There is something about the concept of minimalist living that never seemed to really gel with me until the past year or two. I honestly just assumed it was some sort of look, in par with the modern, often soulless design that has been the trend over the years. Much as I have always loved white, light and airy spaces, and even as much as I myself had managed to achieve somewhat minimalist (or uncluttered) living environments, it did not occur to me that minimalism could be more than just chrome, white and large expenses of openness.
All that changed when I began to rid myself of the clutter that I had built up – emotionally, physically and mentally. Soon, I realised that maybe, the idea was less about trendy living rooms and more about finding a way to find inner peace in our busy, clutter-filled world.
Minimalist Living is an Actual Thing, Y’all
Yes, I may be a slow learner. But now that I have started this little journey, I am quite amazed at how much my life has started to change in small, not always noticeable ways. Some of the things that I have since discovered include the following:
> You do not need all of that sentimental stuff you have been hoarding since you were a teenager. No matter how much you think you will regret chucking out those ancient love letters and mementos from the good ol’ days, you have memories that do the trick just fine.
> You do not need clothes that no longer fit. You may suddenly be able to fit into those killer jeans one day, but it’s more likely that you won’t. Someone out there right now may fit into them though. That someone may not have the cash to buy fancy jeans. Think about that for a moment.
> You don’t need those clothes that you are iffy about either. Unless you wear it or you have worn it in the past six months (year if you are really, really not keen on letting it go), all it is doing in your wardrobe is taking up space. And again, maybe there’s someone out there who needs these things.
> You don’t need a gazillion perfumes. Maybe it’s just me, but I went through a phase of buying a lot of perfume. A lot of expensive perfume, I might add. It’s not that I had cash money to blow, but I used my store card and paid off every single bottle, growing my collection bit by bit. You know what though? I hardly used most of them. So I gave them away to my sister, who needed cheering up. Now I have narrowed it down to the three I use and love.
> You do not need a closet full of shoes. Forget those women in fashion mags with their fancy shoe closets. Unless you really (really) love shoes and wear a different pair every day, you can live without a pair of the same heel in different colours. That goes for all those heels that you can’t walk in, but just had to buy because they were so pretty.
> You do not need to have stuff on every surface. It took me a while before it occurred to me that keeping my night stand clutter in a box on the night stand worked a lot better than letting it all hang loose all over the surface. Also, things no longer fall off and vanish into the bedroom abyss. Pack it away, and it’s safe, organised and neater all round.
> You do not have to lose colour in your life. Guess what – minimalist boho is also an actual thing. So is minimalist rustic. You can have as much colour and pattern as you like, and still be minimalist. Just as long as you keep your colourful things decluttered, you are on the right track.
> You do not have to give away things that you love. My own personal rule of thumb is to ask myself the following question when deciding to lose it or keep it: “Am I going to miss this thing?” If I am unsure, even a little meh or kinda sorta on the fence, I keep it. For now, anyway. It’s better to keep if you are not 100% sure – you can always change your mind later and chuck it, but you can’t unchuck things once they’re gone.
> You don’t need to follow a set system or guide. Inspiration and insight about minimalist living is good. Even getting ideas on how it works is excellent. But you do not need a checklist, action plan and step-by-step instructions. All you need is the right mindset. And maybe some boxes, because once you start decluttering, you will certainly need them.
Minimalism is a Journey, Not a Destination
Really, it is. There is no holy grail waiting here, or any noddy badges either. You don’t get brownie points. Nothing super special will happen to you whether you embrace your inner minimalist or not. At the very least, you will have a home that is cleaner, more organised and easier on the eye. But you may also find that the process itself brings you some good feels. Calm, peace, order… that sort of thing.
I am still figuring out a lot of this as I go along, and do not claim to be an expert here. The way I see it though is that anything that helps to boost the calm factor and contribute towards self-care is something worth trying. You never know – minimalist living may be just what you need at this stage of your life.
Free Zen Posters for Everyone!
Because I’m feeling all warm and fluffy today, I am giving away a totally free super amazing zen poster created by me. The photograph used in the poster was taken by me, in a place known for its magical calming properties. I can’t guarantee it will bring you inner peace, but it may look nice as a desktop to remind you that peace comes from inside and not from all that clutter.