Hello everyone! Today I thought I would talk to you about my recent discovery of minimalism and give a little bit of background about what minimalism means to me. I hope that you might find this relatable in some way but also that it might inspire you to consider your own habits and whether you can incorporate it into your own life.
I have called this video shopper to minimalist. Whilst I considered the title Shopaholic to Minimalist, I think there are different interpretations of the definition of a shopaholic. What might be a lot of shopping to one person might not be to another. I think I sit somewhere in the middle. Since I was 17, with my first full-time job as an apprentice, I have had my own money. Other than a little rent to my parents, this money was mine to spend as I pleased. Like anyone, I enjoyed the thrill of spending money and buying new things. If I found an item I liked I would buy it in a few colours; never did I worry about where I would store these things. I would find a way. Usually, it would be bags, shoes, scarves and makeup, but on the odd occasion, I would splurge on clothes.
I wasn’t the happiest of people in my later teens and often felt lost in the world. I lacked confidence in myself and experienced some depression. This certainly impacted on my spending habits and I would buy things to fill that void and give me something to focus on. However, I was brought up to be careful with money and this meant that I was also conscious of trying to be sensible and save.
Happily, I managed to find a balance between spending and saving. Yes, I was buying things I didn’t really need but I was also creating savings. I eventually spent these savings buying my own home which I still live in and love. However, it is a two bedroom flat rather than a mansion. Whilst a two-bedroom flat is plenty of space, it often felt cluttered and I would often feel this sense of embarrassment when people arrived unexpectedly.
I used to find that quite stressful but still I didn’t do anything about it. I would see the piles of paperwork building up and my brain would recognise and process the idea of going through it each time I looked that way. With a negative thought attached to it, I was constantly feeding my brain with negativity without even realising it. Of course, the bigger the pile gets, the bigger the task to go through it and the worse the thought of it would be. Looking back it seems like madness.
Step one is the downsizing process through decluttering, hence my decluttering videos. I have heard others say that this was difficult for them but that hasn’t been my experience so far. It hasn’t been a walk in the park but I have made swift, firm decisions about items that I have deliberated over for years. It feels somewhat surreal but also fantastic. To feel stronger and more confident in those decisions, to stand firm and not worry about the potential regret is empowering.
One of the standout things for me is the thought of the money spent. Whether I am recycling the items, giving them to family and friends or sending them off to a charity shop, the financial aspect has been the toughest hurdle. I have had to stay strong and not let that sway my judgement. It has also made me realise how much I used to buy in a bid to achieve my fantasy self. It was often about who I wanted to be rather than who I was, especially when it came to clothes. I am not sure that I have conquered that entirely but I feel in a better place with it.
Whilst I am far from being a true minimalist, I am definitely on a journey. I love the idea of minimalism and am thoroughly enjoying the decluttering process I have underway. In addition, I really enjoy practising it when shopping. It isn’t easy but as much as I love the feeling of bringing something new home, I also enjoy the win of choosing not to buy something that I know I don’t really need. It has taken me a long time but suddenly I have become aware of the pure joy that a clutter-free space brings me. Happily, this is currently something that remains at the forefront of my mind, enabling me to make those tough decisions when Aldi’s gorgeous stationary range calls to me.
As I said though, I am still on a journey. I already know that once I have decluttered everything I will need to go through my belongings again. The more you declutter, the easier it becomes. I also know that I have kept items this time around just to see if I will use them again. This isn’t a negative thing though, I see where I am as stage one. The reality is I am looking forward to the challenge of reconsidering everything with a more experienced perspective.
Then, once the decluttering is complete I will be embarking on a life of striving not to re-clutter… I can just imagine that little devil on my shoulder encouraging me to fill the space I have created. This remains to be seen but I am currently feeling strong and that feels good.