don’t want to keep certain belongings.
Did you involve your family or were you on your own?
It was mostly a solo experience. However, when you live with someone respect and understanding goes a long way. Jack has a tendency to hold onto things we don’t need but he understands why I feel compelled to get rid of the excess in our lives; he recognises the benefit of getting rid of the stuff we don’t need even if it takes a little convincing at first, and he appreciates how it makes our home more comfortable to live in.
What unexpected reactions did you get from friends or family seen your new way to cluttered home?
Our friends and family just think we’re very tidy people who don’t own a great deal and have a pretty apartment because of it! On a couple of occasions we’ve had to explain why we don’t do things in a traditional way or own certain items; everyone we know is accepting of our way of doing things, even if we do occasionally get a funny look in jest.
Everyone’s way of embracing minimalism is different and that is very important to remember. When you are thinking about becoming minimalist, the whole point of it is to keep true to your authentic self. What is important to you, the things you enjoy and the life you want to live. I’m excited to share some real life examples of what minimalism looks like in different homes around the world. If you would like to share a tour of your home, please contact me here with “HOME TOUR” in the subject line.