It is my pleasure to introduce you to Olivia, who has kindly offered to share some images of her home with us:
My name is Olivia and I live in Australia with my husband and two children. I am a qualified Naturopath and Nutritionist and stay at home mum. I am the blogger behind Every Day Begins New where I write about Simplifying, Plant-based living, and Montessori.
We are a family of four currently renting a three bedroom town house with a small courtyard.
What was your motivation for embracing simplicity in your life?
I wanted my children to have a more peaceful, simplified childhood. As a family, we strive for a more simplistic, more mindful, slower life with more quality time together, freedom and connection. To live more intentionally according to our beliefs and values. A life filled with more purpose and joy and less busyness, chaos, clutter and overwhelm. A simplified home and life.
How has minimizing your possessions made your life better?
Simplifying has definitely made way for a more calmer, peaceful and better-organised home. For me, simplifying has minimised decision making, made overall cleaning and as I like to say ‘re-setting our spaces’ at the end of the day so much easier as we have a lot less to maintain and take care of.
What was your biggest challenge in the middle of decluttering?
I had to learn to not just de-clutter but to de-own. I was constantly attempting to declutter or trying to find clever storage solutions for our items which just wasn’t working for us. I then found to remove those items we no longer wanted or needed took time as I wanted to ensure that they went to the right place, not end up dumped into the landfill. A good life lesson learned is to a be a more conscious consumer.
Did you involve your family or were you on your own?
Initially, I started with my own things and overtime worked on other areas of our home like the bathroom, kitchen, linen cupboard etc. I had already made so many changes a couple of years ago very much inspired by the Zero Waste movement but there was still lots of room for improvement. I did however not remove any of my husband or my children’s things without permission. I just aim to lead by example and have lots of open conversations about what I am doing and why I am doing this. They have all been able to see the benefits over time. Both of my children are also fortunate to attend a Montessori school and their classroom environments are always visually calm, peaceful, orderly and beautiful so It’s nice to be able to provide a home environment with these same principles in mind.
What unexpected reactions did you get from friends or family who have seen your new way to an uncluttered home?
I grew up in a simplified home, that was well maintained and with very little clutter. I, however, went through stages growing up where I was not interested nor focused on keeping my spaces, especially my bedroom particularly tidy and that did, unfortunately, continue on into adulthood for a while, so I think my family has been pleasantly surprised by the changes I have made over the years. I am far from perfect but choose to focus my energy on ‘progress not perfection’. My friends and I do try to motivate and encourage each other as many of them are on a similar path and are trying to simplify as well.
How did you apply simplicity to your hobbies/family activities?
Family time is important to us, so we do what we can to have quality time together and simplifying our schedules is one way we have been able to do this. Most of our family activities cost little-to-nothing, from time with family and friends, nature walks, park plays, picnics, free family events, and shows or simply spending time at home together. We are also fortunate to be given on occasion free annual passes from family members (usually for Birthdays or Christmas) to places such as animal sanctuaries and Science Centres.
Two articles of Olivia’s that I think you should read:
Would you like to participate?
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 email me with “HOME TOUR” in the subject line.