Dipping my toe into minimalism…

19 Nov 2019 | Naomi Marshall

I’ve been dipping my toe into minimalism. Anyone who knows me well, knows I’m a consumer. But let’s all be honest with each other here, most of us can safely say that we all have a lot of ‘STUFF’.

Never once have I heard someone say when they are moving house: “Gosh that was super easy, I packed up my room in a few boxes. Quickly pushed the large furniture out the door and was all settled in my new place within a few hours. Sipping an Aperol on the deck…”

No matter how big or small your home is – it’s always an overwhelming job to move because somewhere along the way we’ve all accumulated a TRUCK LOAD OF STUFF!!

Who doesn’t have a ‘junk bowl’ somewhere in their kitchen? It is supposed to be the fruit bowl. Yet, it also holds spare keys, a card from a window cleaner that you’ll never use, nail clippers, a pen and goodness knows what else.  But, somehow no matter how many times you clean that damn thing after only a few short weeks it seems to be like a bowerbirds nest and fills back up again.

Don’t even get me started on the wardrobe…what about those gym tights that are just a tad short in the crutch but have that great print down the side? I’ll just hang onto them a bit longer. I’m sure I’ll use them for a ‘walk around the bay with a girlfriend’ one day. Or the white silk top that was quite pricey. Even though it cuts me off a bit around the back of the arms I’m sure if I just drop those 3 kgs I’ve been going on about for so long and I’ll wear it again. The list goes on….and on….and on….Oh the stories we tell ourselves about why all this STUFF is just so important to us!!

Let’s roll things back to January 2019

It was about this time that I was introduced to the wonderful world of Marie Condo. I literally fell in love with that woman after one Netflix episode and I went straight on to read her book after I watched the entire series.

THAT’S IT – I’m going to become a minimalist!

I am one of those big consumers. I not only buy things on a regular basis but I’m the first to say, “I love how those pants fit, so I’ll buy them in white and the other 4 colours as well.  Because goodness knows when I’ll come across another pair of straight leg, well cut, pocketed, pencil pants that can be easily washed…GOD FORBID I MAY NEVER FIND PANTS LIKE THAT AGAIN!”

I’m sure you can start to read between the lines as to how often I would tell myself stories like this to justify the things I felt I ‘needed’.

(Side Note: I’m also working hard to cut down on my dry cleaning bill. Just doing my bit for the climate change movement)…

So in the early weeks of January 2019, I set upon my wardrobe with the most incredible enthusiasm. My husband watched on…not too sure what to make of it all.

Nothing was going to get in my way! I carefully held each item as instructed. I asked if it “sparked joy” and I then kept or discarded the item. I tenderly folded anything I was keeping (the 3 fold system no less. Google it, it’s a thing…) and stacked them lovingly into my drawers following the strict Marie Kondo colour coding instructions.

WOW WEEEEE! I Gotta say, I felt pretty self-righteous!! Neat, tidy, organised and….oh what’s that feeling….calm. What? How can anyone feel calm from just having tidy drawers? I mean, the doors are closed, you can’t see inside…Well, I’m here to say that’s exactly how I felt.

From there, I started to realise just how much STUFF I actually have. Beautiful dresses that are rarely worn. Designer shoes pushed to the back of the cupboard only to be dragged out for ‘special occasions’. That perfect white t-shirt that you only want to wear sparingly in case (God forbid) you drop something on it and can never replace it (it’s a t-shirt, get over yourself! It can always be replaced). It’s a bit like the silver cutlery set your mother only brings out for Christmas yet for 364 days a year it sits in it’s box waiting to serve its purpose.

Dipping my toe deeper into minimalism

So I made a decision right then and there, to start shopping from my own wardrobe. I wasn’t allowed to buy one single thing unless it was a regularly used consumable (and even in the bathroom if I dig deep there are mini bottles of body cream/shampoo etc that could stretch for at least a few more months).

The end result?

I feel absolutely amazing. Not only because I’ve saved a tonne of money (although that’s always a bonus) or am doing my bit to reduce consumerism but also because I actually feel ‘lighter’. I kid you not, life is just a little bit simpler.  I’m a lot more grateful for what I do have and the pressure is off to own the ‘next best thing’.

Going into Christmas, with a new year nearly upon us, I can’t help but wonder if this is something everyone should contemplate? Because let’s all be honest, how many XXX (insert your own favourite clothing item here) does a girl really need?!!

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