So you’re thinking about becoming a minimalist. Awesome! Are you overwhelmed by the thought? Don’t be! If you’re new to the minimalist mindset and other blogs have freaked you out, you’re not alone. It took me many blogs, articles, and videos to get a good sense of minimalism and what I wanted out of it.
Here’s what I’ve learned so far:
- There’s no “right” way to be a minimalist. There are literally no rules. There’s no certain way your house is supposed to look or how many clothes you should have. With 7 billion people in the world we can’t be expected to all live the same or have the same lives. Minimalism is a way of thinking and how you want to experience and live your life.
- There’s no finish line. Life is constantly changing. Where you’re at now is going to be different in five years. Minimalism is a lifelong process of decluttering physically and emotionally. What you find valuable in your life may not be what you find valuable later on.
- It’s OK to still want stuff. Just because you’ve embraced this lifestyle doesn’t mean you need to throw out all your possessions right now. There are still items that are necessary to daily life or that you really can’t live without and that’s okay!
When I first was looking into minimalism I was seeing all these people living in tiny homes or vans, quitting jobs, and giving away everything. That definitely wasn’t what I wanted for my life. I want to travel more and be more mindful of myself and my life but I wasn’t THAT committed to this new lifestyle. I kept on researching and reading other blogs and found that minimalism isn’t all that scary after all. Some people really wanted to keep their makeup but got rid of other things in their life because it wasn’t as important to them. This really made me more hopeful about the minimalism lifestyle because I was already doing things in my life with that mindset.
So what am I exactly looking for? I live with anxiety and depression and I want to have a life where I can face it all with positivity no matter how negative life can get.
One thing that adds to my depression is clutter. When I get too depressed I lose all motivation and function to do simple home chores. Clothes end up all over the bed and the floor, mail gets stashed in little corners, etc.
My goal: to get rid of anything that doesn’t bring joy to my life anymore. To focus on experiences rather than “stuff”. To live a life where I don’t have to be worried about money as much as I do now(which is extremely hard living in the Bay Area)
So what have I done to start my journey?
I went through all my clothes. Twice. It’s not like I have a lot but I have that mindset of “I’ve worn this two times and probably never will again but what if I need it for this random occasion that could possibly happen in the future?” So I went through my closet first and got rid of anything I didn’t feel attached to right away. The second time I went through and actually looked at the item for awhile. Did this look good when I wore it? Have I worn it often? If I wore it once will I wear it again? From there I could determine if I really needed this item or not. Another thing I had to keep in mind is that I work at a vet clinic. I work reception so I’m given the option of either wearing scrubs or business casual clothing. So a lot of those clothes that I had that were more for going out or weekend wear were the main ones to be thrown out. Another thing to note: I’m a HUGE homebody so honestly a lot of these items I wore once for an event and never touched again.
Now that I had gone through everything in my closet I decided to try and make some money off of it. The much younger me was dedicated to sell every last piece of clothing on my own so I could get my money’s worth. Now I just want to get rid of it all and not think twice about it but that doesn’t mean I don’t deserve some cash! If you have some in your area, I recommend Plato’s Closet and Crossroads. They’ll take any items that they can same day and give you cash on the spot! A lot of times it’s a hit or miss but, hey, it’s some extra money in your pocket that you can throw into savings or get yourself a coffee that week!
Another option is selling online or you can use an app called Vinted. A few years ago I was really into Vinted. I was able to price my clothes how I wanted and bargain for other things as well. The downside, you still have to hang onto all the clothes and sometimes they just don’t sell. So now what I do is try to sell as many items as I can first. If there’s a valuable piece that doesn’t sell I may hang onto it to sell on Vinted but otherwise EVERYTHING goes to donation. And poof! No more clothing clutter.
Next I hit up the bathroom. I mentioned that I moved to California 6 years ago. Well within that 6 years I’ve moved about four times to different apartments. You’d think I wouldn’t have so much stuff after throwing out things and decluttering after each move. Wrong! While I have downsized there were still so many things I still had. That included about four sets of half used shampoo and conditioners. I knew throughout the years that I was always trying different shampoos for my hair. What I didn’t realize was how many I had tried, packed with me in our move, and thrown in the cupboard under the sink. Those were obviously the first things to go. I emptied them all down the sink(felt guilty for all the money I wasted) and tossed the bottles into recycling. Next I looked at all the skin care products I had. Just like the shampoos, I had multiple items I had tried throughout the years to get the best skin possible. I kept the face masks because I absolutely love them and will use them. Anything else I gave away to my friends and coworkers so that they could be used. After that I moved onto the medication and ointments. This was one was fairly easy. Anything that was expired went right into the garbage. Last came the hair products and nail polish. All hair products immediately went into the trash if expired or went to donations as I never use anything for my hair except shampoo, conditioner, and a wave spray. For the nail polish, I kept some basic colors that I love and the rest got donated since I never paint my nails anymore.
Just like that my bathroom looked so much more refreshing to look at. It’s fairly small and having it decluttered and organized really helped make it look a little bit bigger.
Well there you have it. I know, I know it doesn’t seem like much but I’m just getting started and you’re coming along for the ride!