For months now I’ve been trying to organise my thoughts on minimalism in a blog post, because thanks to Mari Kondo ‘minimalism’ is trending and it got me thinking. I’ve never been a maximalist, but could also never commit to complete minimalism. I think I fit somewhere in the middle, like most people.
Although I don’t consider myself a hoader, I do hold on to things I don’t always need of use. Mostly because it has sentimal value or cost a lot of money. Recently however I’ve found that less stuff definitely is better and I’m finding that having less things to sift through when I’m looking for something really makes life simpler. I’ve identified three places where I really tend to hold on to more than I need and decided to tackle those first. Getting rid of what I don’t need and organising what i decide to hold on to goes hand in hand for me. So here goes.
I’m constantly clearing out my wardrobe, possibly because I never really get rid of everything in one go. If I think that I might wear something again, if it cost me a lot of money or if I attach some emotional value to something, the chances are good I am going to hold on to it (at least for a little while longer). I like going through my closet every three months and find what needs to be replaced (anyone else have problems with black jeans fading so quickly?) and getting rid of what I no longer wear. I usually make two piles, one for donation and one for holding onto. I do subscribe to the idea of putting these things away for a few months and only holding on to what you’ve worn in the within that set time. The other thing that really helps me is to have a good cause for donating my clothes. I find that social workers always have someone in mind who can benefit from your clothes, whether it is old work clothes or something suitable for a teenager. It is almost like your good deed for the day!
I’ve never had much in the beauty department to begin with, but it is a good idea to go through your formulas every three months or so to make sure you don’t hold onto an old mascara formula that you accidentally grab before work (been there, done that!). I also only keep out what I use every day like my brushes, mascara, brow products, fragrances and a handy scissor. This makes it more likely that I’ll remember to spray before rushing out the door and also gives me less stuff to dust – a win-win really. The rest is neatly stored in my drawer thanks to my clear organiser from Plastic Warehouse (a total bargain.)
The final culprit is my inbox. Unfortunately due to the nature of my work and my blog, I have multiple inboxes which makes it all so much more difficult to streamline, but I’ve been really good lately. I used to hoard emails like nothing else, simply because I am lazy but recently I’ve realised that having a smaller inbox really makes it so much easier to find what you’re looking for. I never refer back to old newsletters so I now fight the urge to hold on to what will only make my inbox fuller. I started out by clearing my inbox whilst watching Netflix. I also unsubscribed to a bunch of newsletters and now each time a mail comes in that makes me sigh, I hit the unsubscribe button (note this does NOT apply to bills). After the inital clear out I started applying my golden rule to all incoming mails- to action an email the moment I open it. I also created sub-folders to store my bills, which all get emailed to me, so now I can be paperless.
I guess for me it all boils down to keeping things tightly edited. I definitely can’t afford to only hold on to what brings me joy, but I can get rid what serves no purpose other gathering dust and donate what can bring more joy to someone else. Now if only I can sort through my thousands of photos. Any and all tips welcome!