“…To find the air and the water exhilarating; To be refreshed by a morning walk or an evening saunter; To find a quest of wild berries more satisfying than a gift of tropical fruit; To be thrilled by the stars at night; to be elated over a bird’s nest or a wild-flower in spring — these are some of the rewards of the simple life.” – John Burroughs
We’re one week in to spring’s embrace, and although Vancouver’s beautiful blossoms have not shown themselves in regular late-March fashion, you may be feeling some familiar patterns and inclinations emerging. Have you felt the urge to do some spring cleaning? I know that for whatever reason, I always seem to want to go through each and every one of my belongings at this time of year and get rid of what’s not working for me. I rearrange furniture, hang new things on the walls and do a deep clean of my kitchen and bathroom. Although this ritual can take be quite time consuming, doing so always leaves me feeling refreshed, organised, and inspired. Having a clean, simple home that is arranged mindfully can ease worries and stress. Arranging and living in our homes with mindfulness can be an act of self-care.
I recently stumbled upon Erin Boyle’s blog, Reading My Tea Leaves. Boyle writes regularly about living simply in her small apartment in Brooklyn with her two children and husband. I bought her book, Simple Matters, after devouring several posts and deciding to use some of her tips in my own apartment.
Living with Less and Ending Up with More
The book is filled with tips and thoughts on how to simplify our homes and our habits. Boyle advises readers to be conscious of what they bring in to their homes, so clutter and garbage do not accumulate. While Boyle does not provide instructions that are as simple as Marie Kondo’s, she appeals to readers who like to think about the many ways they can live their lives in mindfully and simply.
Here are some of Erin Boyle’s tips for a thriving, simple life.
Grow Something. “…a houseplant collection can be just what a home needs to feel alive…”
Practice Self-Care. “I don’t eschew modern medicines, but I do relish the ability to calm my nerves with a hot pot of tea.”
Make It Smell Good. “Every spring I buy a bunch of hyacinths, and every spring I have to open the windows and air the place out afterward.”
Explore “After you do the work of making your home a sanctuary, get yourself out of it again.”
Have you felt the urge to do some spring cleaning? We’d love to hear from you!
P.S. – Erin Boyle’s most recent post is all about spring cleaning!
Photos by Reading My Tea Leaves
Words by Cassandra Van Dyck