In the last year or so I have been on a journey to becoming a minimalist.
The word minimalism has become a buzzword recently and I am glad I discovered it. It has led me to question myself about a lot of things and is leading me to a life of less, of less clutter, less time spent making decisions that aren’t important.
Less perfection and more simplicity.
A few years ago I began experiencing a form of anxiety that would come around whenever I would start cleaning my home. I would get up early in the morning and start with the housework. Very quickly into my day, I would start to feel overwhelmed. I would stop and have to take a break and then try and go back. The number of things that had to be done was weighing on me and when I would spend hours cleaning and organizing and arranging, I would at the end of it feel as though I wasted my entire day.
This happened every weekend when the time rolled around for the weekly tidy. I started to resent the time I would be locked in my flat doing housework, feeling like I was chained.
How could other people not lose their minds having to do this much, are they losing it the same way I am?
I thought it would stop when we moved into a slightly larger place with a pretty garden and for a while it did. I could never understand why I felt this way when this was a normal part of life, was it not?
Opening bulging closet doors to clothing that would fall at my feet as soon as they weren’t being held in. Having to stand on a ladder just to be able to reach a plate. The sheer struggle of having to find one thing under the mountain of items I had piled onto it made me want to throw everything in black bags and leave it outside. Not being able to find something I was looking for and discovering things I thought I had lost.
Do we have too many things? Are we bringing so many items into our houses and our lives that they eventually become something we have to create our lives around instead of taking in less and having those things fit around our lives? Attempting to lead a more minimalist lifestyle is teaching me so many things, and I would like to share some of them with you.
We allow things to define us
My boyfriend and I are big coffee lovers. We always buy the same coffee and even though it’s a little pricier, we enjoy it a lot more than other brands. One day we were in the shops and they didn’t have our regular kind. We spend 30 minutes in the coffee aisle deciding which coffee to buy until my boyfriend finally said: “babe just get any coffee please, we can’t stand here all day deciding which one to buy”.
There have been times that I have spent way too much time trying to decide if this was the right buy for me and if it was my style, if this was me.
We don’t question our purchases
I have a bookshelf filled to the brim with books of all genres.
Some I have read and some I will read someday.
Some were given to me and most of them I purchased.
When deciding if I should buy a particular book or not, I only have one requirement that needs to be fulfilled.
I want to need the book in my life, I want to feel that having this book would add to my life (this is why I have so many self-help books).
I need to connect with the book, the message and the lessons it is going to teach me and if I feel I am not going to get that, I don’t buy the book.
I do this by looking at the cover, and not just reading the synopsis but also opening the book randomly and reading a paragraph. If I read something I connect with I get the book.
We make decisions based on temporary happiness
We impulse buy way too much and say yes to things way too quickly because for a moment we have a void to fill. Think about that next time you are buying something, ask yourself why you want it? This is why we buy bulk clothes at lower prices rather than quality items that will last longer.
We bring in more, but we do not let other things go.
When we buy clothing, do we donate an equivalent amount of old items to someone else? What I have found is that with clothing, they represent some stage in our lives and if you have outgrown that stage, you do not need the clothing as a reminder.
If it’s not a hell yes its a no.
If you do a sweep of your clothing cupboard and try on the clothes, if you do not absolutely love the dress or blouse you have on, give it away.
It will not be a waste, someone else will get something from it.
We keep things in case we will need them or for practical reasons rather than how they make us feel or if we really like who we are in them.
There is so much more that I could say about this topic and so much to learn but what I can say is that the things we bring into our homes we also bring into our lives and they have a way of affecting us on the inside. We need to decide if we want to be affected negatively or positively.