I suppose I should start with why I’ve planned this journey into minimalism.
My home had got to the point where I had to move belongings to reach other belongings and I was feeling overwhelmed by it. My wardrobe was busting at the seams and I didn’t have room for all my clothes. I had to take out pots and pans every time I cooked to reach the item I needed. The dresser in our living room kept popping open because of all the stuff we had stored in there. My email inbox had over 600 emails unread and I had hundreds of notifications on my phone. I think the turning point actually was whatsapp.
I was weeks away from our wedding in Mexico back in September and I was trying to finalise everything before we flew out. I was part of a few different whatsapp convo’s and on this particular day the notifications were relentless. I was, at the time, in a dispute with the shop that supplied my wedding dress and I think the stress got to me. For some reason I can’t handle too many notifications on my phone. Too many conversations which felt like lots of people all talking at once. The noise was deafening and I had important things to deal with.
I just got to the point where I’d had enough. I felt overwhelmed and stressed. I deleted the app and haven’t reinstalled it since.
I’d been reading a few blogs at the time and I remembered some articles about minimalism. Simplifying your home and life and the amazing benefits of doing so. I decided to look into it more and thus began the journey into minimalism.
From apps on my phone, to emails, to information overload. I analysed everything that was causing me stress or some kind of discomfort. Over the next few months once we were back from our wedding I set about de-cluttering our home. I started with my enormous wardrobe and shoe collection. I didn’t find it hard to downsize. I realised as I went through everything that I probably only wore 20% of it all. I tried everything on I thought I wanted to keep only to find the fit wasn’t quite right or the dress/top didn’t make me feel good. I owned 10 sets of nightwear, 30 pairs of socks, 45 bras. I’m not sure quite how I got to the point of excess. There are only 7 days in a week and we do washing weekly. I didn’t need so much stuff.
Let’s say you own 30 tops. You would have to wear at least 4 different tops a day to wear all of your tops in a week before laundry day. Seems silly right? What if you calculate it differently? What if you own at least 50 different outfits – 50/7=7.14. You’d need to wear 7 outfits a day to get use of your whole wardrobe in a week. The result? I tossed 2 black sacks of clothes & shoes, donated 6 and sold the rest on depop and made a tidy little sum of money.
I still feel like I have too many clothes so over the next month I’m doing the reverse hanger idea to get my wardrobe smaller. I re-hung everything the opposite way. When I wear an item it gets put back the right way. At the end of January anything that is still the wrong way (i.e. it’s never been worn) will be donated to charity and to someone who really needs it.
I proceeded to go through the rest of our home room by room and I’ll do some follow up posts on how I tackled each room, what I got rid of and what I kept and how I came to those decisions.
So what is minimalism?
The Minimalist’s described it best in one sentence, ‘It is a tool to rid yourself of life’s excess in favour of focussing on what’s important – so you can find happiness, freedom and fulfilment.’
How can it help you?
According to The Minimalists Minimalism can do the following:
- Eliminate discontent
- Reclaim your time
- Live in the moment
- Pursue your passions
- Experience real freedom
- Create more, consume less
- Focus on your health
- Grow as individuals
- Contribute beyond ourselves
- Rid yourselves of excess stuff
- Discover purpose in your lives
Where do I start?
I’m only at the start of this journey myself so I hope if you are we can help each other.
For me the best place to start was to de-clutter my home. I concentrated on one room at a time. Really think about each item in each room:
- Is it useful?
- Does it bring you joy?
- When was the last time I used it?
- Do you really need 40 t-shirts? Do you wear them all?
- How many saucepans do you use at once? Do you need one in every size or is two enough?
If it’s beyond repair, hasn’t been used in the last 6 months or you have multiples of it then it can go.