This post is about six months overdue. Being three and a half years into minimalism, there are some things that I wanted to talk about that I’m sure will resonate with others. When we first started this journey, my mindset around minimalism was to start throwing out (donating, gifting, rubbish bin etc) as much stuff as I could, that I didn’t need of course. We do come across those items that we didn’t even know we had. We come across others that we have been meaning to get rid off forever and a day, but just never got around to it. When we go through this process of decluttering, we feel liberated, lifted, mentally lighter and it’s awesome! But what happens after that initial burst of cleansing? Maintenance. And that is the most challenging part.
The reason it becomes challenging is because it’s not front of mind like it once was. We can easily slip back into old habits and stop asking yourself those questions that will help us every single day. For me, this took a while. I have been finding it challenging since we opened up our online store. Not straight away, but a few months in. As we test and try out products to sell, we accumulate things in the end that we normally wouldn’t buy. I have caught myself giving things to others because I don’t want to deal with it or it needs a second opinion. It’s hard.
The other section of my life where I have felt that things have slowly started creeping in is food and product photography props. I have half a shelf of them in the office. The last couple of weeks I have been staring at them thinking “I wouldn’t even use half of what I have accumulated here”. It was the ‘what if I make this dish, I’ll need this prop to present it nicely and shoot it’. But let’s be honest, I’m never going to create recipes that require three sets of tapas dishes or old rusty stands.
So this honest reflection that I’ve just shared with you needs an action plan. Needs some kind of process and teaching from this journey of being a minimalist. I’ve never been a fan of living in a tiny house or having complete empty spaces. That’s not what minimalism means to me. It never will. What minimalism means to me is having things that bring me joy or have practical purpose. Everything else, is just weighing me down. Literally. I sit here at my computer writing this post and I turn to my right and see the mess I’ve created with these props and makes me feel a little unsettled. I love decluttering but why would I create this mess in the first place to have to declutter.
The older I get, the more I value my own time and what I spend doing with it. Accumulating things and then decluttering them is just not on my radar, ever. When you run a business from home that sells physical goods, it can be challenging. But it’s important to reset yourself, don’t beat yourself up about it and remind yourself why it’s causing us discomfort. I think that next time I look at that prop that would be ‘perfect’ or think about testing out a new product for our store, I will think about the time that I had to go through and reduce. No one enjoys the process of clearing clutter but everyone loves the feeling they get from it in the end. Why not have that feeling all the time? Why put yourself through all that time and energy to come out with the same result?
Up until this point, I have managed to maintain my my mindset around everything else in life, the people I spend my time with, how many podcasts and bits of information I consume, the amount of clothing I own and what I do with money in general. We have been overseas all up for three months in the last two years, which has been amazing and I wouldn’t change it for the world. Not even that brand new car 😛
Action step for me now is to reset and refocus myself.
How are you going on your minimalist journey? Are you finding that you slip up every now and then? How do you reset yourself and get back to it? Would love to hear you share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below.