Minimalism

I love minimalism.

I would call myself a minimalist at heart because by nature I love spaciousness and in life I work towards only having things in my life that I love or find useful. For me minimalism is about removing enough ‘things’ that there is more space for love, life and laughter. I know there are some minimalists who live out of a backpack or own only 100 things, I don’t fit into that group although I’m sure it is liberating.

I do have ‘things’ and I don’t know how many (I’ve never counted). When my other half and I moved from our last house we took the opportunity to purge our home from what was no longer useful or loved and we easily filled a skip and took twice that amount to charity shops. It felt great and honestly, I thought we were kind of done, like we’d removed as much as we could. We needed the rest. Oh how wrong I was!

We’re considering turning one of our rooms into a study but it relies heavily on the idea that I can remove at least one set of drawers from the room. It’s been a surprisingly tricky exercise in minimalism and reorganisation and I’m not done yet. There are six large drawers and so far I’ve completed five but I’m really struggling with the final one. Why? Because that’s where I store my jewellery, my hairbands, my surplus make-up that rarely gets used and other bathroom products that get used occasionally. I had no idea I was so attached to the contents of this drawer that I only open occasionally but something must be done and there isn’t space anywhere else for them, unless I radically declutter somewhere else too… what would you suggest?

Your helpful tips and advice are welcome and I’ll let you know in the comments when and how I achieve this! Fiona,x

11 thoughts on “Minimalism

  1. When I moved, there were a few tough decisions to make so I decided that if items couldn’t fit it into either ‘memories’ or ‘useful’ then they were gone. ‘Useful’ quickly changed to ‘useful on a weekly basis’ as it became obvious there were lots of things that might be useful at some undefined point in the future!

    I also realised I’m a bit of a sentimentalist, keeping things that remind me of people, events or times of my life. I know that a lot of the ‘memories’ I’ve kept will only be found again the next time I move, but I think there’s something nice about that 🙂

    Good luck!

    Tom x

    • Hi Tom,
      I understand what you mean about useful or useful weekly/monthly/seasonally or just does this item hold any potential usefulness in the future … I think when I go through my final drawer I’ll keep that in mind. I’m also going to move the final items into a box so I can at least remove the set of drawers and begin making changes in the room 🙂

      I think it’s lovely you are sentimental, I’m not so much, except with photo’s perhaps. It is a lovely way to revisit happy memories.

      So have you officially moved in your new place now?

  2. What a great post! You’ve done very well to have emptied five drawers out of six. Can you put the remaining items into a small box so that you can get rid of the set of drawers. You’ll still need to re-home the items but at least you’ve cleared the space. With the make-up items, it sounds like backups of products you like to use, so could you maybe put them into a travelling hygiene bag, or into your handbag, so that you get to keep them, but in a place that is more useful to you? Looking forward to hearing how you go with the room conversion!

    • Hi Kim,
      Lovely to hear from you and yes I think your idea is going to be the best one to keep the momentum moving on the room conversion… I’m pretty sure we’ve got a box in the shed that I can use to hold the items as I decide what to do with them 🙂

      I wonder if I were to design a house if I’d add in more build in storage? Or if perhaps having storage means we keep more than we need? I mean it was pretty easy to declutter 5 of the 6 drawers which suggests I had too much stuff I wasn’t using… Oh soo many thoughts – I’ll keep you posted 🙂

  3. Hi Fiona 🙂
    Well, first I have to say that this post reminded me of myself 😉
    So here’s what I did. I knowingly took a box that just could not hold all of my stuff. So anything that would not fit into that box, had to go. One week later, I tried to put it into a smaller box and so on. This is how I’ve gradually removed most of my excess make up and jewellery. I found it very liberating 🙂 Hope it helps you 🙂

      • Sure, that’s a great idea! And if you have the lid for the boxes, it’s even better. So you can actually see if you opened it. (Well, if you did, then you should leave it open 😉 )
        Love,
        X

  4. I would say that it’s tough, but you’ve just got to be ruthless. Normally when someone can’t decide on keeping something they’ll say “since I can’t decide, I’d better hold onto it”, change this to “since I can’t decide, I’m getting rid of it”. Then perhaps sort through everything?

  5. I know this is an older post, but I just came across it. 🙂 I have to say, I love Tom’s advice here! I agree that we need to change our way of thinking from undecided = keep, to undecided = toss. If we’re honest with ourselves, I think we’d find that we’re undecided because we know that we should clear things out, but we just don’t want to admit it!

    I’m curious – how have you done over the last few months since this post? Have you made much headway?

    • Yeah Tom was right on the money with his advice! 🙂

      I managed to reduce the amount of ‘surplus’ stuff I had down so that I only had one set of drawers left in that room and one drawer still as an ’empty’ drawer 🙂 So we would have been able to transform it into an office if our plans had gone ahead.

      I’ve been through a huge transformation since November 2012 and by February 2013 I had reduced my stuff quite dramatically.

      I was thinking of writing a post about it soon. Needless to say I achieved my goal & some 🙂 xx

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