Friday, 10 August 2018

BEGINNING MINIMALISM



Hello lovelies! It may not be the start of a new year, but it is definitely the start of a new chapter in my life. After recently incorporating minimalism into my daily life, I've began to see all of the wonderful things to come from having less.

I've been known to be quite the collector in the past and things just got way out of hand when I moved into my own unfurnished flat for the first time. I made the mistake of thinking I had to fill every empty wall and each cupboard in my kitchen. I went a little crazy with the furnishing and as a result I have spent far too much money that I could have saved. One of the biggest things I've thrown my money away on is clothes.

So. Many. Clothes.

All of these items I had gathered over the past few years while being away at university, each one of them completely unnecessary. It's fair to say I hit the awkward teenage phase of trying out different styles whilst at university, and thus began the endless amount of shopping. One minute I'd decide I was 'this type of person' and buy near enough a whole new wardrobe to fit that decision - to then realise it was either too much effort to upkeep or simply not for me. I always found myself coming back to the basics.

This is where I began my minimalism journey.

I took out all of my clothes and laid each item out on my bed, asking myself simple and strict questions:

1. Do you like this item?
2. When was the last time you wore it?
3. When do you see yourself wearing it again?
4. Does it actually fit you right, and make you feel comfortable yet unstoppable?

I sorted through my clothing collection and donated over 107 items to charity, some still brand new and with the labels on. I've always had a tendency to splurge on new clothes and spend so much money, to then fall out of love with them almost instantly. Do I ever return them? No. Do I ever wear them again? No. Yet I still could not stop myself from shopping. 

After graduating from university in July 2017, I did stop shopping for about nine months. In that time I spent most of my days just working and living, and so I was always in uniform at work and pyjamas at home! It was such a revelation when I thought about the last time I'd been shopping or ordered clothes online. I couldn't believe how long it had been and so I treated myself to a trip to Primark. I bought so many unnecessary items just because I liked them - mostly for my upcoming holiday, yet still I did not even wear most of them. Reflecting on those shopping trips now I would much rather have all of that money back and in my savings! It came to the point where I was just so sick of spending money on clothes for them to end up unused and wasted.

Then minimalism came into my life and it changed me! Suddenly I wasn't looking at my wardrobe as 'bare' or 'basic' but 'essential' and 'timeless'. There are still a few items I would like to purchase to complete more of a capsule wardrobe, mostly to replace the items I didn't fit into anymore or were worn out - which I donated and recycled. I started doing more research into sustainable and ethical clothing brands and asking myself the question "who actually made my clothes?". There are so many wonderful companies out there with compassion at the forefront of their business. They are transparent, honest and ethical. Choose slow fashion, not fast fashion.

One of my favourite rules of minimalism is to not buy until you need and I have held off on buying the items I want for my wardrobe until I absolutely need them! For example, going back to university means I cannot wear my pyjamas 24/7 and therefore need some daily essentials such as vests, t-shirts and a backpack. I haven't purchased them just yet, and won't do until going back to uni is a little closer!

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Clothes may be the place where minimalism began for me, but it has changed other aspects of my life at home! Not only am I opened up to the world of sustainable and ethical clothing, but I truly appreciate every single item I own. I treasure and value them because I know just how lucky I am to have the opportunity to buy and enjoy these things when so many people do not. Minimalist living lets me create a space that is freeing, peaceful and homely - and free from clutter. What a lot of people don't realise is that most of what we hold onto and allow to clutter our homes also clutters our minds. What I have found out about the things that I have donated, recycled and removed from my life is that they were all remnants of the past - times when I wasn't myself or I was going through something difficult. I didn't realise it at the time but I was holding onto so much negativity in the form of clutter, and it had to go. Embarking on this journey I didn't just want to de-clutter my home, but also free up my mind. My mental health became the most important thing in my life to take care of at the beginning of 2018 and in just a few weeks of de-cluttering, I have managed to improve it massively.

Saying goodbye to old habits can be hard, and sometimes when we have little things that remind us of a certain time in our lives, we want to hold onto that forever. It is okay to have a memory box, a drawer in your bedroom full of memories and keepsakes. Minimalism doesn't mean you have to get rid of everything, it just allows you to evaluate what you do own, and decide what is important for your life, your positivity, and your productivity but in a practical sense.

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Minimalism also isn't something you do once, it is a recurring evaluation of what you own and how you go about your daily life. It is natural in this day and age to over time collect things we do not need, and while minimalist living can help to eliminate the majority of that, it is still common to have a build up of unnecessary things. Whether that be old purchases, clothes that no longer fit us, or unwanted gifts - over time it is natural to change your mind and grow out of some possessions. Each day we are learning and growing as people and you may find you reach another point in your life where certain things surrounding you no longer fit into your lifestyle. Personally, I love de-cluttering and reorganising and so I am looking forward to more of what I have already done!


I want to end this post with a couple of my favourite minimalism encouraging quotes!


"Minimalism is asking why before you buy."

"Minimalism is not less than you need. It's just less than you're used to."

and of course... "Less is more."



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