I have been thinking a lot about minimalism recently, partly due to some planned (and much needed) DIY decorating and the need to de clutter and more importantly the fact that I have a lot of stuff, and I mean a lot, and when I think about it, I probably only use a third of it at any one time.
I am not kidding.
Before I first dived into minimalism, I had a preconceived picture in my head that it would be all about 'concrete floors, white walls, and no where to sit' because the image I had in my head was a loft conversion in New York for young child free professionals. But after researching, I started to realise that minimalism was more about living simply and in order to achieve that you have to declutter...big time.
The basic concept of minimalism is the philosophy or lifestyle that anything unnecessary should be eliminated. Reducing your possessions down to the bare essentials, which can then led to a more fundamental shift in the way you think and live.
I love this idea. I want to embrace and implement it all over my home.
I want to live with the bare minimum and feel organised and efficient and have more free time. I'm hooked, I'm there...sign me up!
The only catch is I have a busy family life, with two young teenagers and a Husband and a Dog and we all pretty much work full time, juggling work, my creative business, afterschool activities, coaching, travelling and social events.
The young teenagers never tidy up, leave dishes in their rooms and have to be reminded to shower. So I am pretty much up against it.
But not one to be deterred and after a little more internet googling and thinking, I have put together a list of the small steps I am going to take to start my journey into minimalism
The main theme that stands out is to 'declutter declutter declutter' so this is where I am going to start and I am planning for the lifestyle shift to come afterwards.
1. I am going to sort and sift my clothes wardrobe
I love to declutter, it always feels great afterwards and I love the sorting and sifting it always feels cathartic. I am going to start in my own room as tackling the young teenagers rooms feels to hard and probably best to do when they are signed up to the concept. I am going to cull my wardrobe first.
I have clothes in my wardrobe which are over 12 years old, which means they are older than my children in fact. Despite the longevity issue, I have always had a problem with getting rid of things, its like a nagging voice in my head which says 'you might still wear it one day; and 'I remember the time when I wore that! scenario.
2. I'm going to cull my shoe collection
I also have a lot of shoes. I am by no means a shoe person I just collect shoes and only wear them once and then keep them forever because 'I might still wear them one day' phrase pops into my head again...you follow me now.
3. I'm going to sort through my bathroom cabinets (including make up)
This could get embarrassing because I probably have make-up which I brought in circa 2007 and have it kept nicely hidden in the bathroom cupboard, because you never know, I might need it one day. There is also a pile of beauty freebies I have accumulated from when I brought a 'Estee Lauder' pack or a 'Boots No 7' product which I also keep in case I am travelling to an exotic country or spent my weekends in a boutique hotel in Soho.
So I must remember that minimalism dictates that you should only a few basics when it comes to things, so when it comes to make-up and toiletries you don't really need 12 razors in your bathroom cabinet.
4. I am going to minimise my jewellery collection
I also have a lot of jewellery. I have pretty much kept every piece of jewellery I have ever brought, been given, or inherited. I probably have about 40 pairs of earrings, 30 necklaces and numerous cosmetic rings and bracelets. I have already thought that I will gift a charity shop with them and give the rest to my young teenager (if she wants them?)
After exhausted my list with the above tasks, I will concentrate on my room first and then move to other areas.
Minimalism suggests that you start small and move slowly through the new way of living, so I will embrace this and the concept and complete the above first before overwhelming myself with taking over the world.
I have decided that with all the decluttered items I will
Sell some items on Ebay ( that's the plan but may be too much hard work)
Donate to a Charity shop
Gift items to a friend or work colleague
Give items to family
The immediate benefits of minimalism are pretty cool
You will feel more organised
You will be organised
Increase efficiency ( get more done)
You will be ready earlier (on time)
Feel good about yourself.
You will take pleasure from the things that you own
Less thoughtless spending ( Whoop whoop!)
I am going to embrace minimalism one step at a time, because I cannot see anything negative about it, in fact everything about it feels good and I cannot wait to start!
I know that there is so much more to minimalism and starting the small steps can lead to the bigger and more significant ones in my life.