Minimalism – Decluttering a Wardrobe and Packing…

Recently, I decided to reorganise my wardrobe because it was starting to look chaotic. Also, I’m off on my adventures again soon, so a tidy wardrobe helps with packing.

Because of the changing seasons, I needed to curate winter clothing too. Although the clothing space was sorted out a year ago, I wanted to obtain more room so I could enjoy my clothes and see them clearly. To be honest, I thought I’d only throw (recycle) a few things out. However, I gradually became quite brave as well as disciplined and managed a whole black sack full! My clothing throw out list is as follows:

– Anything that doesn’t fit NOW goes

– Anything not worn during the past year goes

– Anything that is damaged beyond repair goes

Also, I made a note of what stuff I wear daily and realised my taste for minimal clothing…

– Crew neck tops

– Plain trousers/skirts

– Favourite colour blue

– Selection of scarves, boots and jackets

I tend to dress these looks up with bright, contemporary print scarves and I love jackets too (cloth and leather). Also, love wearing boots and have quite a few pairs. Occasionally, I will buy a bright flowery dress or blouse/shirt but I don’t wear this look much.

Packing

I have learnt the art of folding the Marie Kondo way and it is fabulous for packing. Everything looks tidy and you can see what you have at a glance which is particularly useful if you are travelling and only staying at a place for a night or two.

Useful Sources

A Small Wardrobe (This blogger did a 28 Day Minimalist Wardrobe Challenge) on WordPress

Marie Kondo

Minimalism – Podcasts and the Concept of Ownership…

Podcasts

I’ve really started to enjoy pounding the treadmill in the gym. Not just because I want to get fit, although after my over indulgence in Cornwall it is necessary, but to enjoy the world of the Podcast. I’ve recently listened to various podcasts on Spotify, YouTube, BBC World Service and BBC 4 (list below).

Minimalism

As I was running, I became particularly interested in The Minimalists’ views about curation and ownership which is more thought provoking than it sounds. The fundermental starting point is this article:

https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2018-08-12/american-ownership-society-is-changing-thanks-to-technology

Tyler Cowen is concerned because Americans own less stuff. Will this stagnate the economy? Cowen clearly thinks it will. It does question whether owning stuff is a good thing or not. Listening to The Minimalists’ podcast, raises several interesting points.

Due the new concepts such as Kindle, we do not own so many books. We don’t buy DVDs or videos like we used to because now we have such things as Netflix. Spotify and or YouTube caused us to stop buying CDs. Apparently, and this did surprise me, car ownership is decreasing because people now  travel more and by bike, taxi (Uber), use public transport or walk. Cowen argues that the American dream to own things like cars is dwindling in favour of urban living, and greater reliance on the above mentioned.

This fascinates me because I’d never realised how little we do actually own nowadays in terms of these products, or even thought about it. I agree, this is a good thing. People still own stuff, but not as much. Not having to buy books, albums, DVDs and cars is beneficial. Just having your favourite books, albums (vinyl is making a come back), DVDs, etc, does suggest an organised way of living and provides the freedom to disengage from the extraneous stuff. Just have what brings value.

When I was growing up, everyone disliked the idea of renting possessions such as homes, cars and even televisions. This has changed, particularly with the younger generation. It is better for the environment to buy and keep good quality clothing, borrow/rent cars and live in smaller homes. Seriously, you only need so much stuff. Americans losing the connection with ownership is a good thing although don’t think it has happened …yet?

Focusing towards a sharing community is better isn’t it? Who wants all the gym equipment in their house? Do we really need a massive TV and a home theatre? Much better to go to a gym, see a play/film and chat with others. This is what life is about. Doing stuff rather than accumulating things. Going out and about and experiencing stuff.

Minimalism is a tool that can assist you in finding freedom. Freedom from fear. Freedom from worry. Freedom from overwhelm. Freedom from guilt. Freedom from depression. Freedom from the trappings of the consumer culture we’ve built our lives around. Real freedom.                                    The Minimalists… (Joshua Fields Milburn, Ryan Nicodemus)

Cowen argues private ownership gives us a stake in the system. Yes, and it may force hard work rather than meaningful work. As mentioned on the podcast, we never really own anything; we just pass it on after 80 years anyway. This way of thinking is ambiguous, although thought provoking. The concept of ownership does remain important. However, the thing is not to become too used to excessive possessions. I advocate looking at your surroundings as a stranger would. Recently, I wondered why I still have a big table in my kitchen when I could replace it with something useful.

Obviously, some things are essential like a car, books, photography gear and furniture. But if you are short on time and have busy schedules, then it maybe a good idea to evaluate what you actually use and need day to day.

I am well aware people will read this, and think haven’t got time to worry about stuff. But having just returned from a break in Cornwall and unpacked my little case, in about five minutes, think again. Why have I been taking a massive suitcase with me all these years? It was great to return home without loads of stuff. (Although still have a shoe issue…)

As a minimalist you still own stuff but only what brings value. It creates simplicity and purpose and removes everything that distracts us from good experiences. Wish I’d realised this years ago because it saves so much time and energy although still working on it.

In fact, views about owning a property are slightly changing. Unfortunately, in the UK rents are extortionate so the whole process is challenging. People try to invest in a property in a cheaper area, part own a property or rent. Also, it is popular now to save and live frugally and invest in a future without being tied, long term, to a job you hate. The main premise then is possibly having a decent space (living area) with the minimal sleeping area and fewer possessions. Do not let the stuff own you. Ultimately, people may prefer to own a property and accumulate wealth or rent and not have the responsibility of ownership. Not everyone wants ‘a stake in the system’. They may just want to do what suits them and be a part of a community and contribute. This does seem common nowadays with the notion of online work, charities and so on.

Overall, focus on what is needed and brings value. I’m still thinking about that dining table and why I take several pairs of shoes on holiday but there is no such thing as the perfect ‘minimalist’ or for that matter, environmentalist or anything else. This podcast is thought provoking and does advocate a changing society.

Any comments are welcome and hope you enjoyed my musings about life.

Sources:

https://www.theminimalists.com/p146/

Podcasts I enjoy…

The Minimalists/Happier/The Dr’s Kitchen (Spotify)

Health Check/The Infinite Monkey Cage/Crowd Science/Business Matters/World Book Club (BBC)

Is there such a thing as intentional living?

I hope you enjoy the mishmash of my thoughts on intentional living!

To me, it is easy to drift through life and do the same thing day in, day out in a habitual way. We have choices in life and it is easy to forget that. After a tragic family event, my aim is to enjoy life. It is possible to do what you like to do. Money comes into it, but you can often do stuff cheaply.

Sometimes it is a good idea to step back and evaluate what you have. Recently, I decided to look at my home and had a massive declutter.  It is easy to keep clutter because you just stop seeing it. Have two huge sacks ready to go as we speak.

Another thing is that I’ve joined a group of walkers for not only exercise but to meet new people and enjoy the company of engaging folk with fresh views on life.

Trying to decide how you can improve life is a good idea rather than just aimlessly carry on with it. Of course, it is tricky if you have children, but can still be done with some effort. If you think about life, read, explore issues and go out and about it becomes a good way to examine your interests, talents and passions.

People often continually moan about things and this is fair enough up to a point. We all do it. However, sometimes it is good to step back, take risks and change things isn’t it?  Turn of the TV and go out and do stuff. Write a book, walk, paint, declutter, decorate, socialise, etc. To answer my question intentional living is possible if you decide to do it. What do you think and what have you done?

Conclusions…

  • Evaluate life and who you spend time with
  • Make some choices
  • Discover your passions and do them
  • Stop complaining
  • Turn TV/Screens off

Thanks for reading and don’t forget to follow, if you like my musings.

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The Game Changer? Setting Life Aims – Becoming Lighter Series (6)

Another way to keep up the momentum is doing a month long challenge. Start at the beginning of each month with something you want to achieve. Either do the aim every day, possibly at the same time, or do it daily or often (every other day) but keep adding to the challenge and see if you can reach the last day of the month.

Here are some ideas…

Play the Minimalism game. On the 1st of the month, declutter one thing, on the 2nd, two things, 3rd, three things and so on. See how far you can get. I got to about the 20th and then it all started to unravel and I just got rid of what I could.  The house is clearer though, so was pleased with the result.

Do an exercise challenge. On day 1 do one press-up. Easy, but by day 28, (28 press-ups) not so easy.

During previous years, I’ve done the exercise every day challenge. You do something every day and then blog or tweet about it. Starts off ok, but towards the end my enthusiasm did run out and it became arduous. However,  when you look back over the month, you get a feeling of accomplishment. I did London walks, country walks, gym, and running. Also, if you take photos along the way, it makes the challenge interesting.

Talking about taking photos, how about the photography challenge? You are given an option each day and you have to take a photo such as door, shade, night.  Then post the daily pic. on social media.

Hope the above gives another perspective on planning your aims. Thanks for reading and I hope my pearls of wisdom prove useful. Have fun!

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New… Becoming Lighter Series!

So I’ve decided to produce a new series for my blog! It is called Becoming Lighter and will include ideas about new life aims, decluttering, diet, fitness, social media and experiences that are relevant.

The first series will cover life aims. I’ve decided to call them aims rather than goals because, in my view, it’s an ongoing process. Talking of the process, many ideas will be discussed. These will include how committed are you to new life aims? Brainstorming and eliminating new ideas and aims, questioning the environment of your proposed tasks associated with your aims and how to record and measure progress. After that, I will post how we look at the emotions and benefits of the new life aims.

The blog posts will be concise and run over several weeks. These are my compilation of ideas that have been obtained from various sources, including books, papers, university study and university of life ho hum (experience and interest). The posts are light hearted, but hopefully help and be flipping useful. La de daaa….. very exciting!

Well, January was a trial month and this is February now, so let’s set some new ideas, goals, resolutions or aims… Glass of wine anyone?

Thank you for reading and if you aren’t following, please do…

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Minimalism – Wardrobe Declutter

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As with all things relating to minimalism, it is best to activate over time.  This is why I’ve taken so long re-organising the wardrobe.  The home was never really cluttered but when I discovered minimalism, I decided there are ways to clear the home and have less stuff.

My focus became to cut the clothes that I don’t wear.  With this in mind, I took everything out and organised into 3 piles (Out/In/Maybe).

Over the last few months the maybe pile, has been radically reduced and when I had less clothes, I bought some white coat hangers and organised the wardrobe so that it was not only arranged by type but colour too.

Although this goes against the minimalism ideal, for me it made everything tidy and saves so much time in the morning when I am deciding what to wear.  Honestly, the wardrobe has never been so tidy and it is lovely and does save an enormous amount of time.

So for me the key points are:

  • Deciding to reduce (IN/OUT/MAYBE)
  • Organise by type (skirts, trousers, tops, jumpers)
  • Colour co-ordinate
  • Don’t worry too much about the Maybe Pile because you can consider and reduce over time

Do recycle items and pieces of clothing that are good enough should taken the charity shops.  As a nation, we throw away enormous piles of clothes, so this is the sensible thing to do and best for the environment.

Also, attempt a one in, one out policy and stick to it.  My proposal is to buy better quality clothes but a lot less and mix and match more.  During the colder times, scarves are great to jazz up clothes plus colourful, matching jewellery too.

Anyway, I hope you like my tips and here’s to a clearer wardrobe which will save you time and money.

Update on Minimalism, Life and Blogtober…

On the minimalism front, I have cleared out more clothes (1 sack), some handbags and shoes.  Bought some white, simple plastic hangers and set about re-organising the wardrobe.  The hangers are cheap but good quality and the wardrobe looks so much better. I’ve written my tips about re-organising the wardrobe which will be published in the next day or so.

On the life front, I’ve cut my work commitments back so I can spend time pursuing my interests.  This includes writing, producing and promoting this blog.  Also, reading, travelling and well, just doing stuff and going to places, e.g. the Tenterden Folk Festival.  I’m really enjoying writing and promoting the blog on social media.  Recently, there have been blogs about Blogtober which are thought provoking.  Is it possible to blog every day?  Not sure whether a blog will appear daily, but the aim is to blog more during October.

Thanks for reading and please follow, if you like what I write.  It is a mishmash.

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