Wednesday 28 December 2016

Minimalism isn't empty.

If you had come into our home before we moved, you would not believe I am trying to minimize and rationalize consume. And even if you come into our home now, you wouldn't think "minimalism" first thing when you saw it. you would probably think "family home"with two children. :)

With the move and my intense wish to simplify things, I had the chance to really get things right this time (or at least try to). I sorted to every box, every wardrobe, the entire attic, absolutely everything. Because I had to. Probably if I didn't have to, I wouldn't have done it so thoroughly. In the end about 50% of the content of the attic went out - charity or rubbish. I feel really bad about that in a way, it is such a waste of material and ressources. But that's the way it is and i can't keep it, only because I am ashamed to admit that I don't want to have all those things. And I do hope that in the charity shop they will find a new happy owner.

Of course my natural minimalist was helping a lot. Sometimes he would just look at me when I had one of those "brillant" ideas (=stuff) and sometimes he would say "don't worry, you can keep things that are superfluous, as long as they make you happy, don't be so hard on yourself". He even suggested buying shoes (my achilles' heel, pun not intentional, but bad anyway) while I was on my Make and Mend Challenge. [I have shoes. I have lots of shoes. But that's a different topic.]

Our new home doesn't look empty. We also didn't try to make it look empty. :) But we wanted it to be simple. Practical. Easy. Where everything has its place. Which did work out. So at least for a fraction of a second our place looks exactly the way we would like it.

One of my biggest problems in the past was to designate items their own space. Possibly because I owned too much. I was a specialist in "creating space", hanging stuff from walls and the ceiling, stacking them up in piles and piles on top of piles... 

In reality of course with the kids it's a hullabaloo sometimes a lot of the times, but at least when everything has its place, we can get on top of it theoretically. 

  • We tried to make sure that everything has it's place and can be stored "away" behind doors.
  • No open storage, because it collects dust. 
  • Storage on surfaces not allowed (e.g. in the kitchen). 
  • Also planned "stuff" is not allowed. Like decoration nobody looks at and that only collects dust.  We do have a little bit decoration (and pictures on the wall), but not much. And the items mean something to us. 
  • The floor must be kept empty. No edges or weird stuff standing around. It has to be super easy to clean. 
  • We only want things in the flat we like and use.
Minimalism for me is about moderation, about the Middle Way. It's about being aware of consumerism and about living simply without chastising myself (and ourselves). We still own quite a few "nice" items, that we don't use daily but that I don't want to get rid of even though it is not exactly rational (e.g. we have a rice cooker... it can cook rice for about 10 people... in the last 3 years we've used it twice...).

Minimalism doesn't mean you are only "allowed" to own 30, 50 or 100 things, unless that is your personal challenge.You have to find your own way. You have to find out what you need in your life. You have to get to know yourself.

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