My mini minimalist challenge
“I would love to be a minimalist but I have to much stuff “ I’ve been saying this a lot recently and it might sound familiar to you too.
Minimalism has been a hot topic over the last couple of years. Minimalist homes grace the pages of interior magazines, there are Youtube channels devoted on becoming a minimalist, you can find countless of documentaries about the subject online and on Netflix , Marie Kondo has us all parting with our belongings we don’t love and then there is the whole tiny house movement (small houses with no space for possessions) Maybe all this is a reaction to the consumer society of the moment, a reaction to the economical times we live in or simply a reaction that we have (or can buy) everything so the new generation just wants less.
I love the idea of becoming more like a minimalist but probably, like most of you, I have a house full of stuff. When I moved to the UK 12 years ago I came with 2 suitcases, one with belongings and one with my work kit. Somehow 12 years later I have a four bedroom house full of stuff and most of it is mine. I think my partner can still fits all of his belongings in those two suitcases.
Unfortunately I choose a line of work where I need a lot of supplies. My first career was as a makeup artist and hair stylist I have a chest of drawers full of makeup powders, hair pieces, curling sets etc etc My other career ,that of an up-cyclist, needs me to have lots of raw materials ready to be turned into a new pieces of furniture. Not the ideal starting point for an empty home, or are they just excuses?
Creative people like myself have a busy mind, I’m always switched on, working, doing stuff andI’m forever finding inspiration in everything I see, I read a lot and I observe a lot. A holistic masseur once told me my brain stem is like a four road wide highway, a never stopping stream of information. Maybe that’s why a long for an empty house and workspace, keep everything around me neat and tidy to balance my busy head. Luckily I’m a tidy person, the living room is always picture ready, my desk is tidy and clothes are almost always stored away in the wardrobe. An ideal person to embrace minimalism you would think, but somehow I still have gathered too much stuff around me although all this it very neatly stacked away in cupboards. I tried to have big clear outs but somehow I never trow away more then a few bags full of things I seems to be emotionally attached to a lot of my possessions. A trade I don’t like, surely your memories should hold all the great times not that one top you had on or the books you got given by that one special person??
I love reading articles on how you only need 35 pieces of clothing in your wardrobe. That those would be all you need for a perfect capsule collection. But how do you choose those just 35 pieces? I would need some proper stylist help. You also get emotionally attached to items of clothes, like the dress my bf bought for me and I know I will never wear it again as I think it’s to short or the top I bought when I was 15 years old on my way to my first casting. And then I have the items I made when I thought I wanted to become a fashion designer. Do I keep them for later when I’m old and want to remember my youth and creativity or should I bin them?
I do have a uniform though, you can always find me in double denim, ina white T-shirt, scarf and jacket or in my lumberjack chic style. Surely my uniform can be condensed to a smaller wardrobe?
And then what about all my props? I style all my photoshoot and need a lot of cups, cushions, plates, trays etc to make an image looks great. Surely I need to keep a well stocked prop cupboard to achieve all of this. I don’t live close to a prop house where I can rent pieces and most of the time buying is cheaper then renting.
Not to forget all my craft materials! I do need to build, knit, make for a living so I need my stuff right? Doesn’t help that I build a piece for the website every week. That is 52 items a year I produce. With my books, containing 35 projects each, I just finished book 4 that is 110 projects that need to be homed. To be honest I don’t keep everything, I give pieces away pieces, some break along the way and some get up-cycled into something else but still I find it hard chucking tables out I build with my own two hands. Have you got any ideas how I can stop my house filling up with handmade treasure? Shall I sell the items on my upcoming web shop? Do giveaways on the Youtube channel? Or shall I just charity shop or bin my makes?
So minimalism hey, I love the idea but it sounds like I need some serious help!
I would love to live a more minimalist life, not become a true minimalist but lets say a mini minimalist, a more user friendly version of the word. Have less stuff around me but don’t live in an empty house.
So that will be my quest this year, see if I can get rid of a lot of stuff I think I need but really I don’t. Once a month I will fill you in on my progress, see how I’m getting on decluttering and de-stuffing. Along the way I hope to get help from experts in their field as I would love to find out if less stuff really makes for a more relaxed life.
Now where are those bin bags?