Minimalism: Week One

As you know, I’ve recently become a tad obsessed with minimalism.

I’m now one week into my minimalist journey and I wanted to summarise what I’ve done this week to help me on the road to a minimalist lifestyle.

Week one has been all about decluttering, it’s also been about baby steps. Often I fling myself into new things too quickly and every time I’ll get bored or frustrated. So I decided that I would take minimalism slowly so that hopefully I can stick with it for the long haul.

So. Here’s my week one checklist:

  1. Transfer DVD/CD disks into disk multi case and throw out all plastic cases.
  2. Donate two bin bags of clothes to charity
  3. Donate five books to work library
  4. Donate/Give away one box of clutter
  5. Empty two drawers of bedside cabinet
  6. Throw out/Donate a pair of shoes
  7. Throw out/Recycle out of date or long term unused/never to be used foodstuffs
  8. Recycle year one uni notes that are no longer needed
  9. Recycle/Donate old/excess bedding
  10. Sort and throw out surplus make up brushes

There’s my ten things, some were harder than others but I’m happy to report that I achieved them all! Here’s a breakdown if you’d like some details

Transfer DVD/CD disks into disk multi case and throw out all plastic cases. 

We don’t really watch our DVD’s because we have Netflix, Sky Movies, BBC iPlayer, All 4, ITV Player, the list is endless. So often we don’t need to fill TV time with DVD’s. Plus we rarely listen to CD’s due to iTunes and Spotify. But I couldn’t quite bring myself to throw out all my old favourites and my corny Christmas songs. So really this is a bit of a half way step. I managed to transfer all my DVD’s and CD’s and throw out close to 60 plastic cases. This created so much more space in our TV unit to hold all the excess wires, 3D glasses, controllers, charging leads and spare remotes. Even though the clutter that’s visible to us hasn’t really changed through doing this I just feel so much happier to know that my TV unit has a lovely tidy drawer and everything is in it’s place. It’s likely that the DVD’s won’t get watched and I’m going to keep an eye on them and maybe one day I’ll be brave enough to go the whole way and get them out the door!

Donate two bin bags of clothes to charity.

This was an easy one, I have so many clothes that I don’t like or don’t wear. I put my brutal  hat on and cleared them all out. Whilst doing this I also sorted all my drawers, put my summer clothes into under the bed storage and found a designated space for my gym clothes. I also managed to free up an entire drawer which now holds my hair dryer, straighteners etc. for getting ready in the morning. And I managed to clear out three bin bags of clothing beating my initial target!

Donate five books to work library.

I struggled with this one. Really struggled. I have so many books and I would happily re-read them all, even the shit ones. But in reality I don’t get time to do that, and when I do have time to read I’ll either pick a new book or an old favourite. So I knuckled down and found five. But then I had the sneaky suspicion that if I donated them to my work library I would definitely be inclined to take them back home in a moment of weakness. So I donated these to charity along with my clothing. I’m definitely going to try and scale down my book collection further but this is an area where I know I need baby steps.

Also, a little admission – when falling asleep the other night I remembered the five books I’d donated it and had a full blown panic. What if I wanted to lend them someone instead? What if I did want to re-read them after all? What if I forgot what they were called and couldn’t keep an accurate record of all the books I had ever read?!?! I seriously started to plan how I could go about getting them back. It’s crazy but it’s true.

I did manage to fall asleep though, and I woke up feeling much saner – and those books are still with the charity!

Donate/Give away one box of clutter

Again this was an easy one. I have so many knick knacks around the house. Multiple photo frames without photos, candle holders, magazine organisers, hanging heart decorations, magnets, coasters, the whole shebang. I donated one book full to charity and have given away another box worth of stuff to friends/family.

Yes – two boxes. Another target beaten!

Empty two drawers of bedside cabinet

Again this was surprisingly easy. Our bedside cabinets have three drawers each. I didn’t even know what was in them. It literally took me five minutes to go though and throw out old tablets, receipts, full notebooks, out of date hand cream etc. I’ve still got one drawer full but only stuff I actually use. I’m hoping to get J to do the same and then downsize our cabinets to avoid them being refilled.

I know minimalism isn’t about buying new stuff unnecessarily, but in my defence these bedside cabinets were donated to us when we moved out, they’re really chunky and not very pretty and they don’t match any of our furniture. So please forgive me and allow me to make a purchase here! The old cabinets will of course be donated or recycled when the time comes.

Throw out/Donate a pair of shoes

Another easy one. I managed to donate three pairs of shoes that either didn’t fit or that I’d literally never worn. Target beaten.

Throw out/Recycle out of date or long term unused/never to be used foodstuffs

I had to do this whilst J was out of the house as he becomes very protective of his kitchen. But I managed to clear out a tin of rice pudding which we’ve had forever but neither of us like. About 8 packets of out of date crisps that were genuinely stale. An opened pack of plain flour that I’ve had for about 18 months and didn’t dare look inside in case it was full of weevils. And various out of date sauces that had separated and looked disgusting.

Recycle year one uni notes that are no longer needed

This was a bit more difficult. I hate throwing out old notes in case the day ever comes when I want to read over them or if I need them again. But the truth is that most of them are saved electronically or are available online through uni and I write up my notes after each session to make sure they’re legible by the end of the year when revision time comes, so all my scraps of paper, scruffy notes and print outs could go. And go they went! Straight into the paper recycling bin of course.

Recycle/Donate old/excess bedding

This isn’t actually out of the house yet as I’m not sure what to do with it. For some reason I feel strange about donating old bedding but also don’t want to throw it away into landfill. I’ll probably keep hold of it until I can get to a textile recycling point. But I managed to clear out a full set of bedding that we just never use, some odd pillow cases and excess mattress covers.

Sort and throw out surplus make up brushes

In the grand scheme of things this was a small win. But every little counts in the decluttering process. I had far too many make up brushes that I didn’t use and when it came round to cleaning my brushes it always felt a bit overwhelming to have so many to clean. I’ve managed to chuck out four brushes which is a small amount and I have probably kept a few too many, but it’s a positive step.

So there’s week one of my move to minimalism. So far so good, and I’m loving the results already. Things just feel tidier without us having done any tidying! Which feels especially good considering we’re in the middle of a kitchen renovation….!

Have you ever been inspired to declutter and clear out? Is the minimalist life calling you? Let me know what you think! x

 

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6 thoughts on “Minimalism: Week One

  1. Hi Catherinny
    Loving your blog. Please keep writing for the newbies like myself who need the inspiration. Starting out on a huge , rather overwhelming declutter myself at the moment. Most days I am deep in the piles thinking how the heck did it get so bad??! The truth is I know – 20 years of never letting go for so many reasons I could write a book about them. Sigh.

    I laughed about your book meltdown. I could not help it, even though I know those moments are awful to go through. I had a major clothes cold sweat anxiety attack myself a week ago. Just as well I’d got it to the charity on the same day else I’d have been rifling through it retrieving wildly!
    I noticed that a few days later I was over it completely. I did not die because of it although I felt very nauseous! Now I’m just glad it’s all gone.

    But it taught me to get stuff out *asap*. My new mantra is :’ same day – no delay!’ No doubt I am going to face more meltdowns as I go on with it, but I’m thinking the small pleasures I am gaining even now in the early stages will be worth it in the long run. Please lord! lol.

    Like

    1. Hi jj, I just wanted to say thank you for the comments you have left on my posts. You’ve helped me to get back to blogging and I didn’t realise how much I missed it. So a big big thank you! x

      Like

      1. Hi Catherinny – You are so welcome! I’m so pleased you are back on blog. You have set up a wonderful inspirational space here for the likes of me, so really , it is you that deserves the big big thank you! x

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