For those who have known me on Twitter for the last couple of years, this may seem like a strange post for me to be writing. Its well known that I love shopping and I can be quite sentimental, holding on to things just because someone else gave them to me. Minimalism has never been a part of my lifestyle. In fact, I’d go as far as admitting that in the not so distant past I have been a mindless consumer, trying to get some sense of belonging or completeness from buying stuff. I always thought that I was immune to the advertising and the “buying this will make you happier/cooler/smarter/prettier” propaganda but I can see now that I wasn’t. Far from it.
Most people know that I’m in the middle of finding a job as a live in nanny and once I get a job, I’ll be leaving home and moving to wherever the job is. Its a huge step for me and frankly a scary one but I know I’ll regret it if I don’t take this chance. So to help my worry-prone brain get used to the idea, I decided to start sorting out my stuff. My bedroom was utter chaos! I should have taken a photo before I started (Although to be honest, even if I had I would have been too ashamed to post it!) but I didn’t, so you’ll have to trust me when I say my desk and half of my floor was covered in piles of “stuff”. Clothes that needed putting away, letters, papers and receipts that needed sorting, random things that I didn’t have a home for and didn’t know what to do with, it was ridiculous! That was just the things I could see, before I got started on my wardrobe or drawers.
I spent a couple of days sorting through things and trying to decide where I was going to put everything once I was done sorting. Eventually I had to admit that I had too much stuff and I had a light bulb moment.
How much of this stuff will I take when I move?
The thought of having to pack up my life and fit it in the back of my car made me realise that I had so much stuff I would leave behind. If I wouldn’t take it, I don’t need it.
… So then why keep it?
I went through my whole room bit by bit. My criteria was to remove anything that;
- Was broken
- I have more than one of (if I only really need one)
- Didn’t fit
- Didn’t suit me
- I didn’t need to keep (old letters, out of date vouchers etc)
- I didn’t like but had kept because it was a gift
- Was out of date (body cream, makeup etc)
- I didn’t need but kept for some inexplicable reason
Two bags of rubbish, four bags for the charity shop, two boxes of books and one box of CDs/DVDs later… My room looked empty! I loved it!
Its been just over a month since I decluttered and its made a huge difference. In the meantime I’ve been reading up on minimalism and its something that I want to keep working on. So this is the first post of several that will focus on me venturing into minimalism. In the next post I’m going to make a plan of action so I know what my next steps will be.
Tips and advice are always welcome!