Wednesday, 30 December 2015
Looking Back on 2015
I must say that 2015 was a great year. Marc and I spent a family vacation in Las Vegas. We bought a house. We built our relationships with friends to an even deeper level. I also started the on a journey towards a minimalist lifestyle that has now completely changed the way I look at our lives, as well as my perspective on consumerism.
I'll start from the beginning.
I always thought that being a minimalist meant you had to live out of a backpack, have dreadlocks and eat granola. I thought that it was about being a free spirit and never settling down anywhere for a long period of time. It was a lifestyle that I admired, however after doing some research, I realized that I was definitely wrong about what minimalism was.
I somehow stumbled across a Youtube account of a woman who decided that she wanted to change the way she was living her life. She decided to document her journey after she read a very popular book this year called "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up" by Marie Kondo. In her video she described Marie's approach to de-cluttering your space, and only owning items that are useful to you, or things that you love. After watching that video, I tracked down the book and read it from cover to cover. I loved the idea of only owning a small selection of items, and was elated with the idea of not having clutter around me. I started to follow Marie's methods, and after a few days, I had 4 garbage bags of clothing and shoes to donate to Goodwill.
This method wasn't exactly new to me, as I've always been someone who was good about going through their items every so often and doing a purge. The issue was that I would turn around and buy more items to replace the ones I was getting rid of, and starting the vicious cycle over and over again. When Marc and I lived in our 1 bedroom apartment in the city, I always felt like it was such a mess all of the time.
Now looking back I realize that it wasn't because we were messy people, it was because we owned WAY too many things that we didn't use, and didn't have room for. I felt like not only that our home was cluttered, but so were our minds. There was too much to look at, to clean around, and too much to dig through when trying to find anything. Looking back, I wish I could yell at my younger self not to hoard, but to downsize and not fall into the trap of consumerism. That it took longer to search for what I was looking for, than to just throw out the junk in that drawer, cupboard or even closet.
While pitching my clothing and stuffing it into those garbage bags, I not only felt a sense of relief, but a sense of hope. I was ready in that moment to change the way I viewed my life and the things around me. I no longer had sentimental attachment to things I was told to have attachment to anymore. I didn't need trinkets, and figurines, and all of those items that you are told to have out so they collect dust. I packed them up and sent them to Value Village. It was the most freeing feeling I had felt in a long time.
I then moved onto my most beloved items - my makeup. Yes, I was actually able to pass on items and throw things out that I wasn't using. I would go in rounds of the things I wasn't sure of, and eventually they would make their way to the garbage can. I had so much stuff that I had forgotten about items that had been pushed to the back of my drawers. I was about to get my collection down to a good size, and it made me excited.
Even though we bought a house, I still have been making sure that we aren't filling it with stuff. Marc has been awesome through this process, and we are working to make sure that everything we own has a place. We need to work on a few spaces around the house that aren't completely being used to their potential, however, we have made leaps and bounds thus far. My ultimate goal is to downsize even more throughout 2016, and working at it bit by bit has really worked well for me.
I've come to realize that even though I can't see myself becoming a true "minimalist", I do see myself as someone who isn't surrounded by items. I am working towards being someone who doesn't need to organize constantly because I won't have drawers and cupboards filled with things that I never use. I want to have a warm and welcoming home that you feel comfortable in without having to fill it full.
I am really proud of the progress I have made so far. I feel that even though it might not look like much progress to others, I have come a long way from where I was. This idea has made such a significant impact on who I am becoming as a person, and I want to continue to work towards this awesome idea of simple living.
Thanks for reading! I hope that I have given you some insight on what minimalism looks like to me and how it could help you if you're feeling overwhelmed by the things around you.
Happy New Year! What are your goals for 2016?
Until next time!