My Story

I’ve come to appreciate the freedom that comes with having a tidy and clean home. Helping other people achieve this so they have a home that makes them happy is my passion! I want people to ‘BE FREE’ to pursue what’s important to them and to support them as they work to achieve this.

I know what it’s like to live in a cluttered home, with rooms so full of stuff you can barely get in them. And, the embarrassment of not wanting to invite people over. I do just remember a time when my childhood home was not filled with things we didn’t need and was actually very neat and clean. This gradually changed as the years went by and most of my teenage and early adult years were spent living in a situation which was incredibly frustrating. I felt helpless and resentful. This kind of situation can arise for various reasons and is very difficult to deal with, especially if the person with hoarding tendencies doesn’t see a problem. Striving to keep a home clean when it’s cluttered is a never-ending battle and it’s not just about the ‘stuff’.

More importantly, it’s about the effect our environment and behaviour has on us – whether we choose to recognise this or not – and on those we love.

When I married at the age of 28 I moved into my husband’s home. Being able to now have a say in determining how my home looked had a massive effect on me. I felt like a weight had been lifted. It didn’t take my husband and I long to realise that we actually had quite a similar perspective on ‘stuff’ and we are agreed that our home should only contain items that serve a purpose or give us joy. Consequently, we’re both very careful about what we allow into our home and I especially am always re-evaluating what we have and whether there’s anything we can get rid of. For me, it’s really important that everything has a place. Otherwise, I can’t relax. Don’t get me wrong, our home is not minimalist in the extreme sense of the word: You won’t find bare surfaces with no personal items around. We simply recognise that

every item we own requires something from us. After all, we have to dust things, right?!

If something isn’t useful or doesn’t make us happy we question why we have it.

My experience, both at home and through helping friends in extreme hoarding situations, has enabled me to see how widespread this problem is. We live in a society which constantly encourages us to buy things. It’s a materialistic world and no bad thing to stop and rethink how and why we live as we do.  To many people the word ‘minimalist’ conjures up an image of a very clinical home, devoid of any personality, which can make people uncomfortable. Me included! However, the heart of the philosopy is the ideal of eliminating the unnecessary. Now obviously, ‘unnecessary’ is a very subjective word! What one person considers unnecessary another would consider vital. Therefore, there are many levels – varying degrees you might say – of minimalism. Realising this takes away some of our fear or reluctance to consider minimalist principles, which actually have a benefit far wider than just our home environments. Perhaps I’ll write a blog on this sometime!

Alongside my desire to help people free themselves from the burden of clutter I want to show people a different way to clean, a way I descovered a few year ago. Many of the products we’ve invited into our homes are not only potentially harmful to us and our families but also to the environment. Plus, they’re often tested on animals and have a hefty price-tag. Why do we buy them? I’d suggest it’s out of habit and ignorance. My eyes were opened as I began using things like vinegar, bicarbonate of soda and soda crystals to clean my home.

I was amazed that I could clean easily, cheaply and effectively without using harsh chemical concoctions!

I’d always worked in administration but when I was made redundant in Spring 2017 I decided I wanted a complete change and something that would present a challenge, really pushing me out of my comfort zone. I thought, “It’s now or never”. Growing up, I never thought I’d become self employed. In fact, I saw it as something to positively avoid. But now that I am, I love the freedom of being my own boss. Initially I was concerned about how to build a client base but found that clients quickly came my way. I know how hard it is to invite a stranger into your home and personally prefer to go off recommendation when hiring anyone. That’s why I’m delighted that my business has grown by word of mouth. For my clients to recommend me I know they’re happy, which is exactly what I want.

Since setting up BE FREE one year ago I’m delighted to have an established client base and be in the position of raising awareness of a different, more conscious, way to live.

Yours,

Eleanor
May 2018

If you’d like to find out even more about me and my philosopy please visit this blog post by the very talented Morganna Designs. And, be sure to ‘like’ my Facebook page for daily cleaning and decluttering tips!