I’ve been thinking a lot about minimalism lately. It really appeals to me. I know that’s kind of weird, considering in my house I have 16 bookshelves, all full, with overflow, a 3 door wardrobe absolutely stuffed to the gills and a ridiculous amount of pretty much everything, but that’s exactly why I think minimalism has started to appeal to me so strongly.
I’ve started to wonder if all this stuff is a trap.
Consumerism tells us that things will make us happy. If only we have that handbag, that wallet, that hair, that outfit, the latest in technology or the latest kitchen gadget, we will somehow fill that void we are all looking to fill. Only it doesn’t. On an intellectual level we all know it doesn’t, but when it comes to the crunch I think if you examine the way you live your life you’ll find yourself thinking, deep down, that maybe it might. Maybe that next thing will make your life better.
Look, some purchases just do make your life better. I’m willing to admit that. They just do. I love having a robotic vacuum cleaner that does the floors for me. And I recently purchased a kitchen gadget I’ve very quickly fallen for and wondered how I ever lived without. But most of the time, most things, they just don’t matter. Not really.
And I’ve started to wonder if all this stuff, all the things we accumulate and are given and store, and move, and clean and organise… If all this crap isn’t actually making it harder for us to live.
So I’ve been thinking of dipping my toe in the water. I’ve been looking at minimalist houses on pinterest, been reading about minimalism and how it makes you feel better. I started reading a blog post someone shared on Slow Your Home and inhaled the most recent 20 posts before I realised I’d arrived at my station and had to get off the train.
Thinking about minimalism is one thing. Looking at all the stuff you had and wondering if you’d miss things if they were gone makes it all seem so daunting though. How on earth can I part with my 10 handbags? I need them all!
My parents have minimalism down to a fine art. I suspect that’s why I have such a hard time letting go of things – my mother throws things out at the drop of a hat, has a perfectly clear kitchen bench top all the time, and if there isn’t a place for it, it’s not making it into the house.
Me, on the other hand, has developed what I like to call “The Crap Relocation Program” where every time I clean a room I just move all the stuff I don’t know what to do with into a different room, until I clean that room and it all gets moved back.
I’ve been giving away more and more clothes lately, particularly if I haven’t worn them in a while. Earlier this year I took 9 moving boxes full to Vinnies, and I’ve been doing ample hand-me-downs to my stepdaughter and sister in law. Yet the idea of getting rid of our whole library of books or the extra handbags I really don’t need just seems so… well… daunting.
Could you do it?
Are you minimalist? Does minimalism appeal to you? Do you, like me, take part in the crap relocation program?