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'I got rid of 2,000 items so it only takes me 10 minutes to clean my house'


A minimalist mum who threw away more than 2,000 items says it now just takes 10 minutes to clean her house from top to bottom.

Lauren Tyson decided to “hire a skip and go crazy” after a year travelling through Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore and New Zealand with husband Roy.

Having lived off just the contents of her backpack, the 30-year-old realised she did not need a lot of possessions.

The couple, from Suffolk, now keep as few items as possible in their home.

Lauren said she first became interested in minimalism around two years ago – and had quickly become ‘hooked’.

Looking back at her backpacking trip, she said:  “It was such a chilled out and easy time – we didn’t have to think about what we wore or anything, and it was fine.

“It made us think long and hard about whether we needed most of the stuff we owned in our lives. As soon as I became aware of the [minimalism] movement, I was hooked.

“The pure amount of stuff that comes with owning a house is ridiculous. It helps my mental state to have everything minimal. The less I can have the better.

“Clutter and mess stresses me out, if I know I’m going out and it’s messy I can’t control.”

Lauren, who used to have a job selling skincare products, and Roy, a 36-year-old artist, previously lived in an old 1700s cottage where they had accumulated a “mass of stuff.”

They had two boys, Roman and Lennon, aged one and five, after their travelling trip.

And it wasn’t until 2021 that Lauren said she started reading up on minimalism.

She said: “When we were moving, we just thought let’s get rid of everything. We hired a skip and went crazy. If we hadn’t used it in a while, [we] found another home for it.”

Wherever possible Lauren tries to rehome items rather than throwing away, and supports sustainable minimalism. 

She added: “I’m not a massively sentimental person. We have one box in the garage of children’s stuff which is special paintings and crafts they have done. Apart from that, I have an outfit they came home from hospital, but I have trained myself to not have sentimental attachment to items.”

Lauren said many family members and friends support her minimalist approach.

She said: “Lots of people say it’s lovely. We had some comments of people saying ‘Oh have you just moved in?’ Or ‘Are you moving home?’ But we don’t mind.”

Lauren says she has a list of ‘rules’ she now lives by. She said: “When you’re moving house, if you wouldn’t spend £1 to move the item, then you should get rid of it. The other thing is holding onto clutter, we say if you can buy it for under £5 then you don’t need to hold on to it when moving.

“Everyone keeps everything thinking one day they’ll need it, but they never do. We don’t have lots of furniture, our lounge is sparse. We don’t have cushions on the sofas.

“We don’t have ornaments, they are just things you have to clean. Lots of people think I love cleaning, but I don’t actually enjoy it. I do a full ‘house reset’ in ten minutes.”

Lauren now earns money from social media where she talks about adhering to a minimalist lifestyle.

She can make a few hundred pounds from viral videos – but is wary of doing brand advertising.

She said: “It would kind of be hypocritical if I was advertising loads of brand stuff, as I am all about not keeping lots of stuff. It’s more of a hobby. I would earn more if I had a full-time job. It doesn’t really pay my mortgage.”

But she says spending less money on stuff allows her and her family to continue their other passion of travel.

Lauren’s top tips for decluttering your house are:

  • Start small, don’t tackle a whole room at once

  • Start on your wardrobe and smaller things to de-clutter at first, rather than getting overwhelmed

  • Do five to ten minutes per day – you’ll be surprised how much progress you can make

  • Donate the stuff you get rid of to refuges and charity shops, don’t just throw it in the bin

  • If you’re moving and you can buy a thing for under £5, then you don’t need to hold on to it

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