Let’s go minimal
1st September 2015
I recently discovered something about myself following a major decluttering session in my flat. I discovered that I was happier with less stuff, and because of this I have decided to go minimal. And I was reassured to find that I wasn’t the only one feeling this way after reading Georgie’s post Live Simply, and Simply Live.
When we think of a minimalist lifestyle we imagine someone living in a home with all white walls with a very clinical feel to it, or who perhaps owns a set number of items. However, I don’t think that’s always the case. I believe that we need to define what minimal living means to us as individuals.
My definition of minimal is:
“Being content with less and investing more in experiences than physical goods.”
There were two main reasons behind my decision to go minimal:
- My flat was cluttered with stuff I didn’t need or use.
- I wanted to invest my money in experiences and travel, not physical goods.
I live in a relatively small one bedroom flat with my boyfriend. We rent and so there are many rules regarding what we can and can’t do to the interior. This means we can’t put shelves on the walls and we can’t remove the furniture that came with the flat, and this of course reduces the amount of storage space we have. We have been quite clever with our storage solutions, utilising all the space we have, but it is still quite limiting.
Really, there is only room for essentials and not clutter, and this kind of forces me into living a more minimal life.
When I first started decluttering I found it challenging to let go of certain items Of course, there are some items I will never part with for sentimental reasons, but I was keeping some items for the terrible reason of “just in case”.
“I’ll keep this pair of jeans that are too small just in case I ever become a size 6 again.”
“I’ll keep this lipstick that doesn’t suit me just in case it miraculous suits me some time.”
Once I realised I was being stupid and that so many of these “just in case” items were completely replaceable I started decluttering like a pro.
Also, decluttering helped to change my mindset on shopping and buying new products.
If I ever felt like the reason behind making a purchase was “just in case” then I was buying it for the wrong reason.
I wouldn’t say that I’ve become the type of person who only buys the things they need because I really didn’t need those Krispy Kremes, or those Ray Bans, or that notebook from Paperchase. I really, really didn’t. I think that if I intend on using something or enjoy something then that’s okay, but if I know it’s going to be wasted or end up in storage then I shouldn’t be buying it.
(Note: Krispy Kremes never go to waste in this house, I always use my Paperchase notebooks until they’re full and I’ve worn those Ray Bans every summer for the last 3 years.)
Buying less doesn’t just mean more space in the flat. It also means more money in my pocket to save and spend on the things in life I really, truly want to invest in.
I like to buy experiences. Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer (not my quote), and they say that money can’t buy you happiness (also not my quote) but it can buy you travel and when I’m travelling I’m my happiest.
So really, it kind of makes sense that I would buy less clothes, makeup and technology in order to invest my money in one of the most important aspects of my life.
Are you a minimalist in any way? What do you prefer spending your money on?