So, I’ve moved a total of nine times in the last six years. Yikes.
The trek to Cape Town meant I had to declutter my old room until I had enough to fit in two suitcase. And as it goes, when you move to a new city, there’s a chance you’re going to lose a bunch of items along the way. It’s the kind of thing that happens when you’re living out of a suitcase and trying to find your feet in a new place.
But soon enough, I realised I didn’t want tons of stuff to begin with. January is a good time to realise that and start anew. So I started doing some research on living with less.
Now, when you Google the term minimalism you’re bound to come across images like this:
And that’s great, but minimalism isn’t just defined to an aesthetic. The whole concept really just means living with less and not consuming as much, which in itself is a privilege.
When I was a student, as soon as I got a bit of money, I thrifted a lot so my wardrobe wouldn’t look sparse. I honed my skills down to an actual pro, but I was left with lots of things I didn’t need.
Once we moved into our first permanent spot in 2015, I had to downsize again just to have enough packing space.
Shortly after, I started up my little donation drive in January 2015 as a way to give back to other women who weren’t as fortunate as we were. Now, I do find freedom in giving back and decluttering regularly. There’s something beautiful about revitalising your space, getting rid of what’s not needed and cleansing the energy around you.
So how do you get started?
Minimalism isn’t solely about having stark white walls or artfully placing pot plants on a marble table. You make it whatever you want it to be. Set out your goals for a lifestyle change and try to stick to it. I’ve pledged to not buy a new item of clothing (unless it’s meant to be replaced) for six months.
Do some research on minimalist challenges or read up on KonMari
What is that, you ask? It’s a Japanese cleaning/organising method devised by Marie Kondo – who’s kinda hardcore. I didn’t KonMari my belongings, but it’s a helpful method that works for a lot of people. If you’re browsing different ways of decluttering – why not try The Minimalists aptly named Minimalism Game or have a look at YouTuber A Small Wardrobe‘s decluttering PDF.
Hop onto the internet and discover different #minimalist YouTubers
I particularly like Rachel Aust, who gives realistic advice on fitness, health and more. There’s Jenny Mustard, a Swedish vegan vlogger who’s a bit too hardcore for my liking. She makes aesthetically pleasing videos and lives a realllllyyyyy minimalist lifestyle. I also follow Sadiya Marie, who is one of the few black women on the minimalist YT scene.
Tackle your house and divide into sections
If you’re doing your wardrobe, it works best when you take out everything and have a proper look. Sort things into piles of donate/sell, maybe and keep. You don’t have to be ruthless, you just need to start. This method can be used with any other part of your room or house.
Find a new hobby or pick up one that you’ve left behind
I started up with the DIYs again and even bought some paintbrushes. I don’t draw or paint very well, but it makes me happy. There’s something really wholesome about creating new projects that are just for yourself.
On another note, I enjoy watching DIYs on YouTube so much! It’s cool way to see how you can harness your own creativity or just attempt a new thing.
It keeps me from spending $$$ on other shit, because I’m entertained by a new creative project.
And mostly, this isn’t meant to feel like a chore. Decluttering or choosing to live with less needs to make you feel lighter than before, literally. You don’t need to be on the cover of Kinfolk to matter or be a “proper” minimalist. What does that even mean?
Whether you declutter, stop shopping, cut down on household waste or go veggie/vegan sometimes – the environment will always benefit from humans using less.
Cover Photo by Sarah Dorweiler, Evano Community