5 Truths of Minimalism

Truth #1 – You’ll still buy things

Yep. Minimalism won’t stop you from buying things. In fact, you’ll probably be more likely to go on full blown shopping sprees rather than just buying bits here and there. For the simple reason that you won’t shop often and you’ll only shop for a purpose. I recently found myself gearing up to go shopping with the intention of buying a new crockery set, new towels, a pair of sandals, a scented candle, some denim dungarees and several new items for my makeup collection. (That counts as a shopping spree right?!)

The crockery had been on the cards for a while since our set was damaged and wasn’t suitable for our lifestyle (guilty secret – we often microwave things and the square plates J bought just didn’t fit!)

I lusted for some new towels after reading this post by Miss Minimalist. I didn’t get a full set, just two bath robes to test them out and I can confirm I am onboard. So I will probably invest in a few more and clear out of mountain of old bulky towels once I do.

My sandals, which I must have owned for at least 10 years, finally bit the dust. I replaced them with a pair that ended being uncomfortable so I have since returned them. And I haven’t felt the need to replace them since finding I could wear the pair I wore to my brother’s wedding in their place. Such a great result since I didn’t buy these myself so hadn’t imagined I would get any use out of them. Plus my brother and his wife love seeing me wearing them – happy memories!

I still like to keep a stash of scented candles around the home. I find candles so calming and peaceful and take real joy in lighting them each evening, these are an item I will also buy and keep because they bring me joy.

The dungarees evaded me. But I still really want a pair. I have been trying to define my style more and more as I have reduced my wardrobe, banning certain items from ever re-entering and developing some wardrobes rules to live by. And dungarees feature! I’ll probably share more about my wardrobe rules once I have 100% decided.

Make up. I have never had a great stash of makeup. I’m not particularly good at applying it so I stick to the basics, and these run out occasionally! So they get replaced when they do.

Truth #2 – White paint can get dirty – fast

More and more rooms in my home keep giving in to the white paint revolution. I love how much brighter and bigger they make the space feel. However, since painting our kitchen white I have noticed that it doesn’t hold up particularly well when you are sloppy with your tea bags! We seem to get an inordinate amount of splashes and sprays onto the walls when we prep drinks or meals. Luckily, pure white paint is a colour that’s easy to find for touch ups! But it does mean we have to keep a tub handy for this.

Truth #3 – People will have an opinion

I have been working towards a minimal lifestyle for almost a year now but people still find it amusing, or refer to it as a phase or a crazy idea I’ve had. It can be really frustrating but I have learnt to brush it off. You get a mixture of views from…

‘You can’t have anything left to get rid of!’

‘What’s next – the dog!?’

‘I thought you were a minimalist – you can’t do that.’

‘You’re not a minimalist, look at all this stuff.’

For some reason it just seems to be a type of lifestyle that people must have an opinion on, and that opinion must be shared loudly and repeatedly.

Personally, I think it’s a defensive mechanism, I think people feel insecure that you might be judging them for being materialistic, wasting money or may see their belongings as mess or junk. I don’t think of it this way and have found the best way to get through to people is just to never make comment on their lifestyle. I will talk about my minimalist choices and experiences and will answer questions, but I never offer advice or suggestions if I haven’t been asked. And I have found this works in getting people to soften and open up. Once they know you aren’t trying to force your choices on them, they seem much more eager to find out more. And it’s even been rubbing off, with my trinket loving mother even asking me to help her minimise and expressing a desire to have more space and empty surfaces. And once help has been requested, I am more than happy to dive in!

Truth #4 – It takes time

I have been moving towards a more minimal lifestyle for almost a year and I am still no where near ‘done’. I don’t think there ever will be a time when I am ‘done’. It’s a lifestyle choice after all… Clutter can creep back up on you if you don’t regularly evaluate your belongings, but minimalism isn’t just about clutter.

For me it’s about making more time for the things I love and spending less time merely existing. But I still get caught in TV traps, or get sucked into a marketing campaign. I will still scroll social media for far too long and run out of time to start that new book or work on my crochet projects. I can still find myself prioritising things over people. But I accept that it takes time, and effort!

Truth #5 – It’s not just about clutter

See above!

So many people see minimalism as an absence of things, but I think once you’ve done the typical step one of becoming a minimalist (AKA a huge declutter), that is when you make the choice between pursuing the lifestyle or simply being glad that you’ve tidied and organised.

For me, it goes beyond the decluttering. It’s about making time and space for more meaningful pursuits, and reducing the brain space I assign to material objects and meaningless activity.

What truths have you discovered on your minimalist journey?


Me and Minimalism: An Update

I’m writing this just days after the horrific attack on my home town. My brain is overwhelmed, I keep crying and I can’t focus. But that isn’t my story to tell and I don’t deserve any attention for it. But I acknowledge it because the act of writing a blog post seems so trivial and self indulgent in contrast.

I want to acknowledge that.

But – I’ve been drawn here, to write something after months of silence because minimalism is my sanctuary. (Plus I’ve been feeling the pull back after receiving a number of comments on some old posts – and I felt kinda guilty that I’d stopped when people were valuing my message.)

The last few months have been stressful for me, nothing dramatic or overly important in the grand scheme of things, but stressful none the less. My new, dream job has proven to be incredibly fast paced and busy, with me working late pretty much every day (still the dream though folks – I LOVE it). On top of this I’ve been coming towards the end of my second year at Uni, with essays and exams to prepare for. Overall, it’s felt a little hectic and I haven’t felt in control for a long time.

I truly feel that minimalism has kept me sane.

When elements of life are beyond control it’s natural to grasp control wherever we can. And for me that is at home. I am in control of my personal space.

Minimalism has meant that it’s been easy to keep on top of things at home, despite spending too many hours at a desk. Countertops are clear, surfaces are clean, the floors swept and mopped, laundry happening daily. Thanks to minimalism, it hasn’t taken me too much time or effort to keep things simple.

My stress has also helped my minimalism. In my attempts to maintain order I have found myself clearing out another five bags of clothing, simplifying my morning choices. Plus another two bags of household items, plus another NINE books – creating more space and keeping the place tidier.

And so the two have become codependent. My peace of mind relies on minimalism, and my minimalism is fuelled by my peace of mind.

I don’t think that’s a bad thing. It sounds kinda odd, maybe a bit obsessive. But actually all I am saying is that my lifestyle choices keep me calm, peaceful, content and help ward off stress.

And isn’t that what our lifestyle choices should be about?

In these turbulent times we should each make choices thatĀ help to keep the peace. However small that may be.