So, I own a lot of stuff.
You know bits and bobs, knick-knacks, doodahs and things for you know just in case. A little over 20 days ago we had new flooring put in the entrance way of our house and in the office. This meant we had to move some stuff out of the office so that the fitters could get in and you know do their job.
It was like a breath of fresh air getting that flooring finally done. It also forced me to look at all this stuff that I had in the office and question why I was holding onto it. Needless to say that in the process of putting the office back together, I got rid of a lot of stuff.
Things that were out of date (planners), things that I had half used and I knew that I wasn’t going to use, but held on to, you know just in case. I rearranged my desk and cleared out my selves. I added more plants. And decorated. I made it so that it was a bit more me! Well, on my side of the office at least. But this triggered something in me.
This was such a cathartic exercise that I wanted to continue. So, I did what any good millennial would do and I Googled “how to declutter your home“. This is something that I have tried and failed at many times. Jono can attest to this. This time however, I came across minimalism and it’s ethos of living a simpler and more meaningful and intentional life.
But having done what I had in the office and having that space feel more like us. Also, I think that the fact that the hallway is much more “us” now as you enter the house. I wanted to make an effort this time to truly get my shit in order.
This may feel like past Sam has done her job, she got rid of some shit and made room for other shit to enter the void and future Sam can continue on her downward spiral of consumerism. But, I honestly do not want to go back to those bad habits. I am feeling much more positive about this process and what I need to do. Minimalism has just clicked with something in my head.
So, we had already kinda made a start long before the beginning of this journey. Jono and I have kinda of sorted out money – I suck at budgets – though we still need to go through it and trim out some spending.
But I have paid off my Halifax credit card and closed that account. I have also nearly paid off the HSBC credit card as well – next is the Barclay card, as we were at one point paying nearly £100 in interest.
Yes, I know bad Sam and Jono.
But, we each have a Monzo account that is just for treat money for ourselves and a joint Monzo in which all our “enjoyment” shit comes out of and my wages now go into it. So things like Now TV and Netflix, Amazon, meals out and drinks, these joint expenses come out of the Joint Monzo account. This is so that we can keep track of what we as a couple are spending in that area of our lives.
Now, if like me, you will have a bit of a preconceived notion about minimalism. Which is that you only a certain amount of things. That your house has to be empty bar a few pieces of furniture and have white walls.
You know what I mean.
However that is not, at least from my point of view, what a minimalist is. You can have stuff in minimalist’s house as long as it is serving a purpose and it is there with intent and use and that you love it.
As a self-proclaimed consumerist this freaked me out a little bit. But the more and more I read and listened and having had that purge of the office. I started to feel that this was more and more of what I needed in my life.
I needed less.
Now don’t start thinking that my house is going to turn into that stark image that most people attribute to minimalism, but, I need to get rid of some stuff.
I need to declutter and question the things that I am bringing into my life and that I have. Over the past 20+ days, I have gotten rid of over 200 items.
Now I need to clarify that these are MY items not Jono’s or joint ownership. Just my shit. And I have never felt better for letting go and either recycling or donating things I no longer feel I need to hold on to you know just in case.
I have a long way to go yet and I still have things that I am holding on to and I need to question. But, I have gotten rid of coats that no longer fit and shoes that I don’t love. I have stopped holding on to them you know just in case.
The next big thing that I did was to put some of my planners up for sale. I know that some of my fellow planner/stationery addict friends are going to think that I am mad. But with over mmhmmhm planners in a cupboard that are not being used, I felt a guilty pang that they were just sat there. I had to really question myself in regards to this but to be honest, it was a easy decision.
I picked out 12 planners that I don’t have the same love for any more and put them up on a Facebook group. One has already sold and I am hoping that the rest do as well. The money from selling these is going straight into my ISA. Then that money will in turn be put into decorating and upgrading more of the house.
My next be challenge is bags. I LOVE bags! I already have an idea of which ones that I want to donate or try and sell (this cost time to do) so I just need to do it. That might happen in the New Year to be honest so for now they can stay where they are.
Now you might be thinking where is Jono in all this decluttering and getting rid of shit and to be honest I haven’t really spoken to him about it. I think I am a bit worried about what he might think and say. I know that he will support me in what I am doing but I currently feel like I have to do this in secret.
I know I shouldn’t but that is how I am feeling at the moment. I think in my head, he will make me feel bad about doing this, I know he won’t, I know that this is my mind being my worst enemy. But having that thought, that negative perception about doing this will make me go “Well fuck it, I won’t bother”, instead of pushing through and make our space a better place and less stressful.
Because at the end of the day the clutter is making me stressed!
I hope that he will join me in this and start questioning his stuff, but I think he already has that mindset anyway, as he doesn’t actually own a lot of stuff. I would say that items in the house are spilt: 70% my shit 20% joint owned stuff and 10% Jono owned stuff . He, in many ways, is already a minimalist without even thinking about it, and I envy him for that.
But that is where I am heading. To declutter and question the stuff in my life and if it is serving a purpose and is it there with intent and use and do we love it.
Because that is the nub of this whole thing – it’s our house and everything in there should be stuff that we love, not just me.
You can follow my journey here and on Instagram where you can see exactly what stuff I have gotten rid of and stopped holding on to because you know just in case.
And as The Minimalist say;
Love people and use things, because the opposite never works.The Minimalist