Those of you who follow me on Twitter will know that I’ve been on something of a decluttering mission recently.
I’ve mentioned it a few times but honestly, it has been a major focus of mine for the last couple of weeks.
I’m not talking about throwing out my old socks and donating a couple of books to charity.
I’ve been seriously ruthless.
Bin bags of clothes, stacks of books, boxes of craft supplies and stationery, shoes, accessories, random junk with tenuous sentimental value… it’s all gone – donated to charity, given away, sold, recycled, or (as a last resort) thrown away.
And it’s not just my physical stuff. I’ve also tackled my digital clutter; emails, photos, documents, eBooks… delete, delete, delete.
I’ve decluttered many times over the years but this time feels different. Previous expunctions have been superficial at best. I would give away a few books and donate a few items of clothing, then almost immediately feel justified in buying new stuff to replace it.
The cycle was endless.
I have too much stuff -> Declutter -> I have so much space! -> Buy new stuff -> Wait, I have too much stuff again…
Decluttering can be really fun (honestly!) and so therapeutic. However, the novelty quickly fades when you’re having to declutter the whole house every few months.
I decided this time would be different. This time I would declutter and stay decluttered. This time I would break the cycle.
I’ve always raved about the benefits of decluttering but what about the benefits of staying decluttered? They range from “oh, that’s better” to “holy shit, that’s amazing”.
Some of the benefits of staying decluttered include:
- Storing less stuff means less time spent cleaning and tidying and more time spent doing what you want to do
- Buying less stuff saves you money and helps to avoid debt
- Stepping out of the cycle of unnecessary consumerism is good for the environment
- Having less physical clutter around can reduce feelings of overwhelm and suffocation
Sounds good, right?
So, as part of my “staying decluttered” goal, I started looking into minimalism.
There are so many things I love about minimalism, especially since I learned that it’s not just about empty white surfaces and scant furniture.
Minimalism isn’t about having nothing. It’s about only having the things that really matter to you, freeing you up to live the life that you really want.
It’s about letting go of anything that isn’t essential or that doesn’t make you happy. Like lopping off a malignant growth; perhaps temporarily painful, it is ultimately incredibly healing.
It’s about physical, emotional, and spiritual liberation.
It’s about freedom, clarity, and happiness.
I’m still in the early stages of my minimalism journey and my goal is to get to a place where minimalism is a way of life for me. Nevertheless, minimalism is not a one-size-fits-all concept – in fact, quite the opposite.
There are lots of resources offering advice, tips, and lived experience stories, and these can be a great starting point, but you will get the most out of this lifestyle if you make it your own and personalise it to suit your own unique needs.
Like I said, I’m still a newbie, so here are some of the resources I’ve been using:
- TheMinimalists.com (website, books, films, podcast, downloadable resources)
- Madeleine Olivia YouTube channel (minimalism series)
- TEDxCapeTown: The less you own, the more you have – Angela Horn
- TEDxUniversityofEdinburgh: Is your stuff stopping you? – Elizabeth Dulemba
- ClutterBug YouTube channel (not specifically about minimalism, but good for decluttering advice)
- No Impact Man documentary (affiliate link: more info here)
I hope you find these resources as useful as I do. Do you have any others you’d like to share? Drop them in the comments below and feel free to share your minimalism journey too!