It’s time to finally write about my challenges of being a minimalist.
This post is about six months overdue.
I’m three and a half years into minimalism, and there are some things that I want to talk about that I’m sure will resonate with others.
When Michael and I 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.
We occasionally came across items that we didn’t even know we had! We came across others that we had meant to get rid of, but just never got around to it.
When we go through the process of decluttering, we feel liberated, lifted, mentally lighter and it’s awesome! However, what happens after that initial burst of cleansing? Maintenance which is the most challenging part.
The reason it becomes challenging is that it’s not front of mind like it once was. We can easily slip back into old habits and stop asking ourselves those questions that will help us every single day.
For me, this took a while. I’ve been finding it difficult since we opened up our online store. Not straight away, but a few months in.
As we test out products to potentially sell, we accumulate things in the end that we usually wouldn’t buy. I’ve 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’ve 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’ve been staring at them thinking “I wouldn’t even use half of what I’ve accumulated here”. I used to think “what if I make (insert name of dish here)? I’ll need this prop to present it nicely and shoot it”.
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. Requires some kind of process that was learned during 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 a 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 it makes me feel 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 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. However, it’s important to reset. Don’t beat yourself up and remind yourself why it’s causing you discomfort.
Next time I look at a prop that would be “perfect” or think about testing out a new product for our store, I’ll 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 the end result. 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’ve managed to maintain 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.
I’ve been fortunate to travel overseas for a total of three months in the last two years, which has been incredible and I wouldn’t change it for the world.
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.