This article is part two of the post series on minimalism. You can view the part one here.
Have you ever tried to count the number of things you own? It never really crossed my mind. Up until recently. When i decided to challenge myself and do a massive spring clear out - not only of the things which i own, but of my life in general.
In this post I will be sharing some of the results hoping some of you will get inspired :).
I have started with what I thought was the easiest part - getting rid of all the unnecessary things.
God, was i looking forward to this. Yet, it resulted it wasn't that easy to let go of some things at first. Many things. Ok, MOST of them. I found myself coming up with excuses for leaving them for yet another while 'just to make sure' i'm really not going to use them anymore.
The biggest challenge was my closet. Haha, i almost came to the erroneous conclusion that it's actually a bad thing when your size doesn't change over the years, causing you to accumulate too many clothes. They all still fit and most are in great condition, yet many don't get to be worn for various reasons. While i was going through my clothes in order to pick the items I no longer need my mind came up with so many creative ways to pair and match them (which rarely happened before), I almost decided to leave everything as is, apart from this funky patterned sweater i got from my aunt and my battered Wrangler's, worn out to a degree, where they stopped providing a proper cover for my behind.
I caught myself shutting the door of my closet ready to move on to whatever was next on my list. Yet this felt wrong. So I made myself go back and reopen it.
What really helped was getting rid of the new clothes I changed my mind about and wasn't wearing - first. They were the ones that took most space - and were a constant nagging reminder of my shopping mistakes. I felt guilty i bought them and never wore, yet i couldn't make myself neither wear nor get rid of them. It only took me 5 minutes to photograph them all with my phone and another 15 to list them on e-bay. To my surprise they all sold within the next 10 days. The biggest hit was my navy blue Zara military style coat i bought on sale for 50 quid - it sold for a whooping 120 pounds. (Looks like military is back in fashion!) I know what you are thinking, no, no, I had promised myself not to buy any more clothes with the money I'd gain from the sale. You can't imagine the feeling of relief I felt after doing this clear out! I finally stopped need reproaching myself for things I bought on an impulse, and gained lots of space to comfortably fit in the things I do need.
I packed the rest of things I haven't worn this year and brought them to
I took pretty much the same approach with other things which were no longer used in the household. I thought I had been quite good with not accumulating stuff. Guess what, my selling list was around 40 items long! My give/throw away list was much longer. Who knew there are portals like Freecycle, where you can advertise e.g. furniture you don't need and those who do will come and take it away free of charge (they actually charge you here in the UK (a lot) for getting rid of furniture and big household appliances).
And yes, as I got into this game, it started to be fun! Surprisingly I was ready to let go of more and more things, even that designer sofa which (let's be honest) didn't really fit in our living room. I earned an unexpected amount of cash as a result of this effort and promised myself to spend the money on personal development, charity or travel.
Here are the pluses of reducing the number of things you own:
- free space to comfortably fit things you need
- no more feeling guilty for impulse purchases
- new energy resulting clear and organized spaces at home
- satisfaction of giving things away and helping others
- knowing things are in good hands and will serve a better purpose
- learning about local charities
- some extra money earned (to spend for a good cause this time)
- feeling of freedom I get from knowing I do not need many things. This is something that brings me closer to my goal of becoming location independent.
This is only the report on the first part of my experiment. Some outcomes from the clean out of my responsibilities and environment will follow next - stay tuned.
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