In my post yesterday I spoke about de-cluttering my mind by trying to pull myself away from my technology, well the efforts of that subsequently led me to de-clutter more of my living room.
The event itself is not much worth talking about but it helped me realise something I wanted to share.
Most articles and blogs I read regarding minimalism have something in common, they all encourage small steps. This is important because it is easy to become discouraged especially when, like me, you have too much stuff. Like waaay too much stuff. It’s okay, we will get there, taking small steps together. 🙂 We got this.
So after my declutterthon I had filled one of those charity bags (large bin liner size) and to be honest, it seemed like a pitiful effort. Out of all the junk in that room and I managed only a single bin liner. But then I realised I had discarded the same amount in rubbish last week and I thought if I fill another bag next week be it with rubbish or things to give away then that is another small step and if I keep going by the end of the year I will surely have nothing left!
So even though I was slightly discouraged, I realised I was doing the right thing. Or at least something. It was a small step and you know where small steps lead?
Small steps lead to long journeys.
Minimalism is a journey. I realised it is not something that can be accomplished in a day because it takes time to adjust your mind set and create new habits. When you start paring down your belongings you start to find out what really matters to you, things you don’t throw away on day 1 might not make the cut on day 30.
I’ve been (attempting at least) de-cluttering for about a year now but recently i’ve decided to kick it up into high gear because of something Souly said, he’s always inspiring me.
We throw ideas about the future around all of the time however whilst I was fumbling around the room doing a craft project, we were talking about the tiny house he wants to build, he said he wants me to move in with him and he said “you could only take what would fit in that box” (you know like they do on that show Tiny House Nation) I was holding an ikea cardboard box just a little bigger than a4 size and about 6 inches deep.
Of course we laughed about how silly and impossible that was but it really struck a chord in me and I thought, well how amazing would it be if I could fit everything into that box! Moving would always be a breeze, i’d never lose anything and I would treasure everything in the box because it would have survived multiple pare downs to make it into the box.
Whether it be a tiny house or just a regular pokey flat, I don’t want to be dragging stuff around with me. So that is when I started researching minimalism and putting new habits into place because I realised I do want to have less rubbish. I personally find it a motivation to follow other minimalist bloggers and read their tips and tricks, just seeing how happy they are being with less inspires me to keep pushing forward. Getting rid of all the rubbish in your life is a monumental task, and
if it was easy everyone would be a minimalist,
but it takes courage to face up to everything lying underneath the stuff ie: reasons why you hold onto things. I’ve also found that the more i’ve progressed on this journey the more obvious it is that minimalism is about much, much more than just belongings. It is about getting to know yourself and digging deep, even into issues years old, to try and change your mindset onto a healthier track.
A few months ago I had an experience which you may be able to relate to. I threw out about 4 bin liners FULL of clothes that did not fit me. I had held onto all my size 6’s and size 8’s for THREE YEARS. Throwing them away was about much more than decluttering. Let me explain:
When I first started putting on weight it was at the beginning of my relationship, everyone has been there, you eat out way too much, you bond over take out and movies and generally just get a bit fat. At first it was a couple of pairs of jeans, then more and more clothes didn’t fit. I tried to lose weight a few times and sometimes i’d squeeze back into the odd top but basically I had a whole wardrobe that no longer fit. I went out and bought more clothes, laughing about how they were my “temporary” fat clothes.
I won’t go into anymore detail but basically I never lost that weight and I realised I was FAR too lazy to ever get into an exercise regime (no matter how many times I tried and failed), so I had to learn to accept it, what other choice was there? Be miserable? No thanks. My Soulmate has been a huge support system, I genuinely believe that without his help I never would have been able to love myself again. So anyway, back on track, throwing out those old clothes for me was the final step. I was letting go the old version of me, the size 6, 18 year old. I am now a size 14, 22 year old and you know, i’m happy. Sure i’m curvy, and I stay away from tshirts but I have learnt to accept myself and on that day I threw away the past, I knew it was a big step forward. Now I only buy clothes that fit me well, regardless of whether the tag says 12/14/16, I buy clothes that make me feel good. THAT is what possessions are supposed to do. Make us feel good! What was the point in holding onto all the clothes that I “might” one day fit into again, I was holding onto the past, onto an idea. When I eventually let go, honestly, it was good. Really good. I got rid of SO many beautiful clothes, that I really loved, because every time I looked at them I felt horrible. It was hard but the rewards were amazing.
This scenario can happen to us all and that is why it is important to access how you feel when attempting to discard an item. Think about the real, honest reasons why you are keeping it. By lying to yourself you are only taking from yourself.
I have been into the maximalist interior style for a while, which doesn’t help and I also love bohemian interiors. These both tend to lean away from minimalism. These styles are all about personality, expression and comfort, which of course I love. I do not particularly like the minimalist interior style because I find it bland, in my personal opinion. It is all white, beige and grey, maybe a bit of the duskiest peach. When I Pinterest for minimalist interior every image just lacks personality and they all look a bit cookie cutter.
But I realised that minimalism is much more than just a style, it is a state of mind and a lifestyle. Just because I like colours, and personality that does not mean that I can’t have a beautifully sparse minimalist home, these are just styling changes. It also means that the items I do choose to display will be treasured pieces rather than just decoration fillers.
I, like many others, put obstacles in my own way because it is easier to have an excuse than it is to face up to my own feelings. I say “oh I will get rid of that” and I never do. Well now, I do, I push myself. We have to push ourselves! It is hard, it is emotional and IT. IS. WORTH. IT. … I sound like a personal trainer. My bad.