As a busy working mum of two little rascals, I am at a point in my life when clutter simply makes me anxious. The mess that is created by these two little human beings is quite big and I seem to be constantly cleaning whenever I have a spare minute.
One of my personal goals for 2018 is to try and adopt a minimalistic approach in areas that I do have control over such as my own items, in hope that my hubby will follow and my kids will take us as their examples. I know it sounds ambitious and most probably won’t work for anyone in our family but me, but even if I surround myself with things that give me joy, it will be a massive step towards a more positive outlook on my life.
It was only last month, that I actually heard the word ‘MINIMALISM’ and initially I thought it was absurd. After watching YouTube videos and reading blogs by so-called ‘minimalists’ I was terrified. It seemed that their main objective was to throw things out, as many as possible. They were doing 30-day challenges, where they had to throw out 1 thing per day. This brought them no joy as many just ended up back in shops buying more things. .Well, I knew that this approach was not for me… that is until I stumbled upon two videos: one about Marie Kondo’s approach for de-cluttering (press here) and another one by PickupLimes on Minimalism (press here).
Initially, after watching several YouTubers de-cluttering using Marie-Kondo’s style seemed interesting, but it was only after I purchased her book that I realised that all the struggles that she was mentioning related to what I am going through. I also understood that Minimalism is not about ‘owing 50 things’ and that is it. It is to surround yourself with all the essential items that bring you only joy.
So, I decided to give it a try.
One of the first points to take from the book was that Minimalism is only about YOU. You have to look at yourself and areas that you have control over. If you force Minimalism on somebody else, it is in their nature to rebel and they will do so. Minimalism, however, is meant to remove all the unnecessary stress from our lives, not cause more of it. Therefore, if you decide to adopt a more minimalistic approach then focus on yourself.
So what are the rules for getting rid of all the unnecessary things?
One of the main things to understand is that it WILL take time.
What I like to do, whenever I have a spare half an hour and my boys are minded by my hubby or are in bed is to gather all the items of the same time on the bed (for example socks or bags). Then look at how many replicates I have and ask myself a question. ‘Do I use all of these or are there some that I don’t like and never use’. If I don’t then they go in a no pile, if I do then I ask myself a next question ‘Does this item give me joy? or am I keeping it simply because it was a gift from someone, but I will never use it?’. If the item gives me joy and I use it, I put it in the keep pile. If I am not sure, however, I put it in the maybe pile and pack it away for 2-3 months. If I haven’t touched may be items in that time then I donate it to charity. If the answer is no, then I donate it to charity or throw it out if it is no longer usable.
To become a true minimalist, we need to let go of all the things that bring us stress and are no longer wanted.
What about temptations? How do we stop them?
My temptations were:
- Stress-induced spontaneous shopping sprees to make me feel better,
- Email alerts from my favourite shops notifying me of new items, and
- YouTube haul videos.
Once I identified these triggers for obtaining more stuff I was able to work on minimising my exposure to them.
The first step was to unsubscribe, from any Email alerts from my favourite stores and other companies that were just cluttering my email box. Do you ever find yourself checking your overflowing E-mail box and having trouble checking if anything is important in among all the other E-mails? I know I was. Now, after unsubscribing from 100s of E-mail lists, I know that any E-mail that I receive is worth reading and might be important.
I also stopped watching haul videos and instead replaced them with inspirational videos and organisational videos.
I am still working on stress-induced shopping sprees, but these also are getting better with less clutter in my life and as a result of being more organised and having less stress.
Be thankful for everything that brings you joy – Practice gratitude.
As Sadia from PickupLimes said ‘By being grateful for what we do have, we tend to want less’. At any moment in my day, if I am finding myself enjoying the moment such as right now, I feel very grateful. At this moment in time, I am very thankful for being able to share my thoughts with you:)
Benefits of Minimalism?
Well, one I already mentioned, having less stress in our life. However, there are many others, such as spending less, being more organised and having more time to do things that you truly enjoy (such as playing with kids, instead of cleaning or follow your passion, such as travel, photography, etc).
Finally, all I am going to say is Minimalism is not about having only 50 things and frown at people that have more. It is about doing what feels right for you. Finding those areas in your life that give you joy and surrounding yourself with things that you truly love and enjoy.
I hope you are having a lovely day:)