Updated: Feb 27, 2019
Simple styles are having a huge moment right now in fashion and home decorating. Minimalism isn’t new though. In fact, there’s a long history of this style in both Japanese and Norwegian cultures.
“What these two styles have in common is timelessness and simplicity: Clean, complementary lines that are sculpted with architectural flare.” Glenda Reid, the manager and buyer of OSKA in Vancouver says. “The contrasts come from a neutral palate against dashes of colour, textured monochromatic fabrics blended with abstract prints.”
During some relaxation time with my daughter Leigha, she popped on the Netflix hit, “Tidying up with Marie Kondo”, a show that follows the Japanese organizing guru as she declutters lives, one home at a time. She looks sweet in her playful skirts, adorable bangs and red lipstick. However, this 4’ 7” powerhouse means business. She comes into homes with her translator and kicks clutter’s butt! Her simple strategy: If you keep it, organize it. If you give it away, she blesses it, YES A BLESSING, and creates a donation pile. At the end of the show, you appreciate the clean space and admire how such a small lady can whip an entire family into shape, all while maintaining her charming smile. I follow Marie Kondo’s inspiring philosophy of living simply with less clutter.
We can all relate to the organizational challenges of these TV families. Do you find yourself trying to tackle a messy closet, only to get one hour in and find that it seems messier than when you began? Not fun.
Living simply with less clutter can be freeing. Try these four tips that really work for me:
1). “Give away one item each day.” That’s what Colleen Madsen at 365 Less Things suggests. Colleen gives away one item each day. Over the past several years, she’s experienced quite a transformation.
2). Joshua Becker, author of The More Of Less shares this: “Fill one trash bag. Early in our journey towards simplicity, one of my favourite decluttering techniques was to grab a simple large trash bag and see how quickly I could fill it. While much of what I collected was trash, this could also be used to fill a bag for Goodwill.”
3). “Make a list.” Dana Byers recommends creating a list of areas in your home to declutter, beginning with the easiest. “When you’re done with one area, STOP.” You could start with kitchen drawers and move on to your bedroom armoire!
4). Joshua Becker says, “Take the 12-12-12 Challenge. A simple task of locating 12 items to throw away, 12 items to donate and 12 items to be returned to their proper home can be a really fun and exciting way to quickly organize 36 things in your house. On more than one occasion this challenge actually became a quick competition between my wife and me… and your kids don’t have to be too old to participate as well.”
I practice these four rules and my home feels serene. It centres me. I do believe that the wonderful staff at Value Village might know me by name since I drop off donation bags so frequently. Frank: “Back again, eh?” We smile as I drive away, confident we will see each other again soon.
After the holidays, I decided to do some more decluttering. When we removed the tree, I didn’t bring all the furniture back into the living room. By removing a small couch and replacing it with a sleek, cork coloured armchair, the room suddenly had a calmer feel to it. With my fur throw placed over the edge of the chair, it is idyllic. This simplistic design is a compliment to the Norwegian aesthetic of the space. In a world of chaos, this room gives me tranquility.
Don’t you deserve that?
This chair is where you’ll find me with my tabby cat, Nike curled up on my legs.
I find it quite amazing how rearranging furniture and using less, completely changed the vibe of this room.
The Norwegians have been practicing the living simply philosophy for centuries and the Scandinavian
Hygge, pronounced hue-gah, movement that is sweeping North America, is life changing. Everyone can adopt this way of life. Just be more selective about what you buy and repurpose what you already have.
Marie Kondo and the Norwegians really do have something to show us all.
Live simple, love your space.