Who knew that watching a YouTube video could make a positive impact on your life?
In December 2014, I remember I was watching a vlogging family on YouTube. In this video, I recall the mom mentioning minimalism and how this concept inspired her to declutter.
Minimalism. What is this thing? What she was talking about had definitely sparked my interest. My curious fingers typed minimalism into Google search and I came across the blog www.becomingminimalist.com. After reading through a few articles on the site, I was inspired by this minimalism concept.
Now everyone has their own definition of minimalism. Minimalism in my definition is getting rid of excess items in your life so that the items that you do possess become more meaningful and valuable. To me, it will never be about living in a plain white box looking at dust-bunnies as my form of entertainment nor do I believe in not spending money on items from time to time.
While I have never been a shop-a-holic, its very easy for material possessions to build up over time; the last remnants of childhood, old schoolwork, housing items that stay with you from move to move, etc. Soon after reading minimalism literature, I began the decluttering process.
This was my system for beginning the minimalism process in my room and the decision making about the items in my room:
I. Donate items in good shape but of now of no use to me
II. Discard/Trash items that are well trash (anything that is broken, invaluable papers that can be shredded, etc.)
III. Keep items that are still of use to me
Donate: Some of the items I donated were stuffed animals that I had forgotten about in my closet, ugly old blankets that were inherited to me, clothes that were a gift yet remained unworn for about two Christmases, and a few home décor pieces. Nine times out of ten, if you have completely forgotten about a specific possession, it is not of any use to you anymore. The items that are eligible for donation can be a blessing to someone else. This philosophy makes it easier to get rid of stuff.
Discard: I trashed items that were no longer usable and beyond repair, including my favorite owl tealight candle holder. 😦 R.I.P. Owlie. As you are trashing stuff, try to schedule the trash portion of your decluttering process close to trash pickup days. For example, if trash pickup is on a Thursday on your block, make Tuesday and Wednesday your days for getting trash into trash bags and out into the bins. Not only does this help to free up space in your room giving you instant gratification, it will help to empty your bins outside faster since typically in residential communities, they only give you one trash bin.
Keep: For the items that you are going to keep, make sure that you not only have a place to put them, but that you also have the space in your house to keep your kept items comfortably. You want to be sure to create a specific place for your belongings so that your belongings will stay organized, easily accessible, and off of the floor.
What is the forecast for the future of my minimalism-inspired journey? Who knows? I do know that since last December, I have gotten rid of more items (partly because of continuing the decluttering process, partly because of a stressful move to a smaller place). Personally I have made an effort to be more respectful of my possessions by putting things where they belong, making up my bed (*gasp*), and being more cutthroat with items I don’t want around me by getting rid of them quickly (I’m looking at you repeat Steak n’ Shake coupons).
There isn’t a deadline that you have to put on yourself if you decide to embark on this new minimalism-inspired journey. Start small if you have to so that you won’t get overwhelmed.
After all, every journey has to start somewhere. . .