I <3 this. Someone posted this online today and it really got me thinking. I've been steadily and slowly minimising our crap over the last 18 months or so. My issue used to be (and sometimes still is) that I don't want to 'waste' things that I paid good money for. Or that it's a really 'nice' item (that I happen to never use/wear). It can be hard to get over these deeply ingrained thoughts. You need to find a new way of thinking about it. For me, it was the prospect of selling some of these things and making a bit of extra money while creating space in my home (and brain), or for items not worth selling, being able to donate them to people who could make much better use of them. The total junk went in the bin.
So now, we have no great big piles or boxes of junk anywhere (very few stored items in closets).
No doubles/triples of unnecessary items.
(Almost) no clothes/shoes/jewellery that we don’t like/need/doesn’t fit well/look good/etc. (the two of us share one smallish walk in closet + 1 dresser).
No piles of extra unused kitchen stuff (when we moved in together we had 2 – and sometimes more – of everything. No need!).
No more overflowing bathroom/beauty products.
We don’t have a basement here in Australia, so no storage there.
Our single garage holds a car, bikes, tools, gardening stuff, small freezer, and 2 (soon to be sold) washing machines.
No excess trinkets and knick knacks everywhere (not our style anyway), just a few photos and art, etc. that we like.
Sentimental items can be a hard one. For me, I keep only the very most meaningful items. That is, I do now. I used to keep EVERYTHING! Recently I went through a box of items that contained many wedding invitations, thank you cards, birthday cards, other bits of paper to commemorate different events and moments. Most of it went into the recycling. Do I really need to keep other people’s wedding invitations (aside perhaps from very close family)? Nope (sorry, friends!). Or birth announcements, etc., 10 years later? No. I have photos from these events that I can keep (mainly digitally). I’ve even gone through old photo albums (pre-digital cameras!) and thrown out the doubles (triples, quadruples…) and horrible photos. I used to keep every map, postcard, playbill, concert (or any) tickets…it wasn’t long ago that I threw out some of these things from over 20 years ago! Unnecessary. Now, I keep only the most special of items. Everything else can go. You still have your memories. And this also means that the items you DO keep are super special and meaningful.
We could go even more minimalist but I think we are at a good place with it now. We don’t want to live within 4 bare walls. And once you get into the routine of limiting crap in your house (and therefore life) it becomes a habit; easy to do and actually quite enjoyable. I love getting rid of stuff!
And the other thing we do to control the amount of stuff that fills out house is that that we never shop. Like hardly ever. Once you get into the habit of no-excess, you find that when you are shopping you have this thought in your head of ‘Do I really need this?’ and often the answer is ‘no’. And it’s totally fine. We mostly just shop for food and necessities now.
I was listening to The Minimalists Podcast the other day where the host mentioned buying ‘stuff’ as a cost to your freedom. The more you buy, the more you need to work/earn, and for some people the more debt you accumulate. Did you know people’s average debt is $15,000? Is that cup of coffee worth $4 of your freedom? Is that t-shirt worth $30 of your freedom? An interesting way to look at it. I suppose for me, I’d rather spend my money/freedom on good quality food, travel, continued education, and pursuits that are important to us/our values/wellbeing (for us that means an annual subscription to ballet for me, and an annual golf club membership for Leigh). The occasional nice pieces of quality clothing/shoes too, when actually needed. We also love to go out for long yummy breakfasts and chat for ages. This is what’s important to us (of course, it will be different for you), so this where we spend our hard-earned money. Not under pressure having to earn more and more money and working like a maniac to pay off bills and debts for tonnes and tonnes of stuff, that when you really think about it, is totally unnecessary, and you end up drowning in it. It also cuts way down on day-to-day stress trying to sort/tidy/maintain all the ‘stuff’.
At least, that’s what we’ve seen as an outcome.
What do you think? Does being a bit more minimalist resonate with you?