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This has been a topic I have been wanting to write a post about for some time now. Of late, I have been toying around with the concept of minimalism and how I wish to be more intentional with my life. I also feel myself wanting to own less in my life.
After I lost my father in the earlier part of this year, many things changed for me. The biggest of the lot being my perspective on life, experiences and possessions.
As a result of that mindset shift, I have since attempted to get rid off, and/or sell off things that I no longer use and/or love. So far, I have been relatively successful and this experience has been incredibly liberating. To date, I have significantly cut down the number of items I have in my wardrobe (I dare say, by almost half!).
The journey towards a more intentional and minimal life is a long process and will not happen overnight. I started off by simply clearing out old makeup items in late 2015. I decided on getting rid of clutter by ridding myself of expired beauty products. Slowly but surely, I moved onto testers and samples that I have not used. The samples I could use, I stored in visually accessible places to remind myself to use them, while the rest I packed into my travel wash bag. Then, I organised everything else into categories and decided on whether it was going to be given away or thrown out.
Subsequently, I moved onto other items like clothes, bags and shoes. I allowed myself to hold onto items that I may wear in the near future but pieces that were still in good condition but no longer fit or were no longer my style, I donated to charity or gave away. Bags and shoes that I no longer loved and used, I either donated or sold for a token amount.
It’s a learning process for me and through this, I have learned so much about my compulsive consumption patterns and my perspective on compulsive consumerism and materialism. At times I find I have to be tougher on myself by not allowing excuses to get the better of me. The toughest part has been having to let go of items that I paid a small fortune to possess. The thought process is always: if I have spent so much on it, it’s wasteful to just get rid of it. I found what helped me in letting go of my attachments to these items is just being honest about whether I would need it 10 or even 20 years from now and if possessing that item would matter in that time-frame. More often than not, when put in that context, I find I end up ‘needing’ less and wanting to clear out more.
I am incredibly excited about moving towards a more intentional yet simpler life with less clutter while fully ustilising all the items I own. My current bag count is 25 and I am hoping to reduce it to just 10. While I have 25 pairs of shoes (trainers and slippers included), I plan on reducing that number to just 10 as well. Clothing items including active wear and undergarments have been significantly reduced by half.
Are you also on a journey towards a minimalistic lifestyle? A ton of online resources including YouTube videos are available for those who may be starting out on their minimalism journey or who currently feel stuck. Many people have found tips and help by reading books such as Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying: A Simple, Effective Way to Banish Clutter Forever, and Spark Joy.
Personally, I find it’s not just about organising things and putting them in another place. Rearranging and organising is or can be just like displacement – simply placing something in a different place or container won’t really work because once it is out of sight, it is out of mind, and therefore the clutter grows in a different manner. For me, I have adopted a simple rule: use it or get rid of it – recycling, upcyling, donating it or just throwing it out, is the most effective.
Do share your experience, tips and thoughts in the comments below. Wish me luck on my journey towards a clutter-free and simple, more minimal life! Good luck on your journey too!