I don’t particularly like labels, but I guess I would say I am becoming a minimalist.
It was the documentary ‘Minimalism: A documentary about the important things’ that started it all for me.
I was not a hoarder by any sense of the term, but I certainly had a lot of stuff. I was a ‘just in case’ kinda gal. No matter how many times I moved and ‘downsized’ my possessions, I still managed to hold on to so many things that really held no value to me but would keep out of habit and bad reasoning. I kept and moved things that I accumulated even from my teenage years that I thought were important to keep. Here are some of the silliest items I held on too ‘just in case’:
- A jar full of buttons from clothes I had bought IN MY TEENS and never needed. Not even once.
- Trashy books I loved but had not read in the last decade.
- A clock that I bought at 15 which made an insane ticking sound and drove me crazy.
- Cookbooks and cocktail recipe books I never used.
- Martini sets. Multiple.
- Broken electronics and old phones.
- Excessive amounts of towels and bedding – you know, for all those times when I had an excessive amount of guests stay at my house, which was never.
Inspired by the documentary ‘Minimalism’ my husband and I decided we wanted less – less stuff, less worry, less excess, less debt and less ‘fear of missing out’. Instead, we wanted to start living with more – more time, more adventures, more freedom and more sustainably.
“The first step in crafting a life you want is to get rid of everything you don’t.” — Joshua Becker, Becoming Minimalist
Long story short, we moved from our 4 bedroom home with stacks of storage to a 1 bedroom apartment with a small storage cage and really came to embrace a more minimal lifestyle by making it our own.
Prior to starting on this journey I used to own multiples of almost everything and assured myself that I needed to. I had so much storage that I could justify holding on to these things. I didn’t realise at the time just how much energy I used to put into cleaning and organising my space. Not only that, I always had that little voice in the back of my head always wanting something new because what I owned was not good enough, not new enough.
This is something that the documentary highlighted – brands want us to keep wanting, to keep buying. So as soon as we buy something, the following week they have replaced it with something new and all of a sudden the shine has gone off our new purchase. So starts the cycle again…Thankfully I had enough/moderate amount of self-restraint and restricted funds which prevented me from purchasing all the things that I wanted when I wanted them.
“I’ve learned that minimalism is not about what you own, it’s about why you own it.” — Brian Gardner, No Sidebar
Gone are the days where I had excessive amounts of ‘average’ items that I would find myself using over my good stuff. All the stuff in my home now is the ‘good’ stuff and that’s all I use. And I love it. Every day I use the good cutlery. You know, the cutlery that you only pull out for special occasions? Well every day is a special occasion for me. The same goes for my glassware. I might only drink cheap wine, but I’ll drink it out of my fancy crystal wine glasses, because why the hell not?
“Your home is living space, not storage space.” — Francine Jay, Miss Minimalist
By downsizing to a 1 bedroom apartment we simply do not have the space to store excess things. Storage is the worst thing you can have in your home. It allows you to secret things away in cupboards and build up collections of items that you end up rarely using. Just take a look in your kitchen and linen cupboards…By having less space and stuff I now have less to clean, less to organise, and less to maintain. This leaves more time free for more enjoyable activities!
“At some point I realized that I wasn’t organizing my life; I was organizing my clutter.” — Francine Jay, Miss Minimalist
One of the most surprising benefits I found with practicing minimalism was that by having less, I find that I want less.
When I started to get rid of the things that weren’t adding any value to my life, I suddenly didn’t want to bring things back in my space. I stopped coveting all these items I didn’t need. It really took away that feeling of missing out and I love it.
Don’t get me wrong, I still want and need for some things but now when I do want something, it is very particular and thought out. I do not settle for anything that is not exactly what I want. When I know what I am looking for, I find myself enjoying the process of finding exactly what that is and I don’t suffer any buyer’s remorse. I also find joy when I pass on items that don’t make the cut of what I am looking for. It’s a crazy, unexpected feeling.
Starting down this path to becoming a minimalist has quickly become one of the most positive and best things that I have done in my life. The more I practice minimalism, the more I realise that it is not about what you say ‘no’ to, but what you say ‘yes’ to. And it extends far beyond the stuff in your home.
If you haven’t yet seen ‘Minimalism’ you can find out where to watch it by clicking the link or watch the trailer below. Who knows what positive changes it may inspire in your life.
If you’re a practicing minimalist or have been interested in any aspect of the minimalist movement, I would love to hear about it. Let me know in the comments below!