I have known for a long time that I would like my life to feel simpler, and to be more balanced. As the world draws its breath this September, following over 18 months of upheaval and discord, I know that the simpler days since the pandemic started have been some of my happiest.
Part of this desire for simplicity comes from wanting to edit my life in such a way that I feel a more even balance of work, home, family, self-care, spirituality and admin. The more time I have to get to connect to the things that really matter, the happier I am.
‘My goal is no longer to get more done, but rather to have less to do,’ wrote Francine Jay in her book Miss Minimalist: Inspiration to Downsize, Declutter, and Simplify. Minimalism and simplicity seem to be two words we hear a lot at the moment as we finally begin to understand some of the ways that less is more, fuelled in part by the stripped-back existence many of us experienced this year.
For my part, I find myself increasingly relishing solitude, or enjoying the easy simplicity of a meal cooked from foraged ingredients – an approach to a simpler life that Emma Johnson explores this issue. I also find that in emptying my home of some of the clutter, the space that is left behind is more than just physical. A sense of balance, which comes from being able to turn my attention more to the people and the things I love, than to tidying, sorting, buying and consuming.
In thinking about the relationship between physical things and metaphorical space, Claudia Askew looks at the key tenets of minimalism, and how this approach to curating your living space with more intention can help in more ways than one. Meanwhile, Suzy Reading considers the benefit of emotional decluttering, and Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus, the team behind The Minimalists, share an extract from their new book Love People, Use Things.
Taking simplicity further, Saasha Celestial-One, the founder of food sharing app Olio, speaks to Kintsugi about cutting her monthly expenditure in half and the freedom she has found in needing less. We also think about fasting, round up the ten things you can benefit from having less of and discover how you can pare back your beauty regime to just the essentials.
I was also really excited to hear from writer and women’s advocate Maisie Hill, as she talked to us about understanding our hormones better and finding a much-needed balance in trusting our bodies and going with the seasons of our cycles.
It’s exactly this kind of thinking that has introduced more balance and simplicity into my life, and I find myself much better able to instinctively understand what’s best for me each day. I hope this issue also offers a sense of space and equilibrium.