My Kind of Minimalism

my kind of minimalism

My decluttering challenge continues, inspired by an array of YouTube videos showing me how to minimise my possessions step-by-step.

There are myths around minimalism – imagine a bedroom with just a bed, a cupboard and nothing else, bare, white walls and empty spaces.

But the designer minimalism is unrealistic for me. I want my place to look like a home – but without the clutter and mess.

My kind of minimalism involves a different approach – getting rid of what collects dust and cannot be stored in cupboard spaces available.

So this week, I focused on window sills, cupboard tops, under bed storage boxes and tables.

In the process, I have noticed that I have far too many vases, photo frames, souvenirs from bygone holidays, dried flower arrangements and dusty ornaments (cute but pointless gifts from well-meaning family).

I even found some old magazines in a box under my bed I didn’t even know I had (WTF 😄) Gone into the recycling bin!

Another bag has gone to the charity shop, and my cupboard tops and window sills are free of clutter – a breath of fresh air.

It also makes a massive difference, when table tops are kept clear of everything but one or two items, such as a candle, flowers or a fruit bowl.

my kind of minimalism - table top

But my kind of minimalism doesn’t end here. Reducing clutter is great, but it needs to be maintained.

Reducing and minimalising rather than hoarding and accumulating to refill the cleared spaces.

My kind of minimalism involves radically cutting down on waste and consumption.

This calls for a new attitude towards materialism. Do I really need all these CDs, books, and DVDs?

Nowadays, I no longer buy CDs but listen to music on Spotify and other streaming services.

While I still have a sizeable book collection (mostly non-fiction and reference books), it has been culled severely in recent weeks, and once I have finished reading a novel, I pass it on to a friend or the charity shop.

The charity shop is also a good place to buy these things second-hand. I have found a few DVD bargains at just 99p, and once I have watched the film, again I pass it on to friends or back to charity.

There really is no need to own these things cluttering up your space.

Here are some other products and household items that often turn quite sneakily into large collections:

  • toiletteries and make-up
  • household cleaning products
  • crockery (mugs!) and kitchen gadgets
  • pens and paper products (if you are into art journaling)
  • hobby supplies, such as yarn and fabrics
  • seasonal decorations
  • towels
  • bedlinen

Sometimes we sleepwalk into a pointless abundance of stuff, which tends to prompt us into buying underbed storage or a bigger cupboard.

But the moment we contemplate buying additional storage, alarm bells should be ringing.

Benefits of reducing consumption:

  • not spending money I don’t have (no debts)
  • no need to work “hard” (no more overtime madness to fund an extravagant lifestyle that drains my health)
  • reducing my carbon footprint
  • not spending more money on extra storage or even a bigger place to live
  • more money to invest in quality rather than quantity
  • ability to save money for rainy days
  • less stress

So far I am really enjoying my new minimalist adventure. There is still much to do and keeping up with what I have achieved.

My big role models are the new tiny houses that have become so popular in recent years.

My aim is to fit everything I own into a tiny house. Perhaps I won’t achieve it, but even if I get only half way there, it would be fantastic.

What are you working on decluttering at the moment? How has adopting minimalism changed your life?

Let me know in the comment box below, I’d love to hear from you.

Until next time,

Christiane

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Declutter Challenge: Reducing Possessions by Half

declutter challenge: reducing possessions by half

Reducing possessions by half can be a daunting task, but when I realised the other week that I owned over 30 pairs of shoes, most of which I hardly ever wore, I knew I had to be radical.

It wasn’t just the shoes.

Clothes, bags, books, CDs, DVDs, kitchen gadgets, candle holders, bric-a-brac…. despite regular clearouts over the years, all that stuff still managed to sneak up on me taking over my space and unconsciously my mind.

Not to mention all those tarot and oracle decks and books, which I have collected over the years.

Collecting, collecting…. why?

When did it all start, the idea that we need more and more, the quick thrill of the purchase, and after a short while placed on the shelf or in a box to be used again at one point… or never….

And yet, clinging to those pretty little things for years.

I have enjoyed reading and learning from the books on my shelves, and playing with all those decks, but time has come to pass them on to others.

Joy and wisdom to be shared, not kept.

Reducing possessions by half, where to start?

Shoes. Now I only own ten pairs including winter boots.

Then I moved on to the books. This one was hard.

There were loads of German books I brought to the UK when I moved here.

They had sentimental value, but I realised that they no longer offered me any new knowledge or inspiration.

They simply occupied space, nothing more.

I took six boxes of books to the local Oxfam bookshop, and more is still on its way.

As a result, I got rid of some furniture too, which has created more space for a more relaxed feel.

It is absolutely liberating when all the stuff goes. It is so easy to get attached to things, clinging on to them, thinking it’s impossible to be without them.

But it is possible to be without them, and life even feels better and lighter than before.

I have realised that a lot of things we keep holding on to can cause all sorts of uncomfortable feelings and emotions – memories of loss, bygone eras, endings, people that caused pain.

Why holding on to things associated with all that sadness and keep living in the past?

I have also donated most of my DVDs and CDs to charity together with lots of other stuff – four full bags.

Despite all this major clearout, this has just been the beginning.

My possessions haven’t been reduced by half yet, but I’m so happy about having had this breakthrough of letting go of things I thought I couldn’t be without.

Most important of all, my regained space is not an invitation to refill it again.

Next time I buy a pair of shoes, they will be replacements rather than additions. Same with clothes.

I love reading, so I buy books. But once I have read them, I will pass them on to friends or charity.

As nerdy as it sounds, but clearing out and decluttering has become a new hobby for me 😃

How are you simplifying your life today?

Warmest wishes,

Christiane

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