My first blog was about starting the clear-out process with something simple. And we chose mugs.
At the time we cut down our mug collection from 28 to 15 and I clearly remember finding it really difficult and finding justifications to keep more than we’d originally planned!
Beardie and I now only own six mugs. We have two each and then two spares in the cupboard for guests/builders. This is perfect for us, but wouldn’t be ideal for someone who has a lot of friends over for tea and cake!
Approximately one year after starting our Minimalism journey – I thought it would be a good time to reflect on the highs and lows.
It doesn’t take as long to clean
The rooms that we have tackled already have a lot less clutter so it’s easier to keep them tidy and to clean.
I’ve saved money
Particularly on clothes. I wasn’t an extravagant spender anyway and I haven’t given myself a spending ban at any point – but I’ve been making more sensible purchases and I’m finding it easier to let things go if they’re not right.
I’m creating more
Saving some time and money means I have more time to spend on creating. I’m growing more fruit and veg in the garden and I’m finding more time and money to spend on sewing and knitting garments for myself.
I’m looking after myself
Minimalism isn’t just about getting rid of stuff! It’s about simplifying your life and living more mindfully.
I’ve always been a big advocate of self care and this was largely the motivation behind the Moody Blanket. I believe that looking after our minds is as important as looking after our bodies but it’s something many of us feel we don’t have time for.
I started a habit tracker this year to encourage me to meditate daily, eat healthily and get more sleep. I really feel the benefits when I stick to my daily habits and I notice the negative impact when I let things slip for a few days.
‘Stuff’ stresses me out
I’m quite an impatient person and if I decide to do something I generally just want to get it done! However – I knew that rushing through the initial ‘getting rid of stuff’ part of minimalism wouldn’t work for me. I’ve had big clear-outs before and I inevitably put things out of sight to sort out later. This time I want to do it thoroughly and make a lasting change!
People deal with the process differently. Ryan of The Minimalists had a packing party – putting all his belongings in boxes/covering furniture and then only keeping what he had used within a certain amount of days (extreme!). Whereas Josh (also of The Minimalists) gradually got rid of the majority of his belongings in the space of a year.
Beardie and I kick-started things in June by playing The Minimalism Game. When we came to a standstill we followed this up with a mini packing party for our kitchen crockery at the end of last year. Other than that we’ve just been gradually working through things… and it’s a slow process.
We’ve probably tackled more than half the house which is great – but because we haven’t completed the process of minimising every room, I always feel like I should be doing ‘stuff’ and ‘stuff’ becomes stressful!
I feel guilty
I guess it’s natural when taking good care of oneself to feel a bit selfish!
I find meditation particularly difficult because my mind bounces around and I feel like I ‘should’ be doing something else.
But taking time out can often make you more focused, more productive, calmer and generally a nicer person to be around. So ultimately self care is caring for everyone… my brains just not calibrated that yet!