What have you bought to commemorate the birth of the Royal Baby?

This was the question that confronted me on a survey I recently filled in. What have I bought to commemorate the birth of the Royal Baby? Once upon a time I wouldn’t have thought twice about this, but now I am pursuing minimalism- the absurdity of this really struck home! Why would I buy something to commemorate the birth of a baby I will never meet? What good will it do to have a plate or a tea towel or some other object that will never get used in my home? I will have to dust it frequently. Over time it will fade or get chipped or cracked. Twenty years down the line, I’ll dig it out of a cupboard and cart it to a charity shop, where probably no-one will want it. Just like all those commemorative Royal Wedding items people bought, only to find that the marriages barely last twenty years. Doesn’t this just ram home what a consumerist society we live in?

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Candlelight- an alternative to electricity?

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Does anyone live by candlelight as an alternative to electricity? My husband and I would be interested to hear from anyone who does! Or who has tried it. We are considering trying living by candlelight as part of our minimalist adventures. Our reasons are manifold; it will potentially save us money with the rising cost of electricity here in the UK. It might allow us to re-connect with the past- in the sense that families all used to live by candlelight. It will allow our natural circadian rhythms to kick in more and might even aid our sleep. It’s beautiful and atmospheric- candlelight is so soft and ambient and watching that flickering flame is fascinating. Plus, I love the smell and artistic nature of candle smoke- the way it snakes and curls and leaves trails in the air. I’m sure that a member of the Fire Service will be horrified by our suggestion, but we are going to give it a try.

Take your time

Minimising is a slow process, at least is has been for me. I think it is best to take this slow- it’s like any other life change- slow= sustainable. If you were trying to lose weight from your body, then your best results would come from making small changes, over time and being able to keep these up. I think minimising is like losing weight- emotionally and spiritually. Although weirdly you’re losing physical weight too- in the form of possessions!

When you are exercising, there comes a point when you hit ‘the wall’ where you just run out of energy. It’s a like a physical and mental barrier that you have to push through. You always hear marathon runners talking about it. I feel like I’ve just done that with minimising. I look around and I want to get rid of more stuff and I know I could, but it’s becoming hard. I have read other bloggers talking about when it becomes harder to get rid of stuff because of emotional attachments. It was a gift, it has been handed down through generations of my family, it was free, I might need it someday- so many reasons.

I have actually sold my wedding dress this week- I mean, it’s not like I was ever going to wear it again! It was destined to sit in a cupboard, becoming ever more dated and probably getting eaten by moths and yellowing eventually. Far better to give a bride-to-be the dress of her life, re-coup half of what I spent on it (making it actually quite a thrifty purchase) and reclaim half my wardrobe which is currently occupied by an item I can never wear again. My bank balance is thanking me for selling it whilst it was still current too! However, I know I am going to have a hard time emotionally letting go of it. I’m going to try it on one last time, get my husband to take one last photo and gaze at it longingly for just a little bit longer. And then I’m going to move on. It’s not like I haven’t got plenty of pictures and I have barely looked at it in the two years since our wedding.

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So I’d love to hear any tips for pushing through ‘the wall’. What items have you had a hard time letting go of?