I visited a friend’s house recently and it made me realise how far I’ve come. Now, don’t get me wrong- I’m not judging them in any way- how they choose to live is their business. It just got me thinking, after I felt like I was losing momentum- how far I’ve actually come!
I looked around at all the clutter, in the form of books, DVDs, pictures and ornaments and thought how clean my house felt in comparison. I was glad I no longer had to dust around all those objects. I realised just how many DVDs and CDs I had got rid of and how little they were used. I was grateful for my clean, fresh, bare walls which are calming to look at. I feel so much more peaceful in my home without all that stuff. I can think more clearly when surfaces are clear.
Sure, I still have a way to go, but actually I’ve not done half bad in just a few months. How is your minimalist journey progressing?
I’ve minimising now for about 3 months non-stop. Admittedly, I’m trying to sell most of the stuff rather than just dump it or give it away- so that’s why it’s taking me longer. I was starting to feel like I was losing momentum. I think this was compounded by moving house just over a month ago. I’m fed up of looking at stuff and sorting through it!
I found a tip by Joshua Becker at Becoming Minimalist really helpful. Just pick a surface and clear it. By clearing it, you not only make it easier to clean, but you also make it harder to dump stuff there. If you have a clean surface, you are less likely to want to clutter it up.
I started with a windowsill in the lounge. No longer is it home to all our keys. (Which by the way is also a useful security tip- don’t leave keys near a door or window and certainly not visible!) Gone is the vase. Discarded are the old screws. And the other little bits and pieces have found new homes, in cupboards and drawers and places where they should be.
It’s so easy to do, it only takes a few moments and you’ll feel so much better afterwards. There really is a lot to be said for clear surfaces. When you see how different it makes you feel in your mind- clearer thinking, calmer, more peaceful. Well, that gives you the momentum you need to keep on minimising!
Do you remember my post, lamenting the acquisition of a fridge/ freezer which was much smaller than I would have chosen? Here’s a brief refresher;
“The thing is not only is the freezer on this fridge freezer tiny, but the fridge is a lot smaller than our current one. Now I’m all for minimalism (you know this by now!) but, I also believe in home-cooking. This means I often have a lot of things in my fridge, particularly if I’ve made a big lasagne for example and a pudding. Or I’ve got a big piece of meat in, just waiting to be cooked as a roast dinner. I just know it wouldn’t all go in”.
And now it’s time to eat my words!!! Not only is the smaller fridge freezer more than adequate. We have actually just sold our old larder fridge. The one I thought I’d have to keep in the next room or the shed, for extra space. Well, I quickly realised it was a) in the way and b) going to use up needless electricity for the amount of stuff that would be in it and c) it was not going to do it any favours to keep turning it on and off, as required.
We are lucky that we do have an additional freezer in the shed, but actually it took me 3 weeks to get enough stuff to warrant turning it on. And really it’s still half empty and I could get away with not buying the items to fill it! Wow, what a turn around. You just don’t know until you try it. You think you can’t live with less and actually you can. Lesson learned (hopefully)…now to apply it to another area of life.
Maybe less is MORE after all? 😀
I spotted a car boot very local to us and I persuaded my husband to accompany me. He hates car boots, but I absolutely love them! The thrill of selling your stuff and quickly building up hard cash, watching all that tat you probably would have thrown away actually working for you, feeling gratified that someone else has a use for it and it didn’t have to go to landfill- the reasons are many! Above is a picture of what we brought back (I didn’t have time to take a before picture because we only decided to go a few hours in advance, so it was a mad dash!) But, you wouldn’t have seen the carpet before! Plus, in addition to freeing ourselves from that burden- physically and emotionally, we are now £60 better off!
Most of what we took and sold was family stuff that we have inherited since we moved. We moved into a family home, I wish I’d made them empty it first! But really either way it would have fallen to us. Going through the loft in preparation was an eye opener, there were so many empty boxes. You know, computer parts that they pad out in fancy cardboard boxes, to make you feel like you are getting more for your money. The psychology behind it is convincing to many.
Anyhow, most of what is left will be going to a charity shop or being freecycled on Monday. Then we will just about be back to where we were before we moved. Then I can concentrate on really paring down our belongings to the minimum amount that we need to live. I am looking forward to achieving that.
I’d really recommend a car boot to those of you UK readers. I think they’re the equivalent of a US Garage Sale. We paid a minimal £5 entrance fee, which went to a local charity in this case. It was 3 hours of minimal effort, in a beautiful location and it allowed us to shift some more stuff quickly! We have found from experience, that small car boots are MUCH better. You will get a better return and get rid of more stuff because you naturally have less competition. Why not give one a try and let me know how you get on?