I started my minimalism journey April 2018. I had no idea what the end result would look like but knew I needed a change. Although I learned a ton about minimalism my first 6 months which you can read about here I’ve learned how to keep it up and cultivate a habit of reevaluating my home and editing frequently.
The biggest things I learned is that Minimalsm is not just about your items, it’s a mind set and once you declutter your items you must declutter your email and social media, your calendar, and your mind.
I have learned so much in the past year and it has been amazing to watch my habits and life evolve with this new mindset. The most important things I have noticed that changed are listed below.
Buying habits: I no longer browse the clearance section. If an item I own is warn out I will add it to my list and keep it there for a few weeks prior to purchasing a new item just in case it is not something I actually need.
Quality Items: We have replaced a few large items including our fridge and dresser to higher quality items that will last much longer. I have also replaced cheaply made winter boots for a higher quality item that will last me much longer than 2 seasons.
Wardrobe: After donating several bags of clothing I realized I don’t need that much clothes to function. Each item of clothing I own is specifically picked out and looks great on me. When I get a new clothing item I review my closet and dresser to see if there is anything I no longer love. I still keep a donate bag in the closet for the items that no longer serve me or are no longer something I enjoy wearing which helps keep the habit of decluttering easier.
Home decor: I have removed decorative items from the home that I didn’t like in the first place. Going through my decor was one of those times that I really questioned why I bought something I didn’t like and the answer was to fill a space. I enjoy the decorative items I have up now because they are carefully selected and my eyes are no longer distracted by things I don’t like. I added some candles and plants to my decor also because I enjoy seeing and using them.
Holidays: I edit often especially around the times of the year that more items come into the house such as holidays or birthdays. We have also asked our family for gift cards to restaurants or theaters instead of items.
Values: By realizing what I value most in life I was able to adjust my focus on things that would impact my happiness the most. I now create something daily and focus more on being intent with my time instead of filling my day with stuff that doesn’t matter.
My Calendar: I reviewed my calendar and realized there were many items on there that I could adjust or decline. I’m learning to say “No” to activities that don’t add value to my life and learning to say “yes” to things I actually want to do. This is still a work in progress but something I will be continuing to focus on throughout my journey.
Chores: I schedule my chores in my calendar and once I realized it was taking up so much of my self care time I realized I could adjust it and still have a clean house. Because I have less items I decided to dust every 2 weeks instead of every week. I also learned to ask for help around the house. (Although I am still learning not to do the task if it is not done within my time frame.) This will most likely always be a pin point for me as I tend to expect myself to have a perfect home.
Perfect: Once I started this minimalism journey I realized that the idea that I had to be perfect was really hurting myself and filling up my house and mind with clutter. I tend to expect myself to reach perfection in every aspect of my life and having that expectation has made being human feel shameful. Through this minimalism journey I have adjusted my mindset and worked on just being who I am instead.
Journaling: I really enjoy journaling and it is a habit I have picked up since April 2018. It truly helps me declutter my thoughts and create great action plans. It is also very therapeutic and helped me work through my perfectionism complex.
Gratitude: This was the biggest impact since starting my journey. When you evaluate your life and your choices it makes you realize what is important. I am beyond grateful for this life I live even with the turmoil that I’ve experienced. I am grateful for the opportunity to declutter and help others through this process.
In the last year I have learned so much through this journey and will continue to cultivate a habit of evaluating my items, my calendar, and my life often. I’m excited for the coming years and how minimalism will play a role in my life.