It’s a bit of an inside joke that I’m pretty cut-throat when it comes to chucking things out. Every so often I fill bin bags with ‘stuff’ and off to the dump they go; I donate; I sell things on. And yet, I still feel suffocated.
If I said I didn’t like material things – I’d be lying. I love pretty things as much as the next person. But I’m starting to question why I long for such items. Am I trying to fill an emotional void with material things to make me feel better? I can yearn for something for months and when I finally have it, I move onto wanting for something else. I don’t seem to enjoy and appreciate things for long. Do material things bring any happiness to my life?
Over the years I have witnessed just how negatively clutter affects my mood and mental health. I have a personal limit when it comes to my home, if the mess and clutter exceeds this, I can completely shut down. Fortunately I haven’t been in that position for a long time, but am constantly aware of the threat. To some my limit might seem like nothing, but I know how quickly I can deteriorate, so it’s important to me, to keep on top of things.
I have recently been decluttering our home, slowly but surely. I worked through my wardrobe, throwing things out which hadn’t been worn (some still with tags on!) and others which when I put them on, I just didn’t feel good in. Already it feels like a weight has been lifted. I no longer waste my mornings trying to find an outfit, everything in there is wearable and ready to be thrown on. Decluttering our home is important to me, I truly believe a tidy space aids a tidy mind. Room by room, I’m throwing things out which we don’t like or even use, I’ve set myself the goal of one room per week, so will keep you updated on that.
Minimalism isn’t just about a tidy home, it includes everything cluttering our lives and our mind. Recently, I’ve found myself procrastinating, scrolling through social media and losing myself in a world of perfectionism and consumerism. I realised I hadn’t been living in the moment but constantly attached my mobile. I still post a photograph on Instagram, or write a status on Facebook, but I leave longer periods between checking my notifications – how many likes I have, who’s left a comment. I’m also trying to dedicate more time during my evenings to check-in with social media, or during my boy’s nap times. This means more quality time with my son and loved ones in the here and now – the way it should be.
My next move is to watch the Minimalism documentary, the two guys from The Minimalists I find truly inspiring and motivating. They offer podcasts on their website exploring ways to declutter, organise and free yourself from stress, amongst many others. They’ve definitely got me thinking about every part of my life, I find myself totally fascinated by the minimalist concept. I’m only at the beginning of a very long journey ahead, I might fail, I might later realise the minimalist life isn’t for me. But I definitely feel inspired from what I’ve read thus far. I find myself re-evaluating what’s important to me, and even more so, what’s not.
I don’t believe in drastically reducing the number of my belongings and I don’t fancy living in a show home. I want our home to feel warm, cosy and child-friendly; I just want less of the unnecessary, unused stuff. I want to be able to breathe.
Would you describe yourself as a Minimalist? How are you getting on months or a year down the line? Has it changed your life for the better? I would love to know any tips, please leave a comment!