It’s a new(ish) month and therefore time for another post on what new thing I’m trying. And in case you haven’t already worked it out, for the month of April I’m becoming a MINIMALIST.
(Disclaimer: It was going to be ‘March minimalism’ which sounded much cooler but time flew by a little too quickly.)
This idea of minimalism all started off with a little thought of mine; “hey- minimalist living is cool… Seems very practical… And really I live at my boyfriend’s house 5 nights a week so I BASICALLY I live out of a canvas bag so I am BASICALLY a minimalist…” and before I knew it, I was getting rid of 80% of my life’s hoardings.
It was only when I mentioned the idea to my best friend and she responded with: “how the FUCK are YOU going to do that??” (the subtext of which screams: “Amber you’re a hoarder”) which made me think this may be a tiny little bit challenging. But that just makes for better reading eh?
After deciding this was the big bold move for me, I asked for some advice on Twitter and came across the following blogs:
I read Abigail’s posts on minimalism and decided to follow her advice from her first steps to minimalism.
I started off by creating a vision plan. This was a difficult task with so many life-balls up in the air at the moment: I don’t know what job I’ll be working at next week, what country I’ll be in at the end of the year, what career routes I’ll be taking next year or where I’ll be living. You know, only the big massive life decisions. After a small stress, I went back to the vision plan and wrote down what things are really important to my life generally. I wrote down make up, some jewellery, camera, old photos… that kind of thing. Considering how much crap I really have, I didn’t write down loads. Meaning there was fucking loads of crap I could get rid of.
Getting rid of the obvious crap
I started by getting rid of the ‘obvious clutter’ Abigail mentioned in her post. Most of this was stuff to go to the charity shop: Scooby Doo mugs, multi coloured sharpies, 30+ DVDs (who honestly still watches DVDs anyway?).
10 minutes in I found myself engrossed in an old photo album… And then a diary from 12 year old me… And then a book I thought I was going to read 5 years ago. Everyone has their breaking point, and these three were mine. But that book looked really interesting when I bought it… when I was 17… The thing with books is that when we buy a book, we are spending money on the time we think we’ll have to read it. But in reality we often do not. So it’s time to get rid of that bloody ‘Of Mice and Men’ book you’ve insistently been ‘about to read’ for 10 years now.
I managed to get rid of A LOT of books, many of which were literally from my A levels (7 years ago). Of course I kept my favourite books (Perks of Being a Wallflower!!!) and a few more which I planned to read in upcoming months. But only a few. And they will go if I haven’t read them before June. Which brings me on to the next section…
But what if…?
But what if I regret throwing it away? I read about the 10/10 material possessions theory which really made me think: how much value does the shit in my room actually add to my life? Very few of my favourite life moments are affected by that rubber duck ornament YANO.
But what if there’s an emergency and someone needs to borrow the rubber duck ornament? One you’ve finished your initial stage of *getting rid*, put the remaining items in a box for X amount of time… I’m going to say 2 months, but you can say a week, or a year- it’s up to you. If you don’t pick these things up before the end of your chosen time period, then get rid. This just helps get rid of those extra bits that hang around for too long.
My Wardrobe is Bursting at the Seams
The box theory applies to clothes as well, which is handy because I do struggle with parting ways with clothes. I have a lot of clothes, a lot of which I wear pretty regularly. I’ll go through phases where I only wear patterned trousers… or only black jeans… or only skirts and dresses. So this one is a bit more difficult for me to work my way through.
I got rid of the obvious stuff first: a bright orange and yellow high-neck playsuit I thought I could pull off last festival season (I could not); a pair of Levis I accidentally bought in the wrong size from Depop and kept just in case I dropped 2-3 dress sizes (ha)… And in fancy dress alone: a crayon costume (never worn), a wonder woman costume (worn once), a super mario costume, (worn not by me) a hotdog costume (‘borrowed’ from work… never worn). I wish this was some kind of exaggeration but this is truly what came out of my wardrobe… and will soon be going to a new loving home (depop/the charity shop).
We all know that stuff just builds up. So look at what you wear regularly, what you’ve never touched in your life, what has emotional value to you (I’ll still keep my year 11 leaver’s hoodie for now) and free up some space in that busy wardrobe. Whether you’re donating clothes to more than grateful charity shop, selling bits on Depop or popping down to a clothes exchange (Leeds community clothes exchange!), just please don’t throw clothes into landfill (did you know there’s around £140 million worth of clothing going to landfill every year in the UK alone?! Read my fast fashion post for more scary statistics about the environment & the fashion industry).
Do remember that you may not have worn that summer dress in a while, but you’ll want it when it starts to get warmer. So don’t throw away everything you haven’t worn in the last 7 days. But A* for effort.
So that’s about it on my minimalism knowledge. I know it’s a little minimal (ha). I’ll let you know how my minimalism goes throughout April and hopefully I will be a refreshed minimalist gal through and through by the end of the month. I want to be a minimalist emailer, have a minimalist bank account, things like that, not just be a minimalist in terms of possessions when May comes along, so I’ll keep you updated on that.
In the words of Joshua from the Minimalists: “When life is simple, I don’t need much to live.”
Thanks for reading 🙂