Accidental Minimalism

Posted by Emma McKenzie on Feb 25, 2017 4:32:19 AM

Until I decided to pack my life’s belongings into a backpack and move to Vancouver to work, the idea of living with less had never occurred to me.

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For a girl who loves to collect shoes and clothing it was a moment of pure distress. How was I going to decide what was important and what I could live without? The ultimatum: if it was to come with me, I’d have to carry it on my back. One month and 16kgs of excessively contemplated luggage later, I’d happily backpacked around Japan before settling in an apartment in downtown Vancouver. It was here that I consciously made the decision to continue living with less.

It really wasn’t that difficult. My bachelor suite living quarters could be likened to a shoebox. The kitchen was in the living room, combined with the bedroom – and storage was scarce. There just wasn’t the space to fill with items reserved for use once or twice in a blue moon.

Almost a year on, admittedly, I have accumulated some extras here and there, but now I’m more selective with my purchases. Posing the question, “do I really need this”, helps to keep stockpiling at bay.

What have I learned from living with less? Apart from liberating myself of mess and clutter, I am no longer consumed by the idea of shopping for possessions. I spend more time actually pursuing activities and creating experiences that make me a happier, more enriched person. It’s amazing what gems you find on Vancouver’s doorstep when you can muster up the strength to look beyond the sale at Top Shop…

Marketing & Design, Harcourts



Topics: Canada, Apartment, Condo, Travel, Living with less

Tips2.jpg Have a dedicated office space

Office-Home.jpgIt is very important to designate one room (or even a large closet) as your office. This space should have enough room for your desk and a cabinet, it should be quiet, comfortable, and if possible separate from the rest of the house. If you live in a small place try to dedicate a quiet area where you can have your desk. Whatever your office looks like, make sure the only thing that happens in that space is work.

♦ Treat your work day as a work day

The first few hours of the work day can have a significant effect on your level of productivity. This means getting up early, showered, and dressed like you’re going to the office. It doesn’t have to be a suit and tie or a pencil skirt – that’s one of the benefits of working from home, after all – but getting cleaned up and dressed makes it easier to stay “work-minded” all day.

Take Breaks

Take-break.jpgTaking breaks can be a great boost to your productivity. Take fifteen minutes each morning and afternoon, and be sure to take a lunch break. It helps you to be efficient and productive as well as keeping your day structure. A great Mac app called Breaktime can help you schedule your breaks.



Make your home office efficient but also pleasing

Tidy-Office.jpgYou’re going to spend a lot of time in your office, make it an enjoyable place to be. When it comes to paperwork, you want to keep your business and personal things separate. It is easy to keep your personal documents such as, birth certificates, mortgages records, bank statements, etc, in the same room as their business files. Be careful not to get the two mixed up or misplace client information. Maintain your desk free of clutter.

 Adopt a system you trust

It’s easy to get distracted at home. One way to help you understand your productivity level is to start tracking the time you spend at the task at hand. Create a work-sheet where you can enter the task, task description and time spent on that specific item. Creating a system will make your work-day more efficient and productive.