Yesterday asked on my Instagram story whether people think they would be capable of living a minimalist lifestyle and the responses were interesting. For those of you who don’t know, adopting a minimalist lifestyle is all about the promotion of things we value the most, and the removal of the things we don’t. (This should apply to some boys and their girlfriends. But we’ll save that for another day). Straight away I had a couple of people ask me if I had watched the short film on Netflix titled Minimalism: A Documentary About The Important Things. It’s basically a documentary that follows round 2 men who live a minimalist lifestyle and reject the idea that THINGS bring you happiness. I watched it a little while ago and it is very good as an intro if you’d like to learn what it’s all about.
I actually became interested in minimalism when I was gifted the book “Goodbye Things” by Fumio Sasaki, who lives in a tiny studio apartment in Tokyo. He literally owns only 3 shirts, 4 pairs of trouser and 4 pairs of socks and he proposes the question, “Is there happiness in having less?”
I am a terrible clothes hoarder. Like literally terrible. I would buy stuff just because it was on sale. I would buy stuff that wouldn’t even be my size and would tell myself that I would grow into it/lose weight. I would buy things I wasn’t even that crazy about and would tell myself that I would turn it into a DIY project and be left with a gem. If my boyfriend was coming over, I’d tidy everything away by hanging them, folding them and stashing them in the cellar to make the room look presentable. But when he wasn’t there, it was just an explosion of stuff that I never even wore. I literally wore like 20% of my wardrobe.
And then there was the unnecessary junk. I had 3 different phone chargers. 5 different sets of bedding. Hair straighteners, curlers, heated rollers and perm rods. Too many candles to count. 2 different mirrors in my room. The list goes on… I was just filling a space with STUFF. Sound familiar?
Here’s my top 5 tips to ease you into a minimalist lifestyle:
- GET TO CHUCKING THINGS. I’m one of those people that starts with the intention of chucking away 20 things but I start to create excuses as to why should keep things. “Oh I might need that though.” “I might wear this with that grey top”. It’s all bullshit mate. If you haven’t used it in the last 2 months (exception of it’s something that is seasonal), chuck it!
- GET RID OF THE IDEA YOU’LL MISS IT. I have chucked away, donated and re-gifted a number of items, and you know what? I can’t even remember what half of there are. When you get out of the mindset that you’ll somehow be at a loss with certain items in the future, you make your life a lot easier.
- GET RID OF UNNECESSARY. I struggled with this initially, because I thought “all of it is necessary. I need this for that, and that for this.” The easiest way for me to come to this understanding was to write a list of why I needed each item. Then I’d come back and look at it the next day. Then I’d come back and look at it the next week. And by the next week I had found that I either hadn’t used these items at all or I found the reasoning to be stupid and admitted they were in fact useless. Those fairy lights at both the foot and head of my bed? Gone. That 32 piece set of rollers because realistically I can only ever fit 12 on my head? Gone. And just like that, clutter? Gone.
- TECHNOLOGY HELPS YOU REDUCE. This has been super helpful to me. The simplest things make such a difference. Get rid of your TV and watch shows on your laptop instead. When you get rid of the TV, you get rid of the speakers and the PS4 that go with it. Have your pictures put onto a USB instead of keeping a hundred albums. “Our homes aren’t museums”. Use your phone as your alarm clock and calendar.
- SELL FOR SPACE NOT FOR MONEY. When I initially started my big cleanse, I organised everything into two different piles; what I would give to charity and what I would sell. Unfortunately the latter pile was disappearing A LOT more slowly than the charity pile. This was because I was getting hung up on the price. If I had bought something for £200, I felt that I needed a fair price. “It’s hard to part with your possessions is you confuse their current values with their original prices”. It is not earning you any money sitting there. So why not make whatever you can?
Have any of you adopted living a more minimalist lifestyle?
Do you have any tips on what made it easier for you to start?
And if not, would you try it?
All quotations are from the book Goodbye Things by Fumio Sasaki. Buy the book HERE!
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