I thought I needed to live in a white box with nothing in it
Which basically is pretty impossible for most people. I come with other stuff and other people who have lots of their stuff and their belief systems. I made the mistake of being so dead set on living in this white box that I forgot, a) about all the good work I was doing, and b) that other people had needs and an emotional connection with their stuff and it wasn’t mine to declutter. Living in a white box with nothing in it is totally unrealistic but living in chaos was unrealistic too. What did work was living and acting out my minimalist values with my stuff and my life which leaves you in a much calming space even if you don’t live in a white box.
I thought I would become a minimalist overnight
Like a lot of people ridding themselves of mistakes I thought I could do this whole minimalist in an afternoon. What I failed to realised was that it’s not so much a physical thing as a psychological thing. It’s a new habit to learn. Living a minimalist life means paring back – decluttering and cutting down on the stuff that comes into your home, but it’s also about putting boundaries in around your life and making space to reflect and think. If you’ve been busy living your life at 200 mph you are not suddenly going to start doing the slow dance .
I thought decluttering would sort my life out
Don’t we all hey ? I hear this day in day out. “i just need to get on top of it” then we go out and buy more stuff to feel the gap. Kon Mari has a point here to ” Spark joy” but a lot of us can’t locate joy with physical possessions that easily or we refuse to. During my journey to minimalism (which is definitely still not complete) I started to listening to my own feelings about my possessions. Often the reason I kept them was because I had spent money on them, someone had gifted them to me or they held a sort of soft sentimentality. The stuff I ended keeping was deep routed so much so it almost felt a part of me. Often when we start decluttering we start with the rubbish that anyone would get rid of. The first layer of stuff. It’s a couple of layers down I think you really get into the bones of who you are.
I didn’t have a Capsule Wardrobe
Capsule Wardrobe – ing was key for me. As well as being a lot less stressful than not having one – the actual act of choosing your outfit from such a small selection of clothes reinforces your minimalist ideas and because you do this every day the message really goes in. So when I first started my minimalist journey I was beginning everyday with a negative mind frame stemming from the pile of clothes that were staring back at me screaming “I’ve got nothing to wear”.
I thought it would be fun!
Doing this whole minimalist journey was as much about clearing my mind as clearing the clutter and saying goodbye to a life that no longer served me. I thought this would be fun! Which in parts it was but it was also hugely emotional and sad. If you get rid of some of the things that keep you busy; or stuff that keeps your home cluttered, you are going to feel vulnerable and exposed but that shouldn’t stop you doing it. If you’re getting to the part where the process is making you ask questions about your wider life, and not just about the future of your sandwich toaster, you might well have struck gold – and that, my friend, is no mistake !