The Beginnings of a Minimalist Lifestyle

Browsing Facebook, I stumbled across a video about a man’s conversion to a minimalist lifestyle. I won’t deny his minimalism looked more radical & extreme than I think I would want. But the simplicity and tidiness of his flat and lifestyle appealed to me. So I’ve decided to try being a bit more minimalist! A toe-in-the-water approach, if you will 😉

Here are my motives and my resolutions 🙂

Why I’d like a more minimalist lifestyle:
– I hate mess.
– I hate tidying up.
– I don’t like clutter – I like space.
– I can’t find things easily.
– I don’t even know exactly what I do & don’t have.
– I forget about & can’t find particular items of clothing, & my clothes cupboard is overloaded and a mess.
– My desk and room are overloaded too.
– I’m moving out in a few months, and it will be hard to transport all this stuff, and to fit it into where I’m moving to.
– I’m a PhD in the writing up & job-hunting stage, so I really don’t have much money, and need to make economies wherever I can.
– I like the idea of living even more simply – ascetic & freeing.

My easy minimalism:
Until the end of 2017…

– Don’t buy ANY clothes (except a swimsuit and pair of goggles).
– Don’t buy ANYTHING ornamental for myself (e.g. cushions, ornamental animals, vases, fancy candles, any souvenirs from places I’ve visited except postcards).
– Don’t buy ANY more wool until I’ve knitted ALL the wool I already have.
– Don’t buy ANY books (except books I need for research) or CDs, just read all the ones which I have I haven’t read and the ones I have which are worth re-reading and the Classics which are available free on kindle.
– Ask for things I need/really want as birthday & Christmas presents.
– Go through my room & throw away anything broken/empty, & give away anything I don’t/won’t use.
– Go through my clothes & shoes, & recycle/give away anything broken & anything I really don’t/won’t wear.
– Go through my notes & & post-it notes & stacks of paper & leaflets etc. and throw away anything that definitely isn’t useful and anything that is out of date (e.g. old concert flyers, all the leaflets the National Trust sends)
– Keep a post-it on my wall of things I already have a large amount of so that I don’t accidentally buy more (e.g. shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste)

I know people who “convert” to minimalism often give/throw away a lot of their stuff, but I’m reluctant to do that, as I’ve often found that things I’ve not been using much but have kept have been useful later (e.g. clothing & shoes which I’ve started re-wearing for whatever reason), and so I don’t want to waste money getting rid of things that I already have that might well be useful. I think, for me, the ideal balance is having the perfect amount of stuff where I will use pretty much everything I have now or in the future, and I know what I have and can find it and keep it tidy easily, and my room and cupboards look neat and uncluttered. I’m naturally a little bit minimalist anyway, so I don’t have a huge hoard of useless things, but I think I’ve tipped a bit over the “tidy and useful” equilibrium nowadays, and it’s time to stop acquiring any more things, get rid of a bit of what I have, and get back to that pleasantly slightly-sparse state where I know what stuff I have, it’s tidy, and I actually use it!

I hope that writing this down as a blog post will make it easier for me to stay committed to this and to find & re-read my motivations and resolutions through the year 🙂 I’ll try to let you know how it’s gone at the end of 2017! 🙂

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