14 tell-tale signs you’ve taken home austerity too far

  • We earn a commission for products purchased through some links in this article.
  • Worried you've gone overboard with the pared-back minimalist look? Here's how to find out...

    Taking the pared-back approach has its attractions. Who wouldn’t want to live a simple life, reduced of all clutter? Trouble is minimalism aka home austerity can become strangely addictive. Here’s how to tell if you’re cutting things back too far.

    1. You’d happily live the rest if your life with just a futon and a iPad.
    Because that’s all you need right? Somewhere to rest your head and something offering a world of information at your fingertips.
    Why clutter your space with all that personal stuff? That’s what the Cloud is for.

    2. When friends come round, they bring their own chairs.
    That moulded masterpiece you traded the three-piece for and have angled according to precise feng shui principles? Newsflash: it ain’t that conducive to conversation. And an evening cross-legged on the tatami matting is only for the very open of hip. So don’t hate the mates who comes round bearing with their own floor cushions. Get the message (and a squishy sofa).

    3. There are more Persil bottles in your recycling bin than red wine.
    White is your go-to palette, which means keeping things pristine requires industrial-sized quantities of chemical intervention. And Merlot just destroys everything it touches, so has no place in your home.

    4. The phone’s ringing but you can’t find it anywhere.
    The ‘everything has a place and everything in its place’
    mantra is all very well, provided you can remember where that place is. (Hint:
    usually tucked away in a drawer or a push-click cupboard).

    5. You describe
    ‘tidying up’ as your ‘decluttering journey’.

    Essential if you’re not going to succumb to the very 21st
    syndrome – stuffocation.

    6. You’d love to live in a monastry one day.
    Polished concrete is a trend you find utterly compelling.
    The lumbago you get from sleeping on a shelf made of it may irk, but what price style, eh?


    You are on first name terms with your bin men. And have the Council refuse department on speed dial.
    Home austerity is all about getting rid. And since you operate a strict ‘one in, one out’ policy on all household goods, while your interior inside is a temple, chances are the footpath outside your house is piled high with refuse, just waiting to be collected.

    8. You think the dirtiest word in the English language is ‘ornaments’.
    They’re nothing more than gatherers of dust (another banned substance). Your mantel is a hallowed, shrine-free zone. And that’s the way it’s staying.

    9. Your sock drawer is colour sorted into black, white and grey…
    Which happen to go with every outfit you own.

    10. Lean against any flat surface it may well pop open.
    If there’s anything minimalists love more than an expanse of surface, it’s a push-click cupboard. Concealed storage is the not-so-secret trick beloved of all of the pared-back disposition enabling you to have way more stuff that anyone need every know.

    11. The three books you own are arranged in an artful stack.
    Just because…


    Your wardrobe consists of 10 white shirts, 5 black jumpers, 20 grey t-shirts

    and 3 pairs of black trousers, preferably Japanese. Or Belgian.
    It’s called a capsule wardrobe, okay? Some people swear by them. You’re one of them.


    You make weekly visits to your Self-Storage centre. Usually in disguise.
    Quality storage is key for all tidy souls too, but minimalists in particular hate anyone knowing quite how they do it. Dark glasses and a fake moustache help maintain the illusion.

    14. You have considered a raw juice cleanse.
    After which you might go raw vegan. Might.

    All the latest from Ideal Home