“Minimalism is not a lack of something. It is simply the perfect amount of something” – Nicholas Burroughs
Minimalism: “the intentional promotion of the things we most value and the removal of everything that distracts us from it.” – Becoming Minimalist
As soon as I leave home and become an adult the reality of life is going to kick me so hard in the face that I’ll fall over and break something. Reason being, I won’t have anywhere near as much disposable income as I do now. So I’ve decided to experiment by pretending that I already have rent and bills to pay, therefore spending less in the process.
I’m attracted to the idea of minimalism because I hate clutter, it mentally exhausts you without even realising. And I’m obsessed with Pinterest. By having less, you’re left with more disposable income, which means that you can increase the quality of things you do have, and spend your money on more important things.
Minimalism is something that I experimented with when I found myself earning part time money over the Christmas period, which essentially sucked, as I couldn’t just buy whatever I wanted without thinking.
I started by having a look round at my little old bedroom, which contains absolutely everything I need want. Should a bomb go off and destroy London, I could definitely survive for at least 6 months.
The first step was to stop spending money. On things I could live without for now. I tend to bulk buy because it makes sense in my eyes, I hate walking into my hometown due to the unwarranted male attention and the general chaotic environment so I would rather limit the amount of times I have to put myself through it. And I bought a LOT just before I left my job, as I had a fear of being broke and unable to have stuff. But two spare Mac brow pencils at £14 each is really unnecessary, when they last me 3 months at a time. And although my family and I quite easily get through ten avocados in a week, we will consume three if I only buy three, and we will get over it.
“Too many people spend money that they haven’t earned to buy things they don’t want to impress people they don’t like”
I can definitely agree with that, having shelled out on new outfits when I’ve started new jobs, just to “fit in”. And sometimes you don’t even realise you’re doing it. There’s nothing worse than looking back on purchases and discovering that they were completely unnecessary, based on emotions at the time that weren’t even long lasting.
My friend and I are serious shopaholics, and I invented this rule to make our lives better. Every time we send each other a screenshot of something that we REALLY want, we have to wait a month, and then decide whether we still want it. Chances are, we probably won’t anymore. And if we do? We’re allowed to purchase it.
By just becoming a little more patient and allowing time to show how badly we want something, it enables us to make better financial decisions. Just because you can afford something, it doesn’t mean you should buy it right away.
The next step was to use up everything that I own, before replacing anything. After looking at my extensive hair product collection I estimated that I could probably go about six months without needing any more. And as for candles – that could take years. Ikea sell them in packs of 100, the undisputed king of scented tea lights.
*side note – I caved when I found out that Asda sell Yankee candles*
The final step consisted of throwing out anything that I don’t use or need.
This is my favourite thing to do! Normally I love a big clear out because it gives me the space to buy more. But obviously this would be counter productive as a newly found minimalist. I’ll have to live with less. On tope of this I’ll swap quantity for quality, in the hope that my items will last longer, avoiding the need to rush out and purchase more.
I gave a lot of clothing to my grateful younger (and slimmer) sister, most of which no longer fitted, ‘welp’. But I still have a LONG way to go when it comes to decluttering, and I look forward to eventually living a completely minimalist lifestyle. I want to apply minimalism to my work, my future home and my lifestyle choices.
My favourite website is Becoming Minimalist, there are so many blog posts giving advice and an insight into the world, and hopefully make you realise that it’s not just an idea, it’s a way of life.
There are no set rules, because only you define what is important to you, therefore you have the freedom to keep or trash whatever you want.
Have you tried any minimalist ways? Let me know in the comments below!
Lizzy shares her lifestyle and opinions whilst travelling around the world.
Not only is she a young, career-focused professional, she’s a Starbucks and Zara enthusiast.
She’d like to settle down and have kids, but all in good time.