So I know we still have three weeks or so in 2020. Most of us are probably thinking about Christmas shopping, baking and cooking, and moving the Elf on the Shelf around. But me, I’ve started a journey into a more minimalist life and I am starting to think of how to further reduce in the new year. And believe me, never would I have ever thought that anything remotely similar to cleaning would be on any kind of list or resolution of mine for a new year.
Yet here we are. Life is irony.
A while back, I was reading a blog like many of us do, and the advice as to create lists. I’m not a list maker. I don’t make a to do list, or a grocery list or anything like that because I’m not ultra organized. I am fly by the seat of my pants resourceful. Yet, for some reason unbeknownst to me, I decided to start making lists that day. Some of them were fun lists, like books I’d like to read in 2021. One was much less fun–things to de-clutter in 2021. But oddly, I find myself excited to look at that list. I know there is plenty I can de-clutter and listing out specifically what can go really motivated me to get started.
Now, I know minimalism seems daunting. Or even just…weird to some. You might have the impression that you need to give up everything and only one a chair, bed and something else. Fridge perhaps. But that is not what minimalism is about, so stick with me and we will work our way through this list together.
This hurts my heart. I love clothes. In my twenties and even early thirties, I used to buy clothes to excess. I’d go into a favourite shop and drop easy two hundred bucks because I loved it all. Some I regretted. There were pieces I maybe wore once. And my closet and drawers housed a stupid, insane amount of clothes. Don’t get me wrong, I did toss things out. But I still held onto a lot. And even after my two big Marie Kondo style tidy ups, I still have a lot of clothes to de-clutter. So I am starting with clothes. There are tops sitting in my drawers that I know can go. I know I am not going to wear them. What I am asking myself now is, why do I continue to keep that top? Because I loved it when I bought it? Because it’s dressy? Because someone admired it on me once? I am not wearing that top, so it’s going. And it’s okay to let go of clothes. Your style changes, your body changes, fashion changes, and you are not saving anything by hanging onto tops or pants or whatever that you no longer wear. However, clearing them out will allow you to keep your clothes more tidily, to feel less guilt at not fitting into something, and just generally will allow your space (your home) to feel more calming. So do not be afraid to de-clutter your closet.
Beauty and Cosmetic Items
You know that shampoo you bought that cost just a little too much but you really don’t like? Or that mostly used up bottle of body lotion? Or the hair serum you never use? It’s time to clear them out. Again, why are we hanging onto to things we don’t use? Because we want to squeeze out that last bit of product even though we have moved onto a new bottle of lotion? Because the shampoo cost money? I have a cupboard full of this stuff and I cannot wait to just chuck, chuck, chuck. And honestly, it’s not your fault the big brand product everyone loves and recommends didn’t work for your hair. Mixed Chicks did not work for my waves. My waves are funky, my hair is fine, what can I do that it didn’t make my waves sexy and light? I can’t do a thing about it so I am going to be practical and remove it from my home. It seems wasteful to throw these things out–money wasted, product wasted, but it’s just as equally wasteful housing them when they are not being used. I encourage you to let go of any guilt you have in removing these items from your life and simply clear them out.
These are easy to collect and hard to get rid of, for a variety of reasons. Knick knacks are things you buy (or others have bought for you) for largely decorative purposes. Such as a trinket tray, a figurine, candles, small object d’arts. These are things we never quite sure what to do with. A trinket tray can hold some rings or a necklace that you wear frequently, a figurine might have been gifted to you for a special event like a graduation or birth of your child. Knick knacks serve no real purpose, but can be functional at times, and often hold sentimental value and thus de-cluttering them can become a sticky affair. I recently decided to do a de-clutter of some knick knacks and it was hard. Some I decided that it was okay to let go because I had outgrown them in a way, even though I still really liked them. You can’t hold onto to everything forever just as a child can’t hold onto his/her toys forever. Others I kept thinking I could use them as decor pieces once Christmas is over–but I am open to de-cluttering them as well. If a knick knack had ended up in a cupboard and I had no practical use for it, I let go of as well. Half burned candles went (I am being more conscious of the kinds of candles I burn and buy) trinket trays and ring holders have all left my life. I am just as content with them as without them, and don’t miss them at all. And that’s the secret–we feel like we can’t let these things go because we might miss them somehow, yet we do let them go you will realize that you don’t miss them at all. So it is totally okay to de-clutter these kinds of items.
Final thoughts and Tips 😉
Whew! I know this seems a lot without it really being a lot. It’s a lot to take in, a lot to de-clutter and likely, a lot to think about too. But I think it’s important we step back sometimes and think about our lives, our homes and how we want to live and what we want out of life. Stepping back for me has helped me realize I don’t need as much and that all this stuff isn’t making me happier, doesn’t make me richer in any way and that all of this stuff is just stressing me out. So I am excited to become even more minimal. So here is some more advice: start small. You are not going to become minimalist overnight. Minimalism is not about letting everything go, it’s about learning to live with less and discovering that you can be content with less too. You can hold onto as much as you want if you are ready to manage and house all of those things–but seriously ask yourself why you are. Take it one day at a time and move as fast or as slow as you want, but be mindful in what you are keeping, and what you are not keeping.
Interested in minimalism? Bugged by it? Share your thoughts below.